Müsvedde was founded in December 2016 in İstanbul. The founder, designer and crafter, Simla Akbulut, also works full-time as sustainability professional in a private company and volunteers in associations. Since she was little, she was fascinated by all types of handcraft, especially the art of bookbinding, one of the oldest arts. Her absolute interest and care for unique stories came together with the passion for sustainable living, which then gave birth to Müsvedde.
The idea that laid the foundation and gave the brand its name was to craft notebooks from one side used papers – called ‘Müsvedde’ in Turkish. So, the journey began by collecting used papers in the office and handing them back to people as hand-stitched notebooks. While ensuring that both sides of a paper were used to complete its life span before recycling, this process also allowed Simla to actually realize her passion for creating handmade notebooks.
As moving forward, she began to create series, either periodic or continuous, that aim to keep a feeling, a moment alive or to simply upcycle or recycle materials to be used on the cover. She first began her business with the Negative Series – combining negative films of analog camera with paper was her first success, selling out in no time.
She gradually expanded her collection and reach through collaboration with concept stores, design bazaars and cafés (Please see the current stores list here). Today, Müsvedde grows still with the principles of social and environmental sustainability, as much as possible; thus designed upcycled fabric bags for notebooks to avoid single-use packaging and damage while in use. Collaborating in 2019 with Sarıyer Entrepreneur Women Cooperative in İstanbul allows Müsvedde to create shared value whilst also bringing unique stories together.
Although her full-time job causes challenges to Simla from time to time, it also plays a significant role in reminding the simple joy of slowing down. With the principles of responsible, thoughtful and slow production, she pours all of her soul and put in the time needed into each notebook’s design and production. All of the notebooks are completely made by hand from the counting and drilling of papers to the stamping of the logo on the back cover. By nature of craft production each piece is different from the next, thus intrinsically unique.
Enjoying every single step of its own journey, Müsvedde is continously evolving as the skills grow and mature.