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Aleš Boem

I wasn’t born as Boem.

I was born as Aleš Kachlík in the small village of Lidice, which is famous by an unfortunate event during World War II. I was obsessed with creating even as a child. We had a well-equipped workshop at my grandmother’s house after my great-grandfather František Fous, and I could join in this legacy even as a small boy. With having your own wood workshop you have the opportunity to have your own and unique home created by your own hands. My grandmother’s house was furnished with what my great-grandfather, grandfather, father and I had created.

I was drawing and painting a lot as a kid. I loved the progress and practicing diligence when you are learning to achieve very realistic results. It takes some time for eye, brain and hand to synchronize. However, if you stick with it, it will be worth it. As a teenager it made me popular with girls who wanted to be painted.

I had my first laptop much earlier than my friends and instead of games I got graphic editors with it. It was incredible what I could do with them. I fell in love with retouching and creating graphics so much that I went to study advertising and graphic design.

Graphic design

In my 16 years I started working at a graphic studio in my hometown and because I naturally enjoyed control and operate all the printing machines, they promoted me after one month to be in charge of the studio and the small team.

At that time, it was already very popular around the world to have your own website, and when Flash appeared, it was possible to create incredible animated and first responsive websites. I wasn’t afraid of the code and thanks to my studies I was able to offer a complete service. Thanks to this I had a lot of clients and I could work as a freelance.

Product Design

After graduation on my high school I knew I need some bigger challenge for myself and I saw a lot of more possibilities in designing real products. and I chose to study product design at the . I was lucky to that I got to the studio of Jan Čapek at the university to be one of the his first students. He was young, successful and very progressive and in his full force and drive to have the most successful students.

He taught me practically all the basics of thinking as a product designer. The goal was not only to be excellent in aesthetics and control the software, but mainly to be able to produce everything. I basically lived in school and spent most of my time in workshops and in production. I learned how to weld metals, how to cast a porcelain and how to operate CNC machine.

At this time I found a real passion for product design, I loved studying history and driving every year to Milan Design Week to see how the real professionals design. During my bachelor studies minimalism was starting to be very popular and inspired with works published in my popular magazine Minimalissimo I have designed a first product in this simple aesthetics – Knife, which was actually also published in this magazine.

Cross fields

I loved how my mind shifted during the transition from graphic design to product design and I wanted to expand my skills to design something bigger than just objects. That’s why I decided to go to study an interior design in Brussels. It was close to Paris, where my girlfriend was studying fashion at that time. I was very excited about fashion and I was grateful to be able to follow everything she was learning at school. And thanks to that my final thesis of my bachelor’s studies was a collection of glasses. The ideal product that intersects product design, jewelry and fashion at the same time.

Eyewear

This first collection and my first brand brought me several awards and thanks to the interest and satisfied customers, I decided to start a company and devoted myself to it for several years. My ambition was to reawaken the remnants of Czech glasses production and save the experience that was gradually solding out of Czech companies. I was putting together traditional components and materials such as acetate from the company Mazucchelli from the beautiful Italian village of Castilione Ologna together with the new materials and new manufacturing methods like laser cutting or 3D metal printing.

I finished my master’s degree at the academy in Prague under the guidance of the most famous Czech studio – Olgoj Chorchoj. In addition to the fact that they are excellent teachers who raised our best designers, their school studio is like a real one. We had real jobs and clients that we competed for as students. I was very lucky to win a lot of them – I created two exhibitions at Sommerset house in London during fashion week, one exhibition for T-Mobile to show that 3D printers can print chocolate sweets, designed a foodtruck for Ambiente restaurants or a furniture collection for company Meyto.

Since I was finishing my studies I got the opportunity to also work for as a Chief Design Officer for Meyto. My task was to help them build a new brand, select products for the first collection, and for the following three years I took care that all products from the designers together with my furniture successfully went through production to high quality products on the market. It was necessary to set up completely new production processes in the main company, which was focusing on the production of metal components for the automotive industry untill then.

Public Furniture

Meanwhile I was flying between a furniture company and an eyewear company, I designed two winning designs for public furniture in Prague. When my teacher Michal Froněk asked me if I would like to become part of the team as a designer and design benches and baskets for this prestigious competition, I couldn’t say no. We all share a love for tradition and our culture and we have created a new benches which will fit into the historic city with their organic and sculptural parts. It helped us to win the first competition and after two years later, when we respectfully signed up for the second competition for bus and tram shelpters, we did not really expect another success with an even stronger rivals.

Boem

Aleš Kachlík is not exactly the most ideal name if you’re living in countries that don’t use the same diacritics. When i went to study in Brussels I was filling out an online application for a card to enter the building and thanks to my name the form got stuck in the system. The first month I had to ask my classmates to open the doors for me. Kachlík also means tile, so I’ve also been spammed for a few years to buy tiles.

When in 2018 we found out we were going to have a daughter, I saw it as an opportunity for a new family and a new name. We were absolutely clear with my wife that her name will be Zoe, a name of Greek origin which means life. And we were looking for a suitable surname, which was actually not easy at all. And one day during my work trip on the train, I read an article about our history and the Latin name Boemia, where the commonly used letter H is missing. I knew it was the one, not only it beautifully fits with the same letters oe inside, but it also refers to our country.

Digital Store

In 2018 I was also seriously ill and had to stop working for some time. Together with the fact that my daughter is about to be born, we were forced to think about the future. Until then I was living with a passion to work, but I knew that I would also like to travel and also fullfill my childhood dream of living on the beach. This was impossible before, because the production always kept me in one place.

During my break I had time to think and I remembered the dream we talked about in the pub when we were students. “One day it will be able to print everything at home, food, furniture, etc.” I have already realized one of these visions at an exhibition for T-Mobile, for which the company Trilab built precise printers to make unique chocolate objects with a thin wall of high-quality dark chocolate.

Although I’ve used 3D printing to print small models before, I didn’t know how to operate it. So I bought the cheapest delta printer I had to completelly assemble to find out as quickly as possible how it works. And especially to test what can be printed on a 100$ printer. The printer itself was a pretty cool DIY project and over the first few months I swapped out other components on it, resized it, and tested every possible material available. I was surprised by the quality of such a cheap printer, and thanks to new materials such as wood or carbon, I could design clean products.

But the first product I was putting online was the protective shield we have designed to complement a new respirators developed to face the lack of supplies in Covid-19 pandemic.

Minimalist & Paradise live

Our digital store allowed us to work online and we were able to pack the essentials move to the Carribean. Together with leaving the apartment, we didn’t want to store things somewhere to find out later that they are no longer needed and we sold everything unnecessary. We found out that the most essential things for living in the tropics can fit in one piece of luggage.