Meet the Designer: Marina Vaptzarova

Marina Vaptzarova

Marina Shrestha, the designer behind #brandtotrust Marina Vaptzarova, creates contemporary luxury journals and lifestyle accessories. Exclusively handmade using traditional Nepalese craftsmanship and sustainable raw materials, the designs are characterised by clean lines and bold, vibrant colours. We caught up with Marina herself to find out more…

Marina Vaptzarova

What inspired you to create your own collection?

It started by chance as a friend requested me to make lamps using Nepali Daphne paper. Then I was asked to make some other products, which I did, and they were appreciated! From there, I opened Marina Paper and it went on.

In 2012 I challenged myself and my team to produce higher-quality designs. Having evolved into the luxury level, I re-branded with my maiden name, Marina Vaptzarova.


How do your designs have a positive impact on people and the planet?

By producing designs with the materials I have chosen to work with, I am contributing towards keeping traditional skill and know-how alive, and providing employment to those who bear the skills. This is the case for daphne paper production, allo weave, hemp weave and brass work.

My designs boast the use of materials that are natural and by their own harvest are able to regenerate and grow rapidly and naturally, without chemicals or other pesticides. Therefore, the planet does not get harmed or depleted of those resources, and the materials used can easily be recycled.

Marina Vaptzarova

With Daphne paper, which is made from fibres extracted from the Daphne bush, its regrowth is happening thanks to it being cut. Left alone, it may rot during summer monsoon and storms – it’s almost as though it is asking to be cut to make paper!

I believe my designs provide a cosy and positive feeling. When the luxury element marries beautifully with natural raw materials in pleasing colour and texture combinations, the product brings a sense of cosiness and wellbeing.


Where does your inspiration come from?

This is difficult for me to say. It’s my connection to something out there which brings me inspiration – something sparks an idea and I somehow get connected to it! 

I do not need to feel proud or carry an ego on the creations I make, as I am only a receiver incarnating the information I receive into a physical product.


What’s your favourite piece from the collection?

There are several; I do, however, have a particular connection to the Salinar Journal and Jampa Journal.

They both effectively depict the essence behind Marina Vaptzarova – a contrast of textures and the combination of nature and luxury elements.

Marina Vaptzarova

If you hadn’t founded Marina Vaptzarova, what would you be doing instead?

Anything involving design and creativity in terms of transposing ideas into the physical world.

Originally an architect, I may have gone on designing buildings or working with any handmade craft. I thoroughly enjoy making things by hand.

I am drawn to the idea of extracting raw materials directly from nature using with simple tools and techniques, without the need for big machinery to transform it; a kind of autonomy in production and sustainability. I get pleasure in the simplicity of transformation when using only my hands as a tool.


What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

That was advice given by my father and it was really fitting to who I am: “In your life do whatever you want but make sure to do something creative and not any repetitive or creative-less work.”

Click or tap the Butterfly Mark to discover the positive actions that make Marina Vaptzarova a Positive Luxury brand to trust: 



If you’ve enjoyed reading, take a look at In Conversation with Farah Asmar, Fréolic London: Luxury Lingerie and French Lace, and Anastacia x Arctic Circle: The Interview.

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