how Baan grew as a brand by Working together with real craftsmen and Cultural Designs

We at FAIRLING have the mission to connect brands and retailers from all around the world and to make the world of wholesale a better and more sustainable place.

In our Brilliant Brands category on this blog we have asked unique brands from all around the world about their story and mission. We want to look behind the scenes of amazing brands and tell their story. Today, we have asked the inspiring Brand Baan and the founder, Clémentine, about their story.

Baan is a French brand founded in Paris in 2010 by Clémentine. The brilliant brand Baan offers elegant homeware and fashion accessories. Baan is the culmination of 10 years of traveling and the result of encounters with traditional craftsmen, carpenters, dyers, dressmakers, ceramists, specialists in bamboo and rattan.

Over the years Baan has established strong bonds with these craftsmen which has led to numerous wonderful collaborations. Baan collections are a mix of carefully curated objects and their own creations inspired by their travels. The designs are produced on a small scale using natural and simple but noble materials selected for their quality and also for the story which they lend to each object.

How did it all start? What’s the idea behind Baan?

I was traveling through Asia for a 6 months trip and fell in love with Thailand. I also fell in love with the beautiful objects, decoration & fashion. During that time, I was already working as an interior designer. I met craftsmen during my trips in Asia every year.

I realized that Asia was a place where I could design and collaborate with craftsmen who have a lot of materials and knowledge about bamboo, mango wood, teak wood, banana tree leaves but also fabrics such as cotton and hemp. They know a lot about weaving, cutting, sewing, and dyeing everything by hand. It was so inspiring.

After a few years, I decided to start Baan, which means HOME in Thai language. I wanted to offer a large collection of natural, useful and beautiful items for our interiors. My goal was to mix traditional and modern design, natural materials with western interior and way of life.

I have been able to work with women weaving natural cotton in the hills and young textile designers for a main collection of tie-dye products. Or Carpenters making cutting boards from beautiful woods and adding a touch of color with paint to customize the items.

Even after 12 years, I am still working with the same passion and still meet new people in over 10 different countries to make new collections. What was also important for Baan: Working with natural and traditional materials and working in a fair-trade way.

Who are the people behind the brand? Please tell us a bit about yourself.

I am Clémentine, French. When I started Baan in 2010 I was 31. I live in Paris but I come from Avignon, south of France. Ever since, I always wanted to work in decoration, I used to renovate vintage furniture, paint and decorate wooden kitchen accessories such as cutting board and plates. I am a color lover and a manual person. I also used to travel a lot, mainly in Asia since 2000.

Now we are a team of 4 people: 2 in France to take care of the atelier and shop. And my husband (Thai) and I are based in Krabi, Thailand most of the time. We take care of the production and the new collections.

Baan collaborates with over 30 craftsmen: Dyers, carpenters, weavers and tailors in over 10 different countries such as Morocco, Senegal, Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan and Malaysia.


What was your favorite highlight Or happiest moment in the last months?

We opened our first physical shop in Paris in 2020. We are now in direct contact with our retail clients, and we are happy with their feedback. Because of our shop, we are now also able to show the entire collection in the same place. We change the scenography every 3 months, which is a completely different job compared to managing an online shop. New projects keep us fully motivated!

Do you remember the first retailer ever that stocked your products? How did that come about?

The concept store MERCI in Paris was our first distributor. It was actually the first shop that we contacted and we only had 5 items in the catalog at that time. They chose some vintage wooden trays from Asia, 5 unique beautiful items, that I found on a small vintage market. It was a very important client for Baan as they are one of the most influential stores in Paris. This experience gave Baan more credibility and success. We now have hundreds of stores from all around the world selling our products.

Which are your most successful and important marketing channels at the moment – and why?

We mainly communicate on Instagram, and our website. We also have been an exhibitor at Maison&Objet Fair in Paris, which is a really important show to grow the brand and meet new distributors.

Where is the journey to go? What is your vision of Baan in the long run?

Actually, we have already started our new dream: Opening a retail store in Paris and developing it. We may continue with fellow stores in France, or franchises. We are taking our time to see how it works with our first boutique.

What tips could and would you give to other young and upcoming brands?

Work hard,

Work hard,

Be and believe in yourself, your own style and personality.

Thank you, Clémentine, for the lovely interview! We wish you all the best for you, your team and Baan!

Company: Baan
Founder: Clémentine
Country: France
Available in local stores: 95
Available in online stores: 4
Bestseller: Official Buddhist Bracelet – Thick Gold

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