Painting the town red

We had such a fun night at Kasai, wow. Eleven of us all in all and we had a table booked on the ground floor, which is a real party floor. It is like having dinner in the middle of a nightclub. We took a spin on the dance floor between each course and really celebrated Fanny good and proper. It turned out to be a very late night – or very early morning – before we called it a night and it was a good move to have a lie-in at the hotel this morning.


I’m actually extremely bright and alert despite my two nights out on the trot, can’t remember when I felt this good after such partying. Looking forward to lots of fun, frolics and playing outdoors with my family now! Enjoy your Sunday whatever you’re up to.

 

Fanny’s turning 28

Tonight we’re celebrating Fanny and we have been getting ready together in a hotel room beforehand to get into the right party mood. Borrowed some clothes from my neighbor earlier today, a beige top and a leopard-print skirt. Have a great evening and I’ll see you tomorrow!


Best ever product will be in the shops soon!

 

Vroom Vroom

Today we’ve been more or less outdoors from 8am until lunchtime. All the friends in the neighborhood were out to play, so lots of rushing around and fun stuff with all the kids. Lots of giggles! Sally and Gillis were given an electric vehicle (adlink) on Sally’s birthday. They have been very popular with the kids. They have been sharing with their friends so that everyone could have a go. That was one of the things we made them promise before they took the toys outside.


Here’s Gillis and his friend. Now a completely unplanned afternoon with the family, no schedule and no musts. Then I’ll be celebrating Fanny with a dinner tonight, great Saturday all in all.

 

My Friday!

It’s Friday! I’ve had a really good day at the office, took time out to meet my friend Sheila for lunch and managed to get a whole load of fun tasks done at work. We have a strong team spirit at the office, which I must say I’m so proud of. Whenever we run into issues and challenges, we can face them head on as a team. We make sure it gets solved. I’m about to dash off to the nursery and pick the kids up, then I’m doing the grocery shopping on the way home and then time for Friday snuggle time at home. The children were given an electrical motorbike each yesterday, so I think we will manage some outdoorsy time before we snuggle up on the sofa in front of Netflix. Can’t wait to see them whizz about and enjoy their new toys.


I’m going out for dinner tonight after the kids have gone to bed. I am attending a investment dinner (stocks and shares etc), which will be interesting, and tomorrow we are going out to celebrate Fanny, who has the same birthday as Sally. You don’t need to worry about Odd’s and my quality time together. We are doing just fine and have just had a lovely Easter together, and besides, we are spending the whole weekend together with the kids and I’m really looking forward to that!

 

MM Magazine

Max Matthiessen’s customer magazine arranged an interview and a photo shoot with me a few weeks ago. It was such a fun photo session at Scandic Central and Fanny did my hair and make-up. The journalist asked a lot about my journey and what it was like to go from a young blogger to a fully-fledged business angel / investor. It was a really good conversation actually. And speaking of business angels, I am just reading up on a really interesting case right now. The idea is great, but what is even better is that the entrepreneur behind this idea is such a bright star. Much younger than me and with a huge potential! Keeping my fingers crossed for this person and the future of the company!


Right, product meeting with LCC awaits, must dash! See ya later!

 

Decisions decisions…

Ohhh, wow, our AD just sent over some new proposals for what our Advanced Skincare – Cell Renewal should look like. They’re all nice, but none of them feel 100% right at this initial stage. The bottle in white, so we can choose whether the lid should be brushed steel (matte look) or glossy. But apart from this we have to decide about the label and that’s what our AD is helping us with. My gut instinct said we should go with the white option, because I like that one the best, but I can see that it is also very similar to our Daily Facial Care in our basic range.


…. A soft, minty green stripe across the bottle will be a wise move later on, when we have more face care ranges, but it doesn’t feel quite right at the moment. A silvery label gives it a more classic touch, symbolizing advanced skincare, but numerous other companies have done the same. It is only the face cream pictured above, the rest of this product series will consist of various sizes, but everything will have airless pump dispensers. I feel this is hygienic. Please let me know what you think, share your clever ideas in the comment field! I was so grateful for your advice of deleting the female silhouette on our intimate range (will be launched in May, by the way), as it turned out so much better without!

 

Chloe Faye

I simply couldn’t resist… I simply had to buy a handbag I’ve been admiring for a while. It’s a Chloé design and the model’s called Faye. I’ve been thinking about a mid-sized bag for a while, something to have as an everyday handbag and I chose this one because it’s a good mix of classic look and still slightly cooler than the ones I have at home. A perfect business chic- handbag to put it simply. It is dark grey but looks almost black in the photo. As per usual I am sticking to my rule of “one piece out, another piece in”. So the bag that I have chosen to sell is a Balenciaga in black. I am actually very good at sticking to this rule, I always save up first and then spend afterwards, the sum varies depending on what my wallet allows. I have already placed quite a few of my assets in long-term investments and I therefore feel I could treat myself to this little beauty. I am so proud and so pleased – All my purchases remind me of the journey I have made to get here.


Coat from Tiger of Sweden (adlink) 


Top from Lindex, trousers from Ellos and shoes from Flattered. 

 

Clothing store for kids?

I’ve been wanting to start a clothing store for children since 2014, but just haven’t got round to it. Most probably because I don’t know WHERE to start. What do I do first, who do I contact etc etc?

Not knowing how to tackle something, how to get started etc, are issues ALL entrepreneurs have to get through at some point or another. I didn’t have a clue about what I needed to do to start newspaper, a clothing brand, a shoe manufacturer or a cosmetics company, but somehow I have learned things and picked things up along the way along the way. It is about starting to unravel something, get started and just keep going. If I were to start a clothing store from scratch, I probably would’ve gone about it like this (but please bear in mind these are very broad brush strokes).

  • I would initially think about whether I really need a physical shop. High Street retail is going through a tough time and probably facing an even tougher future, so I reckon I would’ve started a shop online instead. From a margin perspective it’s wise to have a goal of developing your own brand, but to start with it might be good to retail other brands.
  • If you decide on a “No, I definitely want a physical store”, I would suggest getting in touch with local landlords and estate agents specializing in retail premises. Find out what the current price brackets is, could there perhaps be any cheaper short-term lets available in your area? There is a severe shortage of living accommodation in Stockholm, but at the same time an abundance of empty offices available for rent. Make sure you take advantage of that and make a good deal for yourself. You need to think location location location though! How close to the city center do you have to be? I would be focusing on less square meters in the perfect location and then display more online and have an off-site warehouse to save money on the exclusive shop-floor rent. 

 

Sheila and I visited Swedish shop Livly in New York last year. Lisa Carrol is a clever entrepreneur that has managed to start her own brand of clothing for kids. Her journey started with a couple of twins that were tiny when they were first born and also highly sensitive. She started looking for fabrics that were soft and gentle on the skin and she ended up with the best of the best, namely Pima cotton and this cotton is what she based her whole Livly idea on. If she can do it, then so can you!

  • Do you want to buy in and retail other brands? Get in tough with the brands you’d like to work with. Just do it! Book an appointment, make your sales pitch and tell them why their brand should want to be seen in your store. The bigger brands often have regulations and requirements relating to each individual purchase, even if the quantity is small. Perhaps do you need to buy and stock their whole collection for that particular season. This means you build up stock (and a full warehouse) pretty quickly, which means your money is tied up. Many entrepreneurs run into problems because of this and might have to shut their company down for good for the simple reason that their money’s tied up and they can’t make ends meet. I would advise you to partner up with an economist, if you don’t have these skills and knowledge yourself. Purchasing and stock management are two of the most important pillars in this type of business. You can probably act as a purchasing manager based on gut instinct throughout year 1-2, but as soon as you have stronger sales history to base your forecasts on you will need to take control of your figures. You need to ensure you buy in the right amounts and not let you gut instinct take over. Please remember this. 
  • Do you want to develop your own collections? There are loads of factories in Europe that can produce pretty small quantities if you want to give that a go (approx 200-300 pieces). I would choose Europe over Asia every time. Don’t be fooled by the low manufacturing cost, as there will always be freight and other surcharges on top, which makes it expensive in the end. And you won’t be able control the production as well as you would if it is closer to home and the process will take longer with all the toing and froing, the lead times are shorter too. Bottom line is that European manufacturing generally works out cheaper. The working conditions are better too and absolutely no child labor.
  • Apart from the basics of registering a limited company, setting up an online shop/e-commerce (which can be done really cheaply nowadays), purchase the range of clothes and then sell them, it is important that you are always staying ahead and thinking multiple revenue models that can also be a way of standing out from the crowd. Force yourself to think outside the box. What will the sales look like in store and online? Can you offer your customers a present delivery with children’s clothing instead of the usual flower delivery? For example “Help, it’s my children’s cousin’s birthday tomorrow and I haven’t had time to buy anything”. Then you could offer an easy way out, buy the pieces of clothing online and you will wrap it beautifully and then deliver within a certain zip code in a set time period. Can you offer yor customers some form of subscription such as children’s clothes for every season? Maybe one leg of the business could be buying back used clothes that have children have grown out of and then sell on as second hand goods to new owners? Embrace your creativity!

Hope that gave you some inspiration. We’ll tackle how you can market your company for a smallish sum of money in a later blog post. And also how can you invite and accept external investors into your company to fund your idea. I will pick out new topics and more questions from the blog yesterday and answer them like this as we go along.
 

 

ART

I went out to dinner with the moms in my neighborhood last night. As I’ve mentioned before we’re a bunch of families out here on Lidingö, who see each other more or less on a daily basis, spend time together and hang out with all the kids in someone’s garden or at the park. Our houses form a little neighborhood of their own and there has been a gradual change of house owners from the original ones that moved in during 1975 and we are now several families with kids of a similar age. Couldn’t think of a better set-up than this to be honest! And another bonus is that although it is great that all the kids gel and get on with each other, it is also fantastic that there is this group of parents that also get on like a house on fire. We go out for dinner together after we’ve put the kids to bed and I’m so grateful for these ladies. I foresee a summer full of baby monitors and bottles of wine being lugged over to various gardens for some pleasant evening company haha …


We tried a restaurant last night called Art. I’ve never been there before, but I’ll definitely visit again. Lots of little tapas-style dishes that everyone can tuck into and share and they have a really good veggie selection too.


Jenny, Michaela, Cecilia, Sophia and I. We all have big brothers and little sisters at home of roughly the same age. What are the chances of that happening?! Top from Stylelevel, sadly out of stock at the moment. Now I will start answering your questions on entrepreneurship. Exciting and interesting to see what you are pondering over?

 

Sally turns two

Awwww, we had a tremendously excited little girl in our house this morning when she was told she was turning two years old today. Sally shouted out BIRTHDAY CAKE really loudly and then snuggled up underneath the duvet to show us that she was staying put until we presented her with a cake. Odd stayed in our bed with Sally, while Gillis and I sneaked downstairs to set a breakfast tray for her. Five minutes later we sang our hearts out and went in to Sally with lots of pressies and a Spiderman cake. The joy twinkling in her eyes when her big brother gave her the parcel, I’ll never forget that till the day I day. Truly amazing.



We ordered a new cake from Café Lindqvist, delicious. Delicate, floaty light chocolate mousse and cream. Sally munched her entire portion and said “yum yum”. Anything and everything that Gillis loves, Sally loves too, hence the Spiderman cake.


She got a stroller from Brio (adlink),


But her big brother pinched that pretty quickly, which didn’t seem to be a problem…


…because this seemed to be the highlight of her morning. She’s hugging her new toy Mini Speeder (adlink) from Jollyroom and wouldn’t leave this for one minute throughout the whole morning. We have one more surprise for her, which can hum too but has to be kept outside.We might give it to her this evening or wait until the weekend when she’s having her birthday party.

Phew! Thank goodness the celebrations turned out this successful, albeit a day later than it should’ve been. That’s Sally’s mom in a nutshell, more than a little bit messy, but finds a solution for everything in the end.