Odelae Book Arts

American Made Since 2005

Erica Ekrem

Eastsound, Washington
Odelae journals are reincarnated from natural & timeworn materials that are no longer of use. I reclaim what is remaining & revive it.

Tell us about your business.

Odelae is a bookbinding studio located on Orcas Island in the heart of the Cascadia bioregion where I live with my husband and children. I make heirloom quality journals inspired by nature & folk tales from around the world. Each book is built the old world way using hand tools. Materials & binding methods are chosen with careful consideration for the environment. I began making books 10 years ago as a graphic design student and fell in love at the first signature. My intention is to create beautiful journals that will last for generations and to inspire others to record & share their stories. I believe stories, fiction & non-, hold the power to positively transform our communities and our world. My dream is to build wheels beneath Odelae. I envision a mobile studio space that enables me to travel & share the art of bookbinding with communities- a space where stitches and stories are woven into collaborative works of art and even the quietest voices may be heard.

What makes your business stand out?

Each journal I make is an ode to nature. They often include a quote or image that evokes a folktale or a dedication to an animal or place. The natural world has a huge influence on my work, so I'm incredibly grateful for the resources that come my way, and work diligently to ensure minimal waste. I truly believe in it. The mindful tying of knots, the concentrated folding of paper and the careful pulling of thread is evident in my work. In part, I think we are drawn to handmade objects because they have a certain quality or feel to them. They carry the maker's energy. The more we care, the more it may be felt by the recipient. With this in mind, I hope to imbue a little magic within each book- to inspire & spark the imagination of the beholder.

What's the best business advice you've received?

It might seem incredibly simple, but the best advice I've received is to follow my heart. I've learned to pause & take a moment to listen to the voice within. The heart is a powerful tool and one that's often overlooked when we reach for the toolbox. Some traditions say the heart is the true source of wisdom. There's a chance if what I'm doing feels authentically good to me, it will likely feel the same for others. I think business is becoming less about making piles of money and more about making conscious choices that will lead to a sustainable world that we can pass to our children & theirs. It's as if our minds have forgotten, but our hearts are helping us remember who we really are and what we're here to do.

Mark Your Calendar

    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2014

    Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

    Learn More

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