Marcel Baer is the creative director and founder of Octaevo, a Barcelona based brand creating refined goods for the desk and home inspired by the Mediterranean. We recently caught up with him to learn a bit more about his path to start this delightful stationery brand, his inspirations and recommendations for 36 hours in Barcelona.
LG: Tell us a bit about your journey to founding OCTAEVO? What were you doing before and what inspired you to make the switch ?
MB: I have always been fascinated with design objects, stationery items and love traveling.
"Barcelona is my home and a great city to explore the Mediterranean."
As a designer and art director I used to work with a lot of start-ups. This nurtured my desire to try on my own. The idea grew to create a project that unites my passions - transforming them into beautifully crafted goods.
LG: What is your thought process to designing a new product ? Do you start with a theme, colour, historical period?
MB: The starting point is usually either an object, a place or a phrase… in the case of OCTAEVO all inspiration comes from the Mediterranean. I have an archive of product ideas, therefore it´s just a question of throwing everything together. After a quick sketch I leave the product sit for a while before refining it. That´s probably the most important part because pushing and polishing the idea makes all the difference.
LG: Apart from your own, which other brands do you most admire ?
I am not really into brands but admire people who have great passion and love for what they do.
LG: What is been the most challenging thing about running your own business ?
MB: The most challenging thing is probably the uncertainty. Every day brings new obstacles to overcome. This is very exciting but often leaves you in situations where you have to react quickly without having all the answers.
LG: I have 36 hours in Barcelona. What would your recommend I see, eat and drink?
MB: I would first start with a general tour to cover the basics: Park Güell, Sagrada Familia,
Casa Batlló and Casa Milà, all architectural master pieces by Antoni Gaudí. The food market. La Boquería is a must to get an introduction to local food. You can easily visit Barcelona by exploring the different neighborhoods such as Gracia, Gótico, el Born and by night Raval and Sant Antoni. The 36 hours would obviously end by the beach with a drink.
LG: Where is on your wishlist to travel to in 2017 ?
MB: Naples, it has been on my wish list for years.