Hello from Malmö!
It has taken a long time to get to this point but we are finally online with a web shop and all! The HELGROSE Studio Store opened a few months ago and seeing as this is our first Journal post I will begin with a little bit of an introduction, for those of you that have just joined us.
After a lot of planning and saving over the last few years Sam and I moved our little family across the seas from Melbourne Australia, to Malmö Sweden, at the start of 2018, to be closer to my family here and to take a chance and do something different. It certainly has been the journey so far....and continues to be....with its ups and downs, many challenges...and rewards. Although I have close family ties in Sweden, it has been over 20 years since I actually lived here, I was 9 years old when we moved to Australia. I closed a busy little studio/shop in Melbourne to start up again, packing up and shipping over all my essential tools and equipment. This time with a more well oiled concept and focus point, Sam and I decided to join forces, combining our last names to form HELGROSE.
My background is in design and manufacturing, and I have been running my own creative practice for the last 6 years with a clothing label and retail store in Melbourne (my own collection is still stocked in the Helgrose store, and online birgittahelmersson.com). Sam, a chef by trade, has been involved in the creation and set up of several small businesses in the hospitality industry. We decided to make it a family affair and join forces to work together on HELGROSE.
Sam, our daughter Astrid, and I, arrived in Malmö in January this year with a pretty ambitious idea (hindsight is always an interesting thing). We planned to set up a unisex clothing label in our own studio and retail store, in a whole new country, with a whole new system we knew nothing about, organise and execute a fit-out of a 60sqm studio and shop, find new fabric suppliers in Europe, produce our own stock, with a very small budget, a 5 yr old in tow, and nowhere permanent to live....within 3 months of arriving. (Side Note: For those of you that know first hand the challenges of finding somewhere to live in Sweden as a newcomer....yes I know.....I mean WTF were we thinking....really.)
So it turns out we actually did all of that....and I guess its no wonder its taken us so long to get the online store up and running....things do take time. Although i'm proud of what we have achieved, with all those challenges i'm not sure I would do it over again in the same order.....or recommend it....unless you have a really high stress threshold and love living with constant uncertainty......!!
But here we are, and now that the stress has subsided (mostly), and the uncertainty is fading away (mostly), we seem to be building a business, day by day, week by week, that we are passionate about and proud of.
If you want to know more about what we do and our every day workings head to the ABOUT page.
The last thing I would like to share with you today is the beautiful fit-out our amazing friend Will Loft helped us design and build. Will flew over from Melbourne for 2 weeks at the end of April, with a suitcase of battery powered hand tools and his incredible skills and stamina. Will and Sam built this fit-out in under 2 weeks. A special thanks to Olof who also came over from Berlin to help for a couple days, spending hours sanding and rasping out the many...many holes. We started with rough pine and spent hours planing and sanding back every piece, finishing with a final soap wash to seal and retain the natural light colour of the wood. The fit-out is modular with changeable racks and shelving and does not have a single piece of metal for any of the joins.
You can see more of Will's work here loftetcetera.com and make sure if your in Malmö you pop in and see it in person.
Three months later Will, and his partner Hannah, also a very dear close friend, were back to visit, this time for a holiday (and Will actually had time to see more than just the inside of a dusty shop). It's fitting I happen to write this journal post the day they leave, but lets not talk about that, otherwise I might cry.....again. Love you both x
Until next time.
Thanks for reading.