Designer Lisa Marie Andersson lives in an apartment in the heart of Gothenburg. On her tidy workbench lies a selection of her designs, among them her paper balls, as she calls them. Delicate paper with different prints, colors and patterns are folded into an accordion shape and then put together. They sort of looks like Christmas decorations, but with a modern twist.
– It all began with me and some friends having an arts and crafts night. We folded paper, checked out different blogs and tried out some new stuff. I realized that I found origami extremely fun, and suddenly I was hooked, says Lisa Marie Andersson.
Enter the entrepreneur
Lisa Marie grew up in Skurup, a small town in Skåne, but she’s always felt that she would one day move to a bigger city and work with something creative. She moved to Gothenburg in 2006 to study art and visual culture, receiving a bachelor’s degree at the University of Gothenburg. The courses were very theoretical, but she also took some practical courses in fashion design and project management. Today, Lisa Marie is an entrepreneur and runs ‘Up the Wooden Hills’, a web shop where she sells her paper products.
– I started the company in 2010. The name comes from the British pop group Saint Etienne, which I listened to very much when I was a teenager. In the beginning, I mainly focused on fashion clothes I designed and sewed myself. It was incredibly fun, but also extremely difficult and very competitive. Not long after that, I started to focus on my paper creations instead, says Lisa Marie Andersson.
To go from working with fabric to working with paper wasn’t a very big step for Lisa Marie, but she believes there are some fundamental differences. A fabric can be more flexible and easier to vary, while paper allows you to make mistakes and experiment more. When Lisa Marie had begun to get a hang of the folding techniques, she also realized she could print her own patterns on the folding paper, something that gave her creations even more depth. She started posting images of her paper creations on her Instagram account and they quickly got a lot of attention. Soon, Lisa Marie had enough material for an entire collection and jumped on the chance to sell them at a designer market.
– After that my business just grew on its own. My Instagram account got a lot of followers and I started to get requests from everywhere. People were mainly interested in my paper creations, but I also noticed that a lot of people were actually interested in learning how to fold and asked questions on how to get started, says Lisa Marie Andersson.