The Blue Frogs Company
Celtic inspiration comes easily in a place like Aspen, Colorado – the pristine landscape and crisp mountain air has certainly influenced Joel Dournel-Zanni and his Blue Frogs Company. Recently we spoke with the founder and creative tour-de-force about his passion and profession.
What are your own roots?
I was born and raised in France. I grew up in Noyon which is about an hour north of Paris and later spent several years in both Paris and Annecy before moving to the United States. My grandparents are from Brittany which is where my interest was sparked for the Celtic and later Viking Collections. My parents also moved there several years ago, so I get plenty of opportunities to explore my family heritage when I visit them.
What is the company’s history and mandate?
I started Blue Frogs Company in 1990. I left France in 1988 to travel the world. After two years of adventure and tons of sightseeing, I stumbled onto Aspen, Colorado where I thought it would be a great place to plant some roots. Given the opportunity to make a fresh start and do something creative, I decided to make a career out of something that had been an interest of mine and a family tradition for years: woodcrafts. Drawing inspiration from my beautiful surroundings and travel experiences I began designing lamps and handmade paper products. Over the years, Blue Frogs has expanded from primarily offering wood carved lamps to now having four distinct collections- Celtic, Viking, Bird and Lamps. Each collection represents an interest in my life that I’m passionate about. Our mandate is to provide products that reflect great craftsmanship at a good price point using only natural materials.
What are your core products/services?
We specialize in beautiful handmade wood carvings which are inspired by everything from deep rooted history, mythology, wildlife and nature. Our Celtic and Viking Collections are currently the focus of our company. They are extremely popular and I think we offer the most extensive collection out there.
How do you differ from the competition?
We have a pretty unique product line, but I guess how we differ from other companies you may find is in the quality, diversity and craftsmanship we offer. Each piece starts from an original hand drawing and every step of the carving and finishing process is done by hand with great attention to detail.
What are your future plans for the business?
I’m excited about where we’re going. We just launched our website, and introduced our Bone Pendant Collection- both have been very well received. We are excited to continue creating new designs and expand our current collections…keep checking in with us to see what’s new!