FRANCISZKA AND FRANCISZEK BOCZYŃSCY,
DĄBKOWICE DOLNE NEAR ŁOWICZ, 1926.
We are descendants of the inhabitants of the former Duchy of Łowicz, and Łowicz and everything in here inspires us to create products associated with Poland.
Folkstar is us: a Polish brand that proves that folk culture is doing great and can definitely more than delight in open-air museums, museums and history cards. We restore folk culture to grace and give it a modern chic. Thus, we awaken love for Polish folklore.
Folkstar is an extraordinary space, which we have invented based on a centuries-old tradition and unique cultural heritage of our region.
DURING OPENING OF FOLKSTAR STORE IN ŁÓDŹ, SEPTEMBER OF 2017
– HOSTESS OF FOLKSTAR
It was Marta who invented Folkstar. To this day, she manages the company, creating the brand and its vision for the future. She grew up in the picturesque scenery of the village of Podowice as a resident of the former Duchy of Łowicz from many generations. Cows, chickens, onion fields and corn to the horizon. The only crafts she learned were rowan beads and dandelion wreaths. Well, not everyone can become an outstanding cut-out or embroidery artist, but she had an excellent intuition in a completely different field, and most importantly, she rediscovered the potential of what was in Łowicz. The Folkstar might never have existed had it not been for her stay in Texas in the mid-1990s, but that's another story.
DURING FIRST MAY'S PROCESSION, ŁOWICZ, 1ST MAY 1986
NATURAL TALENT – JACEK
GRAPHIC, ILLUSTRATOR, DESIGNER
For many years, Jacek was an employee of the Museum in Łowicz. His imagination and above-average creativity served the promotion of Łowicz and the region, and now they are very useful in creating Folkstar products, which all Poland loves today. Jacek is the source of designs and products that you love so much.
WHAT LINKS COWBOY AND A HIGLANDER?
Perhaps there would be no Folkstar if it were not for Marta’s year-long stay in Texas, in the mid-90s.
It was there that, looking at the descendants of American cattle herders and their lifestyle, she understood what Polish folklore and tradition really are. Sometimes the obvious things can be seen better from a further perspective, and then it became clear to her that there is an equality sign between a Cowboy, a Japanese woman in a kimono, a Scot in Kilt, and a Highlander, or a Łowicz woman in folk attire. This equality sign is cultural distinctness and tradition. Just as we perceive other cultures, the world sees us. Something that may be ordinary or even archaic for us, is fascinating or even magical for others.
IN A CAPITAL OF FORMER DUCHY OF ŁOWICZ, FOLKSTAR WAS ESTABLISHED
A FEW INTERESTING FACTS:
#1. Folkstar was supposed to deal only with folk handicrafts from local artists. The universe, however, had other plans for us.
#2. Your favorite patterns were created quite by accident. Marta asked Jacek to design a few little things that would be a fun addition to the assortment, it was these little things that you liked so much and they gave the basis for the design that the whole world loves today.
#3. Jacek's first folk product was produced two years before Folkstar; it was the locally famous Łowicz T-shirt.
#4. The name Folkstar comes from the cut-out from Łowicz. Folk like folklore and star like Gwiozda (a kind of cutout).
HOW ARE FOLKSTAR PATTERNS
AND PRODUCTS CREATED?
We start by looking for inspiration - we travel across Poland in search of the most interesting folk art.
Jacek and his team, before designing a new pattern inspired by folklore, study iconography, visit museums and private collections, and view works by folk artists. Then, in consultation with an ethnographer, they "decode" the characteristics of the works.
Interestingly, when developing a given design, we first use a traditional technique, tools and materials. Cut out the elements for the stylized cutout with scissors, for painted ornaments (Opole pattern), use a brush, and in the case of embroidery (Kashubian and Kuyavian patterns) you can guess for yourself. In order to diversify our work, we gradually expand and modify patterns, and this by adding small things, thanks to which the projects live and undergo subtle changes. Only then do we work on sketches and finally computer programs and all the rest ... plus what is the company's secret.
OF SUPPLIERS ARE POLISH COMPANIES, INCLUDING MANY LOCAL FACILITIES NEAR ŁOWICZ.
WHERE DO THE FOLKSTAR PRODUCTS COME FROM?
During the first years, we worked ONLY with Polish factories ... This was the assumption. But guided by what you dream about, we had to succumb over time. For a company as loving Poland as we are, it was a very difficult decision. And we fought with it for months.
Currently, we only support production from outside Poland if:
- There is a nice idea, and in Poland the lack of technology
- Polish production price would be prohibitive for you
One thing you can be sure: our products are marked and you will always get information about their origin.
FRANIA AND FRANEK BOCZYŃSCY
WITH HER FRIEND AND GODDAUGHTER
(MANAGER OF PURCHASING DEPARTMENT),
AT HER FRIEND’S WEDDING
UNCLE OF AGNIESZKA (WAREHOUSE MANAGER)
- OUR ANCESTORS.
Many of the people who make up Folkstar have Łowicz roots. For us, folk traditions are not only stories handed down from a great grandfather. It is part of our family history. This is best illustrated by photos from the Folkstar archive of our grandmothers and grandparents.
WAS DANCING IN SCHOOL ENSEMBLE 'BLICHOWIACY'
FOLK SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE 'PŁOMIENIE'
FOLK SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE 'PŁOMIENIE'
FOLK SONG AND DANCE ENSEMBLE 'KALINA'
WITH HER CHILDREN DURING CORPUS CHRISTI IN ŁOWICZ
AFTER HOURS :)
Many of us are members of folk dance ensembles or folk bands from all over Poland.
Coincidence? We don’t think so!