The origin story of our brand name VAU

Aristotle said that the beginning is the most important part of the work. It is also the most exciting part because all options are available. After 25 years of working for other brands we decided to create our own products. So we found ourselves at a new beginning.

PES is a family-led workshop run by an interdisciplinary team of 35 people. We manage a metal workshop for bespoke products. Inspired by the work of our clients and other manufacturers, in 2017 we decided to create a new project.

Rajmund, tooling specialist

Rajmund, tooling specialist

 

To explore what we want to give birth to, we split into small multidisciplinary teams. People from engineering, product design and marketing. It became clear to us we did not want to create digital solutions, like wearables. We wanted to continue making analogue objects. These offer a direct tactile experience and help us humans feel grounded.

We like the way taking a deep breath, watching the sunset or basking in the smile of a loved one makes us feel. It infuses everyday life with a sense of joy. Small objects can help us induce a feeling of joy as well.

 
 
 

Drinking from a favourite mug, wearing a favourite piece of jewelry or writing with a favourite pen. It creates a space for ritual, for moments in which you are truly present.

 
 

We began rethinking products we use everyday. A bottle opener becomes both a hand tool and a mini sculpture while not in use. The layers of a candle holder mimic ziggurat architecture. A pendant shaped like the oroborus, an ancient symbol of a snake eating its own tail.

 

We didn’t start out with a clear visual language in mind, but the objects started to look like a coherent collection. We experimented with different product categories, such as home decor, stationery and accessories. Choosing to create a new brand, we realised we needed a name.

Since PES, Croatian slang for dog, is the name of our company, we were joking that we could call this brand VAU. It’s the Croatian word for the sound a dog makes while barking. The joke turned into reality when we noticed we liked the sound of it and it felt right for us. We thus decided to name our brand VAU.

Once we went to market, people started playing with the connection of the word “wow” and “vau”. A blogger started an article about our project with the words “Today I am going to present you something VAU, literally.”  A friend from Canada pointed out she saw a connection between the word “vow” and “VAU”. She said as VAU is about everyday objects for conscious living, it is as if you made a solemn promise, a vow to yourself, to become more present to life.

 
Katarina ,  Ivica ,  Ivan  and  Marija  at the MAISON&OBJET trade show

Katarina, Ivica, Ivan and Marija at the MAISON&OBJET trade show

 

Later we realised there exist even more layers of meaning. In ancient Greek, Phoenician and Hebrew VAU represents both the sixth letter and the number 6. In numerology 6 is the number of creation, the female number. The Greek philosopher Pythagoras used to call it the perfect number. It represents the connection between the material and immaterial, a place in which opposites meet. There is a Latin saying – Nomen est omen, the name is a sign.

 
 
 

For us the name VAU was a sign to explore this direction and combine the everyday with the symbolic. It also served as a reminder to seek meaning in the deeper world around us.

 
 

We usually prefer to work with a precise plan and clear intentions. But this time we felt we needed more freedom, to let it just be and explore. We went into directions we felt drawn to. The end result was something completely different than what we started with. At some point things just fell into place. Sometimes it’s best to just go with the flow.

When it comes to decision making in your life, what are areas where you prefer to rely on your intuition instead of your rational mind? Let us know in the comments below.

 
 

 
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VAU represents a collection of home décor, desktop accessories and jewellery inspired by universal symbols which serve as reminders for conscious living.

Each object embodies a distinct concept, like balance, eternity and duality, aiming to infuse everyday life with a sense of joy and wonder.