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History of Enchanted World of Boxes, creators of these pirate boxes
Enchanted World of Boxes was founded by two Bohemians who were dreaming how they can make
the world a better place. Teresa Witkowska was an artist, freshly graduated from the Academy
of Fine Art in Krakow. Chris Kowalski, her husband, was an everlasting student trying
to uncover the secrets of the universe in various academic disciples and at different universities.
In 1989, when the company was founded, Teresa was painting beautiful oils on canvas and Chris was a
PhD student at the Department of Anthropology at Harvard. And one day, after many tries,
they discovered the existence of a parallel universe, where hard work and a lot of creativity can
actually pay the bills and make other people happy. This parallel universe was called
Enchanted World of Boxes.
Boxes were discovered among the many things they were trying to sell at local crafts markets in Cambridge, Mass. "Things" were coming from exploratory trips to the Andes (Inca miniature pottery), Brazil (conceptual jewelry), Nepal (Buddhist thankas), and Burma (laquerware tables), to mentions just a few. Since both Chris and Teresa were born in Poland, they tried their luck with Polish handicrafts: little dolls dressed in traditional costumes, wooden plates, medieval sabers, tapestry, Christmas ornaments and many more exquisite examples of regional crafts. Then they realized the hidden potential and distinctive elegance of wooden boxes, made in Poland for tourist and connoisseurs from other countries. The "million things" turned into "one" and Enchanted World of Boxes was born and incorporated in Cambridge in 1992.
There were many people selling Polish boxes in USA at that time. To create the "parallel universe" they realized that the Polish boxes could be a medium for transmitting images and meanings from the invisible, untouchable world of people's dreams, fantasies and forms. In 1992, Teresa created our first original design, a playing-card box. (The "existing universe of Polish boxes" considered it to be such a marvelous product that they decided to steal the design, copy it, and sell as their own to this day.) It was followed by stars, moons and mandalas, by hearts and flowers, by fairies, cats and dragons. Chris and Teresa realized that all the cultures of the earth could provide inspiration for boxes, from Claddagh to Star of David to OM. Through this long process to make a personal and special box for all the people of the world, the Enchanted World acquired its own, distinct shape, or in other words, is was "filling up" with boxes.
Today, this process of creation is extending borders of the Enchanted World to the new frontiers, marked by the thrill of unexpected forms and charm of captivating images. Many people have contributed in significant way to this expansion. Leszek and Bogdan Gibek, our high school buddies, became our Polish partners in 1994. Together we built a new workshop in Poland, where we produce mostly contemporary designs, including our secret boxes. (Traditional boxes which we design are still crafted by selected and trusted local craftsmen in Tatra Mountains). Over time, Leszek and Bogdan created great designs, introduced new technologies and gave all their hearts to our quest for the Enchanted World. In 1996 Tony Cortez, a talented young man from Venezuela, joined Enchanted World of Boxes and became a pillar of our USA operations. His artistic talent, charming personality and dedication contributed to our vision and helped to shape it in everyday life. As we all worked on production of this web site, our long time friend, Chris Bertelli, provided his expertise and deep insight in the web programming. With his help the Enchanted World reached out and joined the virtual community of people, computers, and web spiders.
This is the story of our team and of our vision. This vision is shared by thousands of people who buy, resell and represent our products. People like Sivan from Planetweavers store in San Francisco, John Brown from Gifts of Nature, and Mallory from Bob Slate Stationers in Cambridge. Without people like them and without millions of people around the world who buy our boxes, the Enchanted World would still by a fantasy of two Polish Bohemians lost in the global village.