Papinee – Interview with founder, Dev Suj & 15% off Products

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Papinee is an art-toy collective with a very special social mission, to
give the world the “Gift of Imagination”.  This collection was inspired
by Papinee founder Dev Suj’s mother, who wanted to give her son the gift
of storytelling.  He's passed this incredible gift on and we were fortunate enough to catch up with Dev and asked him some questions about Papinee.   

1.  What was the first Papinee character you created?

It began with the Animalia Collection which today consists of 9 characters – the deer, sheep, monkey, lion, turtle, horse, owl, cat and starfish. They are the rulers of their nations, the leaders of the lands.  More are coming this year, stay tuned.

2.  Was every character thought up by your mother or did you add more to the collection?
Together, we used our imaginations to travel to different countries all over the world and as my mother educated me about the new places, historic stories, different cultures, I brought the Animalia to life. And through this we had fun creating the ideas around them, combining zoology with geography, history and art, and today they are for all to enjoy. Every day I am inspired and add something new, and we work with incredible people from all fields from child psychology to contemporary artists to bring our ideas to life.

3.  How long did it take to design and create the first Papinee character? 
Moments and years. I think it’s better to say how long did it take to bring the first Papinee character to life as a product – I think 3 years approximately – striving for perfection really.

4.  How do you choose the colours used?  

The colours have been chosen in 2 different ways.  The first way is with a scientific approach with child development experts to create colour stories that are conducive to child progression.  For example, the PAPINEE Deer is designed in red, white and black to provide maximum color contrast impact because young children in their first few months can only see those colors.  The other way is to incorporate the colours are of the country and cultures of each Animalia – whether its habitant, taken from zoology, geography and history.  For example the owl is inspired by the greys of the English skies and its pattern is based on the valiant armour and rich royal tapestries from the Tudors and Stuarts – regal in every way, but also representing the strength of their history.

5.  Which animal is your favourite and why?
I love them all, I created them all so hard to distinguish, each one has its own story and history that makes it incredible and unique.

6.  You have partnered with some incredible brands and given hope to so many underprivileged children – how does that make you feel?
I feel as if we are fulfilling the vision that we’ve been working so hard towards in line with our ambassadors and our team. We want to make a difference and we want to do more.

7.  Papinee hasn't stopped expanding.  What are your plans for the future?
We have an incredible directive coming up for Xmas which we will share very soon.  We are working very hard to bring to life lots of partnership and projects coming soon.

8.  What's your favourite task in the Papinee office?
I love working on the creative side of things.  I paint in my spare time so always gravitate to the more artistic process!

9.  What keeps you motivated when you're having a difficult day?
Dipping biscuits in a cup of Yorkshire tea.  There is nothing like a cup of tea to really calm me down.  I love music as well and believe that with the right music (at the right volume to drown everything out), eyes closed and an open imagination: everything is possible.

10.  You've been in luxury retail for many years, what's your advice for anyone starting out in the retail business? 
If you work hard, follow your dreams and use your imagination to its fullest you can do incredible things.  Oh and innovation: respect the past, live for the present but create for the future!

Papinee are offering our readers a 15% off discount on their website from 1st June 2016 to 1st August 2016. 
Enter code:  MAMAZOUPAP at checkout.
Read our full review of Papinee and their storytelling kit here.