Do you remember Zandra from Esteriör? Zandra who, along with her colleague Henrik, has helped us create the lounge at Aurora. We had a chat with her the other day and asked her to tell us more about her thoughts on starting and running her own business at a young age, what the hinders might be and of course we asked her to give us some tips on how to manage well. Here we go:
Hey Zandra! Tell us, how did it all start with Esteriör? Hey! Well, it all started back in the day when Henrik worked at a vintage clothing store company which was expanding their business, getting into vintage furniture too. Since Henrik had been doing pretty well at the store, he got offered the position as store manager in the new store by Mariatorget – Brandstationen. I, myself, was working an office job at the time and I was pretty tired of spending my time just sitting in front of a computer. One day, I walked by Brandstationen and felt “wow, THIS is a place for me, here is my job”. I sort of forced them to interview me and actually managed to get them to hire me. It all turned out really well, and me and Henrik ended up running the store together for the next 6 years.
Wow. That’s a great story. What happened after those 6 years? We felt we wanted to do something which involved environments and settings more than just pieces of furniture – to create spaces where people feel good. Also, there was a time in Swedish interior design which was very sort of black-grey-white, which we felt needed to change. So, we quit our jobs and started Esteriör. In the beginning, before it turned into what it is today, we did many set design things, stylings and just random jobs.
What was it like, starting your own business at a young age? We got a lot of knowledge from working in the store for all those years. We did everything there – from travelling the world scouting furniture, sold furniture, managed the books … that gave us a feeling for what it’s like running your own business. But I mean, of course it was scary – there’s just so much you don’t know beforehand, about rules, papers to file and whatnot. It was really nice to be in it together. We’re two people with strong wills. Always thinking “this WILL work out”.
Do you have tips for students who want to work in the same field as you? So, the interior and design business is a hard one. You have to dare – and do (do, do do!). Dare to challenge yourself and walk into a store that sparks your interest and ask them – is there any chance you could get a job there? Internship? Also, find inspiration with others, but find your own style and take every chance you get to show it.
And maybe some tips on the whole starting a business thing? A good thing is to find a mentor or someone who you can ask questions – how accounting works, or how to think when getting a new client or customer. You can’t possibly know everything. Another thing, which we’ve done, is to hire an accountant. It costs us some money, but it’s nice to not have to worry, to know everything is done correctly.
Thank you Zandra for sharing your experiences and your wisdom! And to you who are reading this: hope you feel inspired. If you want to, you can read even more about Zandra and Henrik over on Esterior’s website. Also check out the post on Esteriör we shared last year :)