Sandra Nalepka became familiar with Scandinavian design at a young age during frequent trips to her mother’s native Sweden and through the many objects brought back to their Austrian household. After working at a job that demanded much attention to spreadsheets and reports, Nalepka longed to base her profession on tangible objects. So in October 2011, she opened the doors of Designvist: a one-room storefront and information base that specializes in everyday Scandinavian designer objects and textiles from the ‘50s and ‘60s. What first catches your eye upon entering Designqvist is a long central table tidily set with cutlery of all shapes and sizes. Two shelves – loaded with blown glass objects, pots, fondue sets, salt and pepper shakers, ashtrays, napkin holders and printed fabrics – line the side-walls, each item carrying a story of its own. Nalepka has a profound understanding of the objects she sells and collects, and it is important to her to communicate this to her customers, be it through postcards of items with background information printed on the reverse, her online blog, her in-store library or through conversation. Stop in to find out how it feels to hold a knife that was made to rest in your hand a particular way and take home a little piece of industrial design history.
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