ola was founded by Katy Goutefangea in the spring of 2013. In her time at art school and years working as a printmaker, Katy had accumulated shelves brimming with sketchbooks, but had yet to find the perfect tool.
She’d found notebooks which were beautiful but proved impractical, with poor quality pages and tightly glued bindings, mass market titles that prescribed what an owner should fill their pages with (“Hopes & Dreams or This Year’s Adventure”). For the most part she had opted for practical designs, but found these lacking in the craftsmanship that makes an object sing.
ola was founded to offer an alternative. To create a beautifully crafted tool that would inspire its user – with a beauty and tactility that lent itself to contemplation. This took time to develop. Months of research, hours of phone calls and multiple prototypes … until in 2014, our signature product was born - the Layflat Notebook.
Just a few months later and ola notebooks were gracing the shop shelves of renowned museums and galleries, such as Tate and Barbican. Soon applying this thought process to a wider range ola went on to offer diaries, patterned papers and greetings cards, each thoughtfully designed for discerning creative minds.
ola is now based in a sunny studio in Bristol. Our small team spends their time printing, finishing and perfecting our products. We work on a handful of special projects each year and have collaborated with some of the institutions which originally inspired us, including The Eames office, Heal’s and The Royal Opera House.