This is a short story of a friendship, a very 21st century one, actually. It all started back in October, when we were opening Stilshop and our social media buzz started quite dashingly on Instagram and somehow we managed to reach out to people who shared the same interest and devotion in design and visual culture in general.
One day I received a nice message on Instagram from this small family business GUD Shop, from Ljubljana, Slovenia. It was more like a compliment about our shop and I got curious who’s behind the kind words, so I looked up the account and found a very friendly design store with a stylish interior and product range chosen with the best taste. I also found out that the guys even have their own stationery brand called GUD Work – so it turned out that we seem to share the same taste in paper products and stationery in general. Even though we’ve decided to offer only Hungarian products in Stilshop I felt that this is a very good reason to make an exception. That’s when we made our first order for GUD Work planners, notebooks and prints – later becoming one of our bestseller brand.
There were emails coming and going between us and quite soon I felt that it would be nice to get to know these people and also I heard from all my friends that Ljubljana is the place to go so we went! Meeting Julia & Matej in person was such a kind experience that made our few days in Slovenia really memorable!
I’ve never been to Ljubljana before, we’ve only passed the city many times on the way to Croatia. Even if they say it’s never too late I feel a bit sorry for not having visited earlier! Ljubljana is a perfect example of the blend of German, Mediterranean, and Slovenian culture – Baroque, Renaissance, and Art Nouveau buildings in the old town, watched over by a medieval castle. There is a small river running through the city that makes the atmosphere even more loveable.
And what I liked the most is the concept of keeping the old town for local businesses, restaurants, small shops and design stores offering a wide range of great quality local products. In one of these nice little houses is located GUD Shop on Stari Trg.
GUD Shop has been opened a few years ago by a lovely couple, Julia a young design theorist & Matej who studied architecture and had a small graphic design studio during the student years. These young people are full of enthusiasm and believe that they can learn & do almost everything themselves – and they really do! They refurbished the few hundred years old store with their own hands, designed the visual identity of their brand themselves and and created an inspiring hub of young local designers offering the opportunity for introduction. The store represents more than 30 Slovenian designers along a few Scandinavian brands creating a stylish and colourful collection of interior design products, home accessories, stationery, paper goods and gifts.
At the moment Slovenia is experiencing a real boom in contemporary design and locally made designer products, which is – of course – a blessing for all shops in the city centre. As GUD Shop became very popular among tourist and local design lovers, Julia & Matej decided to start their own product range GUD Work, offering locally made great quality stationery products with unique style and lovely illustrations. At the moment GUD products can be found apart from their own store on the shelves of Spanish, Belgian and Hungarian design shops and in the future the range is about to get even wider and more colourful.
The guys have many plans for the future trying to spread the word through their webshop about Slovenian design all over the world and extending their GUD brand to other stores across Europe. I’m quite sure they’ll succeed very soon.
Wish you good luck guys, thank you so much for your kind hospitality and I hope to see you very soon again in Budapest!
Keep up the GUD Work!