Atighetchi studied History of Art at Cambridge and in his mid-twenties set up the online stationery company Papier.com. As founder and CEO, he has moved offices three times as the company has expanded (sales have rocketed over 300% in the last few weeks alone) and has set up collaborations with top designers such as Monica Vinader and Rachel Cocker. Here, he reveals his top Instagram accounts to follow, his favourite restaurants and what he does in his down time.
Papier.com has been going for over 5 years now. What inspired you to set up the company?
I set up Papier in response to the proliferation of digital communication across all of our lives that continues to this day. I felt people wanted to connect more meaningfully and thoughtfully with one another. I knew that the magical feeling of putting pen to paper, or receiving a handwritten note hadn’t gone and if anything was stronger than ever. So I quit my corporate job and became a full-time professional stationery addict with a clear vision that one day, a piece of Papier will touch everyone’s lives.
You have collaborated with some top creatives such as Matthew Williamson and Susannah Garrod. Do you have more collaborations coming up this year?
We’ve got some really exciting collaborations in the pipeline. I can’t reveal who they are with just yet but as ever, they represent some of the most exciting visual, creative talent out in the UK and around the world.
What are Papier’s green credentials?
We’ve always used papers that are held to the highest standards. That includes both FSC and WWF certifications. All our papers use pulp sourced from sustainable forests. In addition 90% of our paper is produced in mills where 100% of the energy used is matched with Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) from Green-e certified wind power projects.
You recently moved offices from Soho to Camden, tell us more about the growth of Papier, why you moved and about the new offices?
We’ve moved offices 3 times in the past 4 years. It’s a bit like living out of a suitcase, you don’t really want to unpack fully as you know you’ll be off again. Our team has doubled in size nearly every year in line with the growth of our business and so we have fast outgrown our offices. However I feel, in Camden, I feel like we have found a home (for now). Maison Papier as it’s called ended up being a really personal passion project for me – I sourced hundreds of objects from auction houses all around the world. I wanted the space to be personal and reflect the creativity that lives within its four walls.
What are your top 3 Instagram accounts to follow?
@8hollandstreet: Set up by my close friend Tobias Vernon, the shop is a trove of wonderfully curated antiques and objects and the instagram account is a source of interior inspiration for me.
@jackson_boxer: Along with being a stationery addict, Jackson is an incredible chef. What I love is how he is constantly experimenting with ingredients and produces stunning food.
@accidentallywesanderson: A collection of photos of architecture and interiors, submitted by instagram users, that look straight out of a Wes Anderson movie. Expect a daily does of pastel colours, eye-catching juxtapositions and beautiful symmetry.
Where do you live in London and why?
I live in Earls Court and have done for the past 10 years. I grew up in West London and am a bit of a creature of habit so haven’t dared move far. My family live nearby and I love being able to walk over and have a meal together at least once a week, especially as my mum cooks the best Iranian food in London. Her jujeh kebab is out of this world (if you know, you know).
Which are your favourite restaurants and bars?
Noble Rot on Lambs Conduit street – classic food, cooked perfectly, and paired with the best wine list in London (also served by the glass). I love to eat at the counter at Duck Soup on Dean Street and often cook recipes from it’s book at home. I’m still on the fence when it comes to “natural wines” so my only tip here is sip before you buy. I often crave Japanese food and will make a monthly pilgrimage to Jugemu on Winnett Street in Soho. The izakaya style, 15 cover restaurant, is run by chef / owner Yuya Kikuchi who is a genius when it comes to flavour. There’s no sign outside, so entering it makes you feel like you’ve stumbled upon a hidden gem in a backstreet of Kyoto.
Where do you get your design inspiration?
Having studied History of Art I’m lucky to have a lot of friends who work in art, design and interiors who share their creative finds with me. That’s actually how I first came across Luke Edward Hall about 5 years ago. I also find inspiration at auction houses and art galleries: I’ll often stumble across an object, painting or a piece of furniture that will inspire me to learn more about a particular style or period of design. I recently purchased a few pieces of West German studio pottery – I love how potters in the 50s and 60s experimented with colour, glaze and shape to create these sometimes weird but always wonderful objects.
Running your own company takes a lot of time! What do you like to do when not working?
I love to cook. It’s the one and only activity that takes my mind off of work. I find that simple but yet technical tasks like chopping, mixing, stirring or kneading help focus the mind on the present. I also love sourcing the produce and ingredients for my cooking. I have a direct personal relationship with my local butcher, fishmonger and grocer – going out and buying ingredients is all part of the fun and education of it all.
Taymoor’s favourite recipe for 6 sesame bagels
750g plain flour
250ml of warm water
1 large egg
A pinch of sugar
1 tsp of salt
3 tbsp of honey
10g of quick action dry yeast
1 tbsp oil (any)
100g of sesame seeds
Mix the yeast, water, sugar and salt in a large bowl.
Add the egg, oil and the honey. Mix well.
Add the flour and mix well until the dough is stiff (if the mixture is too floury, add more water but slowly). Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead well until you are left with a smooth and elastic dough.
Put the dough in a bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove for 30 minutes to an hour until it has risen.
Once proven, punch the air out and roll into a sausage and cut into 6 sections.
Roll the 6 pieces into 8 inch sausages, tie the ends together to make a bagel shape (use water to smooth out the join).
Fill a skillet (or large saucepan) with water and bring to the boil. Then turn the heat down and simmer. With a slotted spoon, put the bagels three at a time into the simmering water. When the bagels rise to the surface, flip them over and let them simmer for another 3 minutes. Once ready, take each of them out of the water and dip into the sesame seeds.
Place the bagels on a baking sheet on a tray and put into a 220 degrees preheated oven. Leave in the oven for abut 25 minutes (they should be light brown but not toasted).
Bring out and leave to cool on a rack for about 10 minutes.