Fun-loving. Vibrant. Proactive. Creative. Believes in her dreams. Meet Mimmi from Stockholm. She is the first of five inspiring women we will be introducing to you as part of our Women Portraits.
Furniture Designer & Store Owner
Tell us a bit about your background. What made you start restoring furniture?
As a child, my best friend’s mum was an upholsterer and I remember being fascinated by all the things she created and worked on. I never thought about doing them myself, though. In fact I haven’t always been a creative person. When I left home, I worked in a coffee shop but quickly realised it wasn’t my thing. I saw an ad in the subway announcing an upholstery evening course and I signed up for it. I needed to do something fun with my life. My boyfriend’s family really helped, too. They’re very creative and I feel really inspired by their work. Moving into my own place also helped; it made me start to think about colours and how to build.
What made you take the plunge and open your own store?
I had the idea from the very first time I took upholstery classes. Eventually I quit my job and started a daytime course. I completed a two-year full time degree in the field. In the middle of it all I started to get bored, so I decided to open my own store in order to help me, or rather force me, to stick with school. One day I was walking around the neighbourhood and saw the venue by accident. It was empty. And just for fun I mentioned to my friend how cool it would be to have my own place there. That was during the summer and by the time autumn came, the idea had started to grow on me. I contacted the landlord and found out it was empty. I was really excited about the whole thing. Besides, I had a lot of furniture and I didn’t know what to do with it! From the very beginning I thought it would be fun to mix new stuff with the furniture I made. Before opening the physical store, my boyfriend made me a web shop and it was met with a great response. That was the moment when I realised I needed to do something with it.
When do you feel the most confident?
Well, that’s a hard question. Maybe when I have a really good day and I receive positive feedback from customers. When I realise something I made speaks to people. That’s when I think everything makes sense.
How do you keep yourself inspired?
Mostly online, reading blogs. Also, I visit fairs to look at new stuff, things like that.
What influences your work?
All the DIY stuff I see online really inspires me to constantly seek and find solutions. Sometimes when I see something really good in a magazine I feel the need to go to the workshop and create myself. Colour inspires me greatly. It makes me want to create something with feeling. Also mixing colours and shapes inspires me a lot.
How would you describe your style?
My style is colourful but it often has a black basis. I can wear a black outfit and then add a colourful shirt, trousers or patterned shoes.
What kinds of things influence your style? Do you look at magazines or do you prefer to find inspiration in other things, such as films, art, etc.?
I usually don’t think much about it. I just know what talks to me in the stores when I’m shopping.
Sometimes, clothes and fashion are seen as frivolous and superficial. What do you think about that? For you, are they a form of self expression? Is it important to care about the image you project to the world through your style?
For me, what’s important is that my clothes make me feel good. They have to be comfortable and look nice rather than fashionable. It doesn’t matter how much money I have.
Your style is very colourful and playful. Do you think that it is a reflection of your personality and your attitude towards life? Do you think the way you dress is influenced by the way you see the world?
Yes, of course. I like colour and therefore coloured clothing makes me happy and mirrors my attitude in some way. But it’s not that my daily mood is reflected in my clothing. I can feel great and still dress all in black.
What is the one thing you can’t live without?
A good bed! When a day has been rough there’s nothing better than going to your own bed.
The best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You have to dream big. If you love something you have to do it and you’ll succeed if you try. It’s really important that you believe in yourself and in your dream, and that you have the courage to believe in yourself because that’s what will make it work. It will give you the energy and power you need.