In the first movie in our Bolon at Heart video series, Annica and Marie Eklund explain how they transformed their grandfather's rug company into a glamorous design brand.
Led by sisters Annica and Marie Eklund since 2003, Bolon is famous for its woven vinyl flooring, which has been used around the globe by some of the world's leading architects and designers.
However, the company's origins are much more humble. It was founded in Stockholm by Annica and Marie's grandfather Nils-Erik Eklund in 1949, who made rag rugs from fabric offcuts.
"The story of Bolon started with our grandfather passing a factory everyday," explains Annica Eklund in the movie, which Dezeen filmed at Bolon's headquarters in Ulricehamn, Sweden.
"He saw this huge amount of leftover textile and really saw the potential of re-using it. He produced rugs for residential use made of cotton and nylon."
Annica and Marie's parents Monica and Lars Eklund took over the company in 1967 and built up Bolon's reputation as a producer of caravan awning mats throughout the 1970s and 80s.
"We did a lot of camping [as a family], and our father has always been a kind of inventor," Annica says. "He was missing a product to use in the camping lifestyle."
Bolon started manufacturing wall-to-wall woven vinyl flooring in 1993. Ten years later, Annica and Marie took over the company as managing director and creative director respectively.
Annica is a former showjumper for Sweden's national team, while Marie modelled in Italy during her studies at Florence's Accademia Moda. When they joined the family business, both sisters knew they wanted to take the company in a new direction.
"Our passion has always been about fashion, design and interiors," Marie Eklund says. "So we had to develop the company in this direction and add something completely new."
Read more on Dezeen: https://www.dezeen.com/2017/01/12/video-interview-annica-marie-eklund-history-bolon...