Thursday, July 12, 2012

PM Masters: Frida Ramstedt

It's no secret that I have a thing for Scandinavian design and that's why I started reading Trendenser when I discovered the world of blogging. This amazing blog is the creation of Swedish blogger Frida Ramstedt, one of the most accomplished ones you'll ever meet. Before I leave you to meet Frida, I want to promote her iPad magazine which was my sweet companion on my flight back from NY... You're going to love it! {all images taken by Frida and found on Trendenser}

How did you get started in your career?

In 2005 when I was studying business and administration at the university, I decided that I wanted to write my thesis on Ikea. The blog phenomenon had just started, and I thought that it might be something to add to my CV as a concrete proof of my passion for interior decorating and design. But Trendenser became much more than that as I started to pick up readers and realized that many followers read it as a complement to interior design magazines. Since blogs in general are much faster than the magazines at publishing news and trends within the industry it became a virtuous circle and with the growth in number of readers, my interest in taking photos increased, which in turn made the blog more popular. 

A few years later, when I was working in the advertising industry, it became difficult to work with promoting companies during daytime and then go home to blog and write about them in a more objective and non-commercial way. One day it felt like I had come to the roads end and had to make a decision, whether I wanted to make my living through blogging or by making commercials and ads. It might sound like an easy choice for any passionate blogger to make but for me it was a very difficult decision to leave the safe and well paid job I had, with wonderful colleagues - to start working completely on my own, in a new business that no one knew anything about. However today, looking back at the options I had and the life it lead to, I’m very happy I dared to challenge my fears.

What are your sources of inspiration?

Internet, Pinterest, traveling, the fashion industry... You can get influences from so many sources and contexts today. Not only from the interior design business.

Where do you work and how do you get organized around it?

At first I tried to work from my apartment. I didn’t want to put to many expenses on my shoulders until my company was up and running. But it didn’t work out at all. I just spend my days washing, cleaning, color coordinating the books in our book shelves... you know. Doing all kinds of tasks that were much easier than the ones I really should or had to do. Like sending quotes, calling customers or asking for freelance work. 

At first it also felt like such a luxury to be able to stay at home when my husband went to work. For me who had worked very hard for many years in the advertising industry the freedom of being my own boss felt like I had won a million dollars on the lottery. But only for the first week or to. Then I started to climb the walls and I showered my husband with questions and wanted to chit chat as soon as he came home again. It was no good for our relationship, nor for me or for my company. I realized that I had to take my new occupation as seriously as I had if it had been a new job with a new boss - at least if I wanted to be taken seriously as an entrepreneur and wanted to get things done - so I forced myself to routines. Today I try to work as much as I possibly can in my own little office, in an old building from 1842. In the very center of Gothenburg. And I love it! {Cover of Frida's cookbook below}

Which are your favorite Scandinavian brands? What other brands you would like to work with?

I love Fritz Hansen for their timeless classics, but I also admire companies like HAY who have managed to challenge the way we look at Scandinavian design. HAY has done a lot to make good design available to the many people without compromising with quality and function. I really appreciate their product design and concept. {Frida has collaborated with many brands including IKEA, check it out!}

What other profession you would like to have besides yours? Any business advice?

As I’m educated to work with marketing that is my first field of choice if I ever have to make the decision again, but I’m also curious about the photography business. Working as a photographer or writer (author) would be another creative option if everything fails. Some day. 

What are you listening to these days?

 Oh. I always have Spotify up and running on my computer. I listen to all kinds of music but I instantly feel calm and happy whenever David Gray is singing in the background when I work. 

When you travel what are the essential items you take with you?

I always travel with my Rimova. It’s the best bag ever and always keeps whatever I bring with me safe and sound. Especially my camera equipment and my computer. The rest can be bought whenever I arrive. 

Where is your favorite vacation spot?
I love Skåne, in the south of Sweden. The area of Österlen is so relaxing and has such a nice atmosphere. Go there, if you haven’t been there before! 

What is the best design advice you can give someone?
Don’t buy things you don’t need, for money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t like (and who rarely ever care anyway). Follow your gut feeling and surround yourself with beautiful objects you like. The will match. Eventually. If I have to give one advice... stick to a black and white base and just add 1 or maximum 2 colors. It will work for the rest of your life. You’ll never get bored of it. And most items are made in black and white as options so it won’t be hard to find (or sell) the things you like (or don’t like in a few years’ time) either.

 Dear Frida, thank you for being part of this series... I really appreciate it. To all my readers, I want to invite you to welcome this very talented blogger into your daily readings... I guarantee you won't be disappointed!

Have a great Thursday!