CHCstories: Malkite 5

CHCstories: Malkite 5

A short weekend city trip to Sofia wasn’t possible without visiting a creative space. An event by a young jewelry maker Armaveni Stoyanova who presented her unique creations from the collection “Unfinished Sympathy” made of precious metals, pearls, semi-precious stones and stones found in the sea was a good enough reason to stop by the boutique coworking space Malkite 5.

 

 

In the very center of the city named by the locals “the five little corners”, among some iconic small streets which cross their paths to form a cozy square, this creative neighborhood offers a variety of small galleries and Bulgarian handicraft and jewelry shops.

Malkite 5 is situated on the third floor of a historical building in a unique apartment with high ceilings and old wooden floors. This studio for design lovers is a home to 23 freelancers specializing in interior and graphic design, architecture, law, journalism, social entrepreneurship… The founders themselves are a lawyer and an architect who created this space with an approach of not only offering a simple workplace, but also building a creative community as a platform to showcase and promote innovative products.

Their aim is to foster creativity and involve its community in interdisciplinary design projects. In addition to sharing coffee, lunch or networking, Malkite team organizes exhibitions, literary readings, secret dinners and all sorts of urban activities.

 

*Photo taken from Malkite 5 Facebook page

 

Minimalistic yet equipped with everything you need, with a special attention to details – this is a place you wish to spend your working hours in. Most of the furniture is hand made and each room has its own special atmosphere and design which makes you feel at home. A well-equipped kitchen and a bunch of books are definitely contributing to that as well.

 

 

But, let’s focus more on the furniture – it is made by a social enterprise for handcrafted natural wood and wrought iron furniture Do Krak. It is a social startup creating clean and sleek designs, combining functional minimalism with skill and craftsmanship. One of its founders is Yassen Stanchev – also a manager of Malkite 5. Actually, the whole project started from the need to equip the offices of the future coworking space.

“In our search for simplicity we strive to remove everything unessential from our designs, and emphasize the beauty of the materials – natural wood and wrought iron.”

 

*Photo taken from Malkite 5 Facebook page

But there is more to the story. Their aim is to provide professional development and social integration for disadvantaged people on the labor market, ensuring permanent and quality jobs in the fields of metal and woodworking as a solution for poverty and exclusion from society. They currently employ 6 people aged over 54 who lost their jobs in heavy industries and are not entitled to retirement. By taking this approach this design, startup is contributing to social inclusion and fighting discrimination using education, capacity building and creativity. Definitely a business model to look up to.

Visit Malkite’s website and follow them on Instagram.

Loved the furniture? You can find more Do Krak’s creations on their Instagram.

 

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