Quick 5 - Elena Holmberg, CINK

I first met Elle in the south of Sweden on a girl weekend we did together with our mutual friend Ullis . Our goal for the trip was to just hang out, drink wine, read magazines and enjoy the beautiful scenery, and well, sleep really! Elle didn't seem very happy with her work situation and she felt a bit suffocated I think. We talked about the pros of being self employed and the freedom it gave us, Ullis and myself. We started to brainstorm about new products, where was there a gap in the baby and toddler market? And we found it. CINK was born!

Elle was really inspired by the conversations we had during those days. I gave her more meet on her bones by telling her where to search and literally where to begin. The 1-year journey started. She invested a lot of money and hard work. And headaches. I tried to be there for business support all the way through, and Ullis as that important believing  friend that we all need. And look where she is today! I'm so immensely proud of her, she really proved that anything is possible. What a success story! 

  • Family: Elena 35 years, Patrik 36 years, Jack 5 years and Dante 2 years!


When was the biggest wow-moment for your brand?!

Every little step on the way has been a wow-moment. Holding the first sample in my hand, opening up the web shop, getting my first retailer request. But I think the biggest wow was when Family Living featured Cink as one of the most important Scandinavian designs this year. That made me feel really proud.

What do you love most about a new week?

This is probably the first time in my life I am actually longing for Mondays. Since I have promised myself to always put family first I really try to put business aside during weekends even though it’s really hard since I love what I do. Opening up my computer on Mondays and starting the week with packing new orders, answering emails and dig into all the other tasks gives me the biggest kick of energy!

Have you hit any obstacles along the way, what happened?

Oh my! What obstacles have I not ran in to! Getting the products right has been the absolutely hardest part. It’s been a lot of back and forward with the manufacturing and also trying to find the most eco-friendly way for my business has been difficult. We still have a long way to go but I’m trying to remind myself that I have only just started and all these parts will eventually fall into place.

What would be the last part of your work you would delegate to someone else?!

I really have difficulties delegating any of it :) I’m a total control freak and want to learn every part of running a business before I delegate it to someone else. But the creative part and the customer contact is something that I will probably hold on to forever since this is the core of the business.

Do you feel that you can be a successful business owner and still have time for the family?

Absolutely! The whole reason why I wanted to start my own business was because I wanted more control over my own life and more time with my family. Seeing my kids 2 hours per day after coming home from work made me really depressed. I still work a lot, probably even more then before, but now I can choose my own working hours. And most importantly this journey has made me so happy and content with my life that I feel I am a much better parent now, having the energy and patience that I was lacking before.

But my goal with all this has never been to get rich. That dream would probably have been more difficult to combine with more family time. This is something that works for me and my family and I am so happy I dared to take a leap of faith to try out my dream!

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All photos by Ulrika Nihlén

All photos by Ulrika Nihlén