Meeting the Maker: OVO Things
Meet the founders of OVO Things, a Lithuanian-based brand that embraces simplicity and high-quality craftsmanship. Inspired by a longing for aesthetics and tangible beauty, Guoda and Justé launched the brand in 2015. Rooted in a commitment to local Lithuanian artisans, they use natural materials like beeswax, wood, bronze, brass, and porcelain in their handmade products.
BZZWAX: Can you tell a little bit about yourself (the founders) and what inspired OVO Things to collaborate with Lithuanian artisans?
Justé: The idea was to make things simple yet of high quality. Naturally, we have turned to local makers and their craftsmanship. That seemed the only right way for us - if we are to produce something in this world already full of things, it must be done locally and more or less by hand.
Me and Guoda we are co-founders of the brand which we launched in 2015. Before that we both worked in the field of public relations and after some time of corporate careers we both were longing for the aesthetics, some connection to both tangible and beautiful.
What sets the handmade products from OVO Things apart, in terms of materials and craftsmanship?
We use only natural materials for the things to make - beeswax, wood, bronze, brass, porcelain. We look for ways to make things in a less automated way or at least with lots of hand tending or hand finishing.
There are tools and sometimes machines used (like in wood turning) yet it's far from a mass production way of doing things. Those machines also look quite vintage today:)
"We look for ways to make things in a less automated way..."
Can you share the story behind the creation of your beeswax slim candles?
Guoda's grandfather used to make beeswax candles, and she has vivid memories of the process. Perhaps this was one of the reasons we turned to candles:) We met a candle maker who was making them for churches, these candles were so delicate and beautiful.
So we had an idea to encourage people to use them in their homes as well. Those times when candles were used as a source of light were long gone, so the relatively short time of burning was no obstacle for us to suggest them as candles to use at home.
We invite people to burn candles within their sight not only for safety reasons but for some aspect of intention as well. If you sit and watch a candle burn, even half an hour is enough and the burning time doesn't seem too short anymore. Call it a meditation or act of appreciation or mindfulness practice or making a wish moment - it's all the same, the time of being with oneself.
It is as precious as that of being with others, like we are at the dinner table or other gathering when we also burn candles and they add so much to the atmosphere.
"Reward is knowing you are doing the right thing."
How has OVO Things expanded its product range beyond candles while maintaining a focus on craftsmanship and natural materials?
The main reason to start making candle holders was simple - at that time slim candles were not used widely and there were no ready made holders for them. You could find some vintage pieces but they were not so popular and people kept asking us where to put slim candles for safe burning.
That's why we made porcelain caneles, this was our first holder. Later we had the idea that it would be nice if a holder could hold candles of two diameters we had - Slim or Birthday and also Dinner Candles which were bigger in size than slim ones but still not of the common diameter.
So then Oak and Tree Candle holders were born having that signature detail of two holes of different sizes.
How does OVO Things contribute to supporting and preserving local craftsmanship in Lithuania?
Some crafts are reviving in popularity at the moment but still there are some that were almost fully replaced by automatic mass production. Like that of bronze casting.
This is a more expensive way so you have to know the process so that you could appreciate it and support it by buying a thing made this way. That's why we are paying much attention to the communication of the making process.
While people are buying these handmade pieces we all are contributing to preserving the crafts.
What are the challenges and rewards of producing handmade products in limited amounts?
It is hard to compete with mass production, especially if they take your idea and make their version only cheaper. This year's economic recession is also felt. There are lots of challenges, no doubt.
Reward is knowing you are doing the right thing. People's feedback is rewarding the most, we are always super thankful for the support and warm words we receive.
What are OVO Things' future plans?
We would love to continue our path.
As OVO Things continues its journey, their devotion to preserving traditional Lithuanian craftsmanship and supporting local artisans remains unwavering.
Through elegant candle holders and other thoughtfully crafted items, they forge connections between individuals and skilled makers, ensuring the legacy of ancient crafts lives on.
Challenges are met with the reward of knowing they make a positive impact, and their vision for future collaborations remains as strong as ever.