Felek notebooks are inspired by Ethiopia’s long history of producing handmade books. Drawing from this rich past, we looked at the different methods of constructing notebooks and experimented with the various types of stitching, binding and cover designs, allowing us to be innovative. Combining traditional artisanship with contemporary and ecofriendly designs, Felek was born.
Felek is a testament to the fact that our history and heritage is not something we shake off as we move into the present. It enriches our identity and we carry it where ever we go. Through Felek, we want to explore not just Ethiopia’s history of craft but many African cultures and the abundant creative treasures available to us. Felek is a brand that recognizes these identities and brings African heritage into our contemporary era by reimagining and recreating Africa.
We hope elements of our identity will be passed on to future generations. Felek will be a platform that lets us gain a deep understanding of the cultural complexities that identify societies and groups, helping us develop means of discovering unifying elements in a world that is largely divided.
Social responsibility is key to Felek. As a social enterprise our overarching goal is not just making profit, it is generating profit while creating social impact. Aside from creating jobs and having a filial and respectful corporate culture, Felek is making efforts to put a dent in illiteracy and to increase the reach of education in disenfranchised sectors of the population. We do so by following a business model that promises to cover the cost of one student’s exercise book supply for an entire school year for every notebook purchase. In this manner, Felek hopes to reduce the educational problems faced by children in rural Ethiopia. As part of our program this year, we have handed out over 7000 exercise books to a school in Wolayta, Damo Toffa in partnership with ET Learns. The result of which was 23 additional school subscriptions. This is a small stepping stone to what we have in mind, Felek’s reach will go bigger and better in the years to come.
Ethiopia is a country that has a rich history in the production of handmade books. The oldest illustrated bible was first made in Ethiopia 1600 years ago. This heritage is a fact we want to evoke in the notebooks we produce. We recycle paper in house, hand stitch the pages together using thread binding and cover the books in high quality leather or recycled hardcovers. The care and attention we give to each notebook is evident in the details.
Ethiopia’s heritage of book making is what we looked towards when first designing these notebooks. From the elegant leather binding to the artful Coptic or thread stitching, Felek journals remind one of the solemn artisanship and creativity of our ancestors. We hope through these journals, we can pass on the traditions and beauty of Ethiopian craftsmanship.
Felek is an Amharic word that means planet, a concept we immediately related to because we wanted to create a product that will positively impact our global environment.
Felek aims to create products that can help limit the current level of environmental depletion and contribute to ensuring the future of the planet. We learned the basics of recycling when we noticed how much waste paper we had in our printing press, which then prompted us to start making these notebooks.
Our artisanal-inspired designs make our notebooks unique and one of a kind. A notebook that you can take anywhere and is beautiful to behold; our designs meet practical and functional needs. Felek notebooks come with different page linings, cover textures and bindings that make writing in them a profound experience. Imagine removing an elastic or leather enclosure off the side of your thick leather-bound notebook, being immediately greeted by the feel of the pages and finding that Felek will be a place you can incubate your ideas and be creative.