For a certain type of person, taking an (unplanned) year off from college can yield unexpected advantages. And Dimitar Palanski, the Bulgaria-based woodworker behind the home accessories and lighting shop Paladim, is precisely that type.
When faced with spending more than a year away from his studies after not passing his second-year university exams, Dimitar opted to move back to his hometown, Blagoevgrad, and begin working as a bartender. “It only lasted a month,” Dimitar says. “I didn’t really enjoy it. But once I had all my days free, I had to do something — I am not one of those people who can stand to do nothing all day.”
Instead, the lifelong maker and tinkerer — he grew up reworking broken toys and rebuilding old bikes, and went on to design computer games and dabble in graphic design — immersed himself in some minor home-improvement projects. It was on one of his routine trips to the hardware store that the proverbial light bulb went off: “I noticed some pendants and hanging lamps that were not very nice, but were still being sold for a very high price,” Dimitar recalls. “I was surprised, and as I walked around the store and saw that they also sold everything you needed to build your own simple lamp, I wanted to try it for myself.”
A few weeks and several more trips to the hardware store later, Dimitar had a handful of prototypes for what would become his Kran lamp — now available in more than a dozen iterations. Within seven days of listing it on Etsy, the lamp sold, and Paladim was officially off the ground. Today, it’s Dimitar’s full-time job — and employs his brother, Svetoslav, and a third designer, too.
To learn more about Dimitar’s journey from stalled student to expansion-minded entrepreneur, read on...
Read the whole interview on The Etsy Blog here.