What’s the story behind your company?
My name is Anastasija. I am a sister of the Orthodox Monastery of the Most Holy Mother of God Eleusa in the village of Veljusa, Strumica, Macedonia. That’s where the name of my shop comes from – Eleusa creative design & notebooks.
The first stitches of the first notebook I ever sew, literally could be described as “opening new horizons” for me. Except for the irreplaceable value of a handmade book, I was clear about the fact that for me bookbinding is binding moments of our life into an unmerited gift of our existence. Putting together each new, unique journal from choosing the first pages of paper and sewing them all together, until creating the original design for both, the outside and the inside covers, became the way to express myself artistically.
I wanted it to be a part of the situations of our everyday life where someone could draw inspiration from or store there precious thoughts, cognition and remembrances. Noting down on a piece of paper is what we do all our life, maybe eve unconsciously, looking for the special something to write onto. That’s why, as each of us is unique, I wanted my design to be personal and to reflect the beauty of the wholeness of human diversity which is unrepeatable.
As it was my wish to participate also in the preservation of green environment, I made my notebooks eco-friendly, from ecological material. Although outside covers are a reprint of the original design, this is because I wanted to keep it as a uniqueness I could share with others. No matter how many books I could sew with the same reprint, still each of them, as it is handmade, has its own particularities and there are no two completely the same. One more thing differentiating them from others is combining the inside covers with paper and fabric which is a part of an old bookbinding technique truly rare nowadays.
Eleusa creative design & notebooks has emerged from the stillness of mine and my sisterhood’s monastic living as an inspiration and companion for personal everyday life.
What inspires you?
The inspiration for creating the original design is something I put in the name of each of my notebooks and into the texts describing them. In my Eleusa collection of hand bound journals, you will find names such as: “Vivacity in green”, “Simple permanence”, “A nature’s bliss”, “Tranquil fragments”, “Remembrances”, “Transfiguration”, “Breaching light” and so on. As I previously mentioned, they all reflect moments of our everyday life.
What is your favorite product to make?
I find it is difficult for me to say that I actually have a favorite product since each one that I make is created as unique and personal. For the moment, only my handmade journals are available for buyers but I hope to add new products such s bookmarks and cards in the future.
How would you describe your style in 3 words?
Merging of various techniques.
In your opinion, what is the best part of being an entrepreneur?
I think that the best part of being an entrepreneur is when you see that your products are reaching others and the feedback that you receive, more exactly the satisfaction of your customers and knowing that you are offering a truly quality product and you buyer on receiving it, recognizes the same. Moreover, I would say it is knowing that someone is truly pleased with the products bought from you.
If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
Time brings experience, so from a time distance, there is always something we wish, we could have done differently. But, we must value the cognition of this experience! For example, at the beginning, I wasn’t aware how important it was to have a good photo of my product and an accurate description too. It took me quite some time to realize that I have to “talk” about what someone can only see and that the whole presentation of my products must be as authentic as possible.
What’s next? Any plans for the future?
Some new designs for the journals are in the process of being finished so I hope they will appear soon. Some new handmade bookmarks, too.
As far as it concerns the plans for the future, I would always like to keep this personal, unique expression of my design so it would not be only my own but of all the others who recognize in it their expression as well.
Name: sister Anastasija Supan
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