Posts in Quick 5
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

Quick 5 - Barb Bruno, Tinycottons

One company that I've followed closely since the beginning is the incredibly successful Tinycottons. Its owner and founder Barbara Bruno is a dear friend of mine (she is the loveliest girl) and many years ago we even did a collaboration together! She really impresses me, with that big family and all

It all started from the home of Barbara and Gerard in 2013 in Barcelona. Barb shares with me; "during 1 and a half year we worked there, we changed website 4 times, we changed our couriers 5 times , we hired many and fired a few, we moved the office 3 times, we worked with one supplier at the beginning and now we have more than 12! We have 5 Tinycottons concept stores in spain. We started with sizing 0-24 months, and now we have 0-10y, plus women, plus body, plus collabs, plus basics!" What a journey!

  • Family: Gerard and Barbara, Cruz 16, Cata 15, Greg 10, and Vincent 6 months

When was the biggest wow moment for your brand?!

Every week I have some wow and little wows, could be anything or everything, but to be honest my big surprise was in NYC when someone from Puma came to talk to me in a fair, and asked would you be interested in a collab with Puma? Worldwide? For a few seasons! I was really shocked and extremely happy, a big company like Puma, looking into our very tiiiiiny brand, I thought this is the way, good done tiny team!

What do you love most about a new week?

Hehehe, I like that for me is always different, I hate routines in general, I know this is not a plus, but someway I have the job I always dreamt about, everyday is so different, every week is a new thing, our tight calendars hit my face everytime (because of that fobia to the routine) but I have such a great team, and I'm so thankful for that, without them this company would be impossible. I also enjoy to work with my husband, is something everyone ask, and yes, we like it! We love what we do!

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

You always have obstacles, this journey its not easy, but when I say I can’t do it anymore, I always remember how far you can go with your ideas and hard work, so the answer is, working and working, and working … no secret. (also surround yourself with good people, good persons, that understand your way of doing things, and share your dreams in someway)

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

Probably, the finances, I love the holistic thought about doing business, but the finances part, it's the worst … hehe! When you start with only one employee you need to do everything, so I'm used to delegate since the beginning, overtime we hired someone, I delegated a part of my own work, but now the finances are the last thing to delegate. 

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

Sometimes I feel not, but I try to do my best at both, the weekends or the evenings, very late we spend quality time together. I really enjoy traveling everybody together, and that's the best thing you can give your kids, to know the world together, to be tolerant, to share your values, be a good person is a must, and enjoy all the cultures is the best thing to feed your soul!

 

Thank you gorgeous Barb for the chat! xx

 

 

 Barb in her office!

Barb in her office!

 SS18 Tinycottons

SS18 Tinycottons