In this series I want to introduce you to the ‘people behind the brand”. The makers. Almost all brands that I sell are small brands. The people who are creating/designing the clothes and prints I sell often have a fascinating story to tell. How they have become the makers they are now.
Let’s start this series with one of my favourites and first brand that I decided to sell. Kajsa Wallin.
Can you tell something about yourself?
I’m a creative and passionate person, living with my husband and our three kids in Malmö in the southern of Sweden. I’m passionate about a lot of things, gardening and flowers, food and cooking, the environment and the most important thing, creating in different ways, which of course involves all of the above. I’m a true introvert and I need to spend a lot of time with myself creating to feel good, if I can’t I get very frustrated and depressed. I’m very intense in my passions, always doing things full-heartedly, making the people around me try to make me slow down. I’ve always had this feeling that I have to censor myself so I don’t overwhelm people with my passions.
Can you tell how the idea of making prints and drawings started?
I’m not one of those that always been drawing but I’ve always been creative in different ways. As a kid I had a talent when it came to drawing, and I drew all the time, but as I grew older I never really found my own way with it, I still had that talent but I didn’t find my true style or inspiration. When I became a teenager I started to take interest in clothes and fashion and that became my passion and the way I decided to go. Of course that includes sketching and drawing but not for the sole purpose of it. When me and my colleague ended our fashion brand I felt quite fed up with fashion and I soon started dreaming of becoming an illustrator. I’ve done some illustration work along the way so it was a pretty natural way for me. I started to try to find my own way with drawing and it’s been a long process that has taken me to where I am today. Along the way, I’ve been doing other stuff, like working at a thrift store and as a teacher at a fashion school, then I’ve had three horrible pregnancies during the last five years, and of course three kids to come with them so I still feel pretty new to it all, although some years has gone by. So I’m still figuring it all out and have no idea where I will end up and that’s probably the way I like it, I need to feel that I’m moving forward at all times and I need some struggles to feel alive.
My assumption is that, because of the long maternity leave, more women in Sweden start their own business. Do you think I’m right in your case?
I think you might be right about that, we probably have one of the, or the most, generous system for parental leave in the world. Although that’s not the case for me, I’ve had my own business in different ways for pretty much all of my grown up life. I’ve never saw another way, I guess I just have this great urge to feel free.
Did you always wanted to have a creative job?
Yes, I’ve actually never considered anything else. When I was around three or four I started to dream about becoming an artist when I grew up. My dreams changed over the years, including dreams of becoming a photographer or a gardener, but the core of it has always been working with my hands and being creative.
Is there something we don’t know about you and that maybe would surprise us?
I’m a pretty chaotic person, like the typical artist but still I have this thing with math and numbers, counting can be very soothing for me. It always came easy to me and I think that might be why I ended up focusing on fashion and the construction of garments because it’s the perfect combination of numbers, problem solving and creativity. Sometimes I really miss working with my brain like that, there’s not a lot of that kind of problem solving in what I do now. I think it all comes down to that my left and my right brain are just as dominant. And oh yes, I always have theories about everything I’m definitely a thinker.