Collect & bottle

Name: Tomas Hempel (38)

Profession: Perfumer

Country: Sweden

Websitewww.collectandbottle.comwww.storaskuggan.com

Instagram: @collect_and_bottle, @storaskuggan

The history of perfume is as old as ancient history itself, with the world’s first perfume maker, a chemist named Tapputi, recorded in the 2nd millennium BC in Mesopotamia. Since then, fragrances have constantly evolved, turning from the frivolous and extravagant accessory of the rich, into an affordable  “feel good” factor, which complements someone’s personal style. However, no matter how wide  the range of choices might be today, finding the right scent can be a very difficult task. Collect & Bottle is a young, innovative Swedish company that can help you achieve the task, by creating bespoke scents to reflect a customer’s needs and requirements, gathered from consultations lasting from one hour to several months. 

Here’s an interview with Tomas Hempel, the perfumer who, together with his team, will help you find what you’ve been looking for all along:

TheShortcutsBubble: When and how did COLLECT & BOTTLE come into existence and what was that you were doing before that?

TH: I think every person, at some point during their life, ask themselves the question, “what do I really want do with my life?”. At the time I asked myself that question I was an Art Director at an agency in Stockholm, a fun and creative job, but it was not for me. I had been intrigued by the sense of smell as long as I could remember, my first memories going back to when I was a child making my own ”perfumes” with my sisters, consisting of different crushed flowers from our garden. So for me the answer was not that complex, I just knew that I had to explore it. I asked my friend, Martin, whom I studied design with a few years earlier, if he wanted to join me on this journey. So we started to research the topic in different forums on the web, ordering books, ingredients and eventually Collect & Bottle and Stora Skuggan were born. C&B is a platform where we create cosmetic products, mainly perfumes and scented candles, for other brands, whilst Stora Skuggan is ”our own brand” for which we launched our first perfume, Fantôme de Maules, last December. Before the year is over a second perfume, Silphium, is planned to hit the shelves. For both brands everything is made by hand in Stockholm which is something that I´m very proud of. Before my perfume career I tried many different trades such as working at a chocolate factory, being a bicycle messenger, delivering post and being an administrator at an insurance company. To make a long story short, it took a while but finally I hit the jackpot. 

TheShortcutsBubble: How big is your team? 

TH: We are four persons, excluding myself: Martin, Jonas, Olle and Andrea. All of them treasures in their own way. Andrea has worked as a compounder and assistant now and then. In just a few days she will do it full time. She´s what I would call a raw talent and my hopes is that she will be a perfumer one day. Jonas does a lot of the design, he´s extremely tactile and from my point of view brilliant in everything he does. The cap for Stora Skuggan is just one of many things he created. Olle is the general wizard, whatever is put on his table he transform to something astonishing. He works on the second perfume (Silphium) together with me. Martin is an international renowned illustrator (he won´t like that I said that) and does a lot of the design too. He´s a big part of the third perfume (Mistpouffer) that is planned to launch in the beginning of 2017. I know, a lot of superlatives you say, but I think there could be many more. These five individuals forms one unison nose, it´s something beautiful about that.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the meaning of the (COLLECT & BOTTLE) name chosen for your brand?

TH: The name summons up the beginning and the end of what we do, two parts of the entire process. A project always starts with collecting information and it ends with a finished creation. If we had included all the steps in the process it would have been a very long name. I think Martin was the one coming up with it so I have to give him credit for that. And Stora Skuggan is a Swedish name which means Great Shadow.

TheShortcutsBubble: Why bespoke scents? 

TH: Bespoke scents is just a small part of C&B. Our bread and butter is the collaborations we have with other brands, scenting their space or products. And above that we work with Stora Skuggan on a daily (and nightly) basis. But to answer your question, we defined a gap in the Scandinavian market: tailor-made perfumes for the ordinary person. It was the perfect starting point for us.

TheShortcutsBubble: What does the process of creating a perfume involve, from the moment of selecting the scents up to the point when the customer is handed the pretty bottle with their own signature fragrance?

TH: We take our clients on a journey by smelling over 50 selected ingredients. The outcome is a combination of the client’s taste, concept and our expertise. It includes other steps too but it has to be experienced.

TheShortcutsBubble: What makes a good perfume?

TH: The standard answer would include parameters such as good longevity and projection, but for me it depends on what you want to achieve. An interesting perfume for me is something that´s pushing the boundaries, it does not not have to be brilliant in the ordinary way, but it has to be innovative. 

TheShortcutsBubble: Even the most horrid scents can appeal to a “nose”. Taking into account that some people seem to like scents that others are totally put off by, would you say that there’s such thing as good and bad scents?

TH: As a perfumer, I don´t think there are good or bad scents. When I started doing this I smelled ingredients I thought I would never use. Of course I was wrong. In perfumery one of the corner stones is dosage, an ingredient that to many smell horrific can make the difference between a good and a great perfume. The cherry on the cake.

TheShortcutsBubble: What kind of ingredients do you use in creating a perfume and what are your “no go” ingredients? What’s your opinion on synthetic notes?

TH: I might sound like a scratched record here but it depends on what you try to create. For me there is no “no go” ingredients as long as they are of good quality and suitable for a cosmetic product. A lot of perfumers limit themselves to a palette of, let´s say 200-300 ingredients. I´ve chosen not to do that, there are many reasons why.. but one of them is curiosity. As every project has new challenges, I try to see them as a blank piece of paper that needs to be filled with different shapes and colors. If I would throw away the blue and the pink pen, I would not be able to finish the drawing. Of course you can mix different colors to get a third one, but if you have all the pens it will still be possible. I´m just at the beginning of my career, maybe I will change my mind when I´m older and wiser. 

When it comes to synthetic notes they have such bad reputation, as the word “synthetic” is filled with negative associations. I can´t speak for every perfumer out there but synthetics are irreplaceable and one can´t make a brilliant perfume without them, it´s simple chemistry actually.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the weirdest ingredient that you have ever used?
TH: Some of the weirder smelling ones would be SkatoleMarine pyridine or perhaps Geosmin. It´s a hard question to answer as they are all very useful materials, but I guess they can tend to be strange to someone who does not work with perfume.

TheShortcutsBubble: Is the package at least half as important as the content?

TH: I have no certain figures to rely on, but I would say that the packaging is more important than the smell of the fragrance in mainstream perfumes. People are mainly buying brands and not content, at least that´s what I believe. However I´m quite sure that the juice has a more important role for the connoisseurs that are into niche perfumes and for perfume nerds overall. So it depends on who you ask.

TheShortcutsBubble: Can we wear the same perfume in any moment of the day or in any season?

TH: Of course, a person can wear whatever they want, whenever they want.. at least that’s my opinion, I´m sure not everyone agrees. However I think you should wear perfume with respect for others. It all depends on how much perfume you apply and where you apply it. And the characteristics of the perfume of course.

TheShortcutsBubble: Is it suitable to offer perfumes as, let’s say, birthday gifts?

TH: I can´t come up with a reason why you could not do it, other than the risk of buying the wrong perfume. That´s probably a big risk though. For example, I’m very selective with clothing, as many others with me. So if someone gives me a piece of garment as a gift, the risk is that I won’t wear it. The same goes with perfume. 

TheShortcutsBubble: I imagine you create your own perfume as well. What are your favourite notes?

TH: I have never created a scent for myself in that way. It might sound strange but for every fragrance you make, you have to leave a piece of yourself in there. Fantôme de Maules took about two years to create and a lot of me is in that bottle. So with that said, I kind of create every perfume for myself even if it´s aimed for others. I like some notes more than others but in the end it´s the functionality of each ingredient that´s important. But just to name one, the other day I received samples from one of our suppliers and one of them were a pine absolute which I found smelling truly amazing, I have not worked with it yet, but it´s standing there, waiting to be a part of a suitable project. Being a perfume ingredient much reminds me of the school discos as a child, everyone sitting there in the corner, waiting for someone just to see you. 

Thank you Tomas.. and thanks for the patience 🙂 Lovely to collaborate with you on this interview. Wish you the very best of luck with the new projects! 

Article by: Andreea R.

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Collect & bottle

IT’S A CRAFTSMAN’S JOB

Name: Mats Christéen (34)

Profession: Founder of Foundrywood LLC

Country: Sweden, currently living in New York (USA)

Websitewww.foundrywood.com

Instagram: @foundrywood

You know those kind of movies about NY, with a handsome, tall artist (usually a painter), who is so absorbed by his work that he barely has time to meet up with friends? Well, turn the painter into a furniture designer and you get Mats Christéen, not a movie character, but a real life former model and professional hockey player who decided to leave Sweden for Brooklyn and pursue his lifelong dreams. This is where Foundrywood came into being, born from the passion of producing artisanal furniture collections made of organic and often reclaimed materials, all sustainably sourced.

TheShortcutsBubble: From professional hockey player and model to furniture designer/artist… not the usual story I would say… was it an old hobby or something you discovered later in life?

Mats: It’s always been a hobby of mine. Even when I was playing hockey for a living I was shopping for vintage furniture in my spare time. I would then bring it to my parents’ house and use my dads tools to re furnish it.

TheShortcutsBubble: When and why did you decide to give up on hockey? Was it a difficult decision to make?

Mats: Of course, giving up on hockey was one of the hardest decisions I’ve made… but I had to, as I had 9 knee surgeries at the age of 26 and the doctors already suggested I looked for a different career after 5 of them. So I’m content with my decision, I gave it all I had and it was time for new challenges. 

TheShortcutsBubble: One could easily guess the Scandinavian origin in your name, which means that being now in New York must have something to do with your being a former model/hockey player. What’s the story?

Mats: I came to this fantastic city for modeling in 2002. After playing some more hockey in Sweden, between 2004-2006, I was itching to come back and I did. Modeling has given me so much, including the opportunity to live here and follow life long dreams. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What makes you resonate to New York so much that you decided to choose it over Sweden and what’s that you miss about home?

Mats: I miss my family in Sweden and I wish I could go home more often but… there’s no other place like New York, it’s the world’s melting pot. It can definitely wear you down at times but no place will push me more. When you think you’re working hard, there’s always someone working harder. It’s hard to find comfort here. A city where dreams come true but also a city that never stops.  

TheShortcutsBubble: Has NY changed you in any way, personality wise?

Mats: This city has taught me more respect. Respect for people, their values and different efforts and struggles. There’s not really a “normal” here, everyone walks their own path and everything comes together in a unique way. This city inspires me everyday, and that’s all I can ask for. 

TheShortcutsBubble: Talking about your work now… how would you describe your designs? Do they have that Scandinavian minimalistic and functional feature that Sweden is so renowned for?

Mats: I would describe my designs as rustic with a modern, artistic touch. I love random patterns. I love to make something that if someone asked for the same piece again, it would be next to impossible to make it the exact same. But from the start it’s been about blending the industrial feel of NY with the clean, minimalistic lines of Scandinavian designs of the 50’s and 60’s. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What makes you different & unique from other furniture makers?

Mats: What makes me different and unique… I think we all are. It’s like Art, it’s all in the eye of the beholder. 

TheShortcutsBubble: Do you work in a sustainable way? How do you choose your materials?

Mats: I started off using only reclaimed materials, steel and wood, I still do a great deal of my work from that but since I do custom work it’s what the client needs. About 90% of my own designs are built from recycled lumber. There’s something very intriguing about it to me. It used to have a different life and purpose and now I’ve made it into a modern piece of furniture that someone will use for a long time and you see the character in the piece. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What do you like the most about working in wood? Can you explain a little about the process? What does a typical working day look like?

Mats: I would say I do almost as much steel work & welding as wood work. The wood is the life in the piece and the steel stands for the stability and structure in a way. I love the combination of wood and steel. As for the typical working day.. that would change every 30 minutes, from meetings with clients to getting materials. It’s pretty unpredictable I would say… but once I get going, I zone out and you might get a response to the email or text 18-20 hours later, when I look at my phone again. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What is your main inspiration when conceiving a new piece?

Mats: Inspiration is different every time but like I said, this city is usually a big part. 

TheShortcutsBubble: From all your pieces, which is your favourite and why?

Mats: My favorite piece is a steel and glass table that I made when I wanted to take something cold and lifeless, like steel and make it look like it came alive and started growing. That’s how that piece came about. 

TheShortcutsBubble: The achievement you’re the most proud of in your career so far?

Mats: I  guess I would say being where I am today is my proudest achievement. I have turned down lots of good opportunities to work long long hours and barely paying rent. There were times along the way I’d go buy sandpaper for the last quarters I had to finish a job. But I’m also super grateful for all the people around who have helped me get here. I wouldn’t be anywhere close without them – my family and my parents being the biggest part of that. 

TheShortcutsBubble: Where can one purchase your designs?

Mats: You can purchase my personal designs on http://www.1stdibs.com or for any inquiries just email info@foundrywood.com 

TheShortcutsBubble: What else do you enjoy doing apart from designing and making furniture?

Mats: What do I enjoy besides this… there’s a rare occasional dinner or drinks with my dear friends but that’s the other side of starting your own company here. It becomes your life. It doesn’t stop. But I love what I do so…:) 

Thank you, Mats.. you just pointed out that committed work, focus and moving forward no matter the obstacles can eventually lead one to living the dream 🙂

Article by: Andreea R.

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IT’S A CRAFTSMAN’S JOB

LES SOEURS AND “THE HOLY TRIANGLE”

Name:

Clio Hendrickx (33)
Kay Hendrickx (30) 
Jules Hendrickx (27)

Profession

Clio: entrepreneur @ Les Soeurs, our own company
Kay: fashion buyer @ ESG, Belgian shoe- & textile pioneer
Jules: fashion buyer 
@ ESG, Belgian shoe- & textile pioneer

Country: Belgium (Hasselt)

Website & instagram:

www.lessoeurs.be
@
_lessoeurs_

Today’s story is about LES SOEURS, the 3 talented Belgian sisters (Jules, Key & Clio) with a full-time passion for jewelry and accessories. I came across their Instagram profile purely by chance, one late afternoon while randomly browsing through and instantly fell in love with their feed, sprinkled with lots and lots of beautiful pieces and funny quotes (don’t take it for granted, feel free to check: @_lessoeurs_). Obviously, I wanted an interview!! 🙂

TheShortcutsBubble: Who are Les Soeurs?

LS: Les Soeurs is 3×3 female force or three sisters with a fulltime passion for jewellery and accessories.

TheShortcutsBubbleHow did you come up with the idea of starting this business together? Do you have formal training in the field or was it something made out of passion?

LSIn 2011 we baptised our label Les Soeurs. Always looking for that bracelet, ring, necklace or handbag as a perfect combination for our outfits, we started a passionate journey in which we brought together the most precious gemstones, leather pieces and noble metals from our travels all over the world. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do… so the result is a collection and selection of contemporary jewellery/accessories, made with loads of sisterlove on Belgian territory.

TheShortcutsBubble: What are the benefits of working with family and are there any drawbacks?

LS: It’s great! As sisters we already had a very strong bond, and the fact that we can now share our passion for fashion and accessories in our own concept feels like a dream come true. Some are scared to work together with family, but to us it has only added value: there’s only one word needed to understand each other, we usually think in the same direction and style and as sisters, we can speak openly and from our heart. Of course, that sometimes leads to heavy discussions, but some of our best ideas come exactly from these discussions.

TheShortcutsBubble: What was before Les Soeurs? What did you do (for work)?

LS: Clio used to work as a marketeer in the health food industry, while Kay and Jules are still working in the fashion industry as buyers.

TheShortcutsBubble: Deco, accessories.. and still, I couldn’t help noticing that the focus is on jewellery (which btw is totally amazing). Why jewellery and who designs all the lovely pieces?

LS: Why? Because diamonds are a girl’s best friend 😉 No seriously, on our webshop we mostly sell our jewellery collection, but aside from the webshop we also run pop-up stores (in various cities in Belgium for now), where we also sell clothing and interior pieces aside from our jewellery, as a total collection of our finds and treasures.  We were young, fashion-conscious girls who followed all designers closely. The only drawback – we simply had no budget for these pieces and so we started making our own pieces, with a weakness for natural materials like precious gemstones, marble or wood. Kay started following sewing classes and Jules learned about jewellery design. Being so fond of beautiful leather pieces, we created our Gladys, a leather gladiator cuff, which is handmade in Belgium: from design (by us) to assembly (by our father)! Aside from own creations, there are also things produced by various manufacturers all over the world: India is strong in gemstones, Spain has the most beautiful leathers, Italy is king in textile… So it comes to a combination of own creations, production by third parties and simply buying and reselling.TheShortcutsBubble: How would you describe Belgian fashion and what do Belgian women go for, fashionwise, these days?

LS: Belgian fashion is pure, minimal and no nonsense, much comparable to Scandinavian fashion. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What about Les Soeurs.. what do you promote, what’s the signature style?

LS: We’re in line with Belgian fashion, I guess. We have a weakness for simple, timeless and minimal designs, rather than modern, yet mixed with a twist of ‘Parisienne’ style.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the type of woman you design for, the kind you’d want “to be in your gang”? 🙂

LS: The Parisian lady in her daily life – elegant and stylish, but no nonsense and with a touch of elegance. She loves the basics when it comes to clothing, whilst shoes and accessories are key to her personal style. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What about your personal styles? Do you have similar tastes or it is exactly the differences that make the creation process even more fun?

LS: Our personal styles are different from each other: while Kay rather goes for romantic and female pieces, Clio chooses abstract and minimal and Jules sits somewhere in between, with a weakness for good basics. Yet, we understand eachothers’ tastes and it makes creation indeed more fun, since we try and battle to blend in all three in our own designs. 

TheShortcutsBubble: What do you prefer and consider more promising these days: online commerce or the direct shop experience? How are they different?

LS: In fact we see opportunities in both.. To our experience, today’s online commerce is more used by the young generation, while older people are still a bit skeptical to this type of purchasing – they don’t trust using their bank details online and they prefer to try on or to see and feel the products in real time. Online commerce will grow and gain trust anyhow, but we believe there is certainly a future for direct shopping as well, where focus should lie more on exceptional service, advice and ‘experiencing’ the brand. We see it directly in our own business, where clients on our online shop are mostly between 25 – 35, while our pop-ups attract clients from 25 to 55 and where the latter group is very well represented and buys higher amounts at a time!

TheShortcutsBubble: Btw.. where can people purchase your designs?

LS: Online on www.lessoeurs.be, in our pop-up stores in Belgium (subscribe to our newsletter to stay informed about the locations), and in October we are opening our first and fixed ‘Les Soeurs Flagship Store‘ in Hasselt, Belgium.

TheShortcutsBubble: The MUST HAVE in every woman’s wardrobe.. something always reliable to save the day?

LS: Good basics: the perfect jeans, shirt and blazer, with the perfect cut in high quality fabric.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the biggest reward of your career so far?

LS: The creation and launching of our Gladys bracelet, an idea that came straight from our heart and intuition, which is about to become a very popular signature piece in our collection. 

TheShortcutsBubble: Exciting projects to come or daring plans for the future?

LS: Our own Les Soeurs concept store(s).. Stay tuned!

Article by: Andreea R.

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LES SOEURS AND “THE HOLY TRIANGLE”

GANG AND THE WOOL

Name: Manuela Sosa

Profession: botanical stylist & floral designer, designer, art director, curator

Country: Spain (Barcelona)

Website: www.gangandthewool.com

If you’re in Spain and you’re about to get married, GANGANDTHEWOOL is the one to turn your wedding into a celebration of senses. Also if you are interested in flowers, you can attend one of their workshops at the wonderful GreenHouse, which was featured in Vogue Spain as the most beautiful place in the country. All you have to do is to get in touch, and Manuela, the talented founding director of the “flower paradise”, will present you with a magical vision of the world.

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Here’s the story:

TheShortcutsBubble: Working with flowers in Barcelona.. what can be more beautiful than this?! How did you get to do floral design? Have you always known you are going to do this?
Manuela: Nothing is more beautiful than this! I am truly happy to devote myself to what I love and that every day fills me and makes me wake up with enthusiasm and desire-to-follow. No, I did not know that my career would end in this sector. I began my wanderings in Uruguay, studying Fine Arts and Architecture at the same time. One day I decided to come to Barcelona, ​​where my career path started with Industrial Design study, then a master in Exhibition Design and another in Art Direction. Then some hard working in lighting followed and my last job before diving into GANGANDTHEWOOL, was in the Department of Design and Exhibitions Production at CCCB, with an exquisite group of people. Although I’ve always had this curiosity in many creative fields, I am an artisan at heart and I like to define myself as such. From there everything started ….

TheShortcutsBubble: A lot of study and experience in so many different fields…
Manuela: When it comes down to life, everything can be achieved with effort, sacrifice and a lot of dedication.

TheShortcutsBubble: Barcelona is a lively and colourful city.. is this a boost of inspiration? What do you like the most about living in Barcelona?
Manuela: I love living in Barcelona, ​​it is a rich city, rich in culture,
diversity and creativity. There are so many amazing people eager to do things and that inspires me. But I also like to keep a distance from my mountain …

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TheShortcutsBubble: GANGANDTHEWOOL is a very interesting name, how did you pick it and in what way is it related to flowers?
Manuela: GANGANDTHEWOOL was initially born as a design project. The moment I started working with flowers, I thought I should include the word “FLOWERS” in the name, so it should have been something like GANGANDTHEFLOWERS 😉 However, I’ve always found interesting a name to include more than flowers… but now this is the fundamental material in our work.

TheShortcutsBubble: What is your signature, how do we recognise GANGANDTHEWOOL in a room full of flowers?
Manuela: I like to think that my signature is one that results from combining beautiful and perfect fresh flowers (directly imported from the world’s largest market, Alsmeer – Netherlands) with local Mediterranean materials (directly collected by me), to make improvised bucolic bouquets. I strive to give my bouquets that spontaneous character residing in the original gesture of picking flowers and to forget the rigidity of the structures necessary for technical reasons. Such compositions I like and fascinate me. So that’s how I’d like to distinguish myself.

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TheShortcutsBubble: I’ve noticed that you work a lot with brides, what is the best part about it?
Manuela: I love working for brides, brides who value our essence and who are fond of our style. We like them to know our way of working and fully trust the result that we offer. This is how we get the best results. Last year, for instance, we travelled to Formentera by a van full of flowers and also collected material from the area, which brought so much authenticity to the result.

TheShortcutsBubble: What other services do you offer and which do you enjoy the most?
Manuela: I love writing poetry and evoke emotions with flowers and with a minimum of authentic materials. We work for weddings and events, we also offer workshops for celebrations in our greenhouse, decorate hotels, bars and shops in Barcelona. We are also open to create any project that comes our way, sets for movies, photo shoots, all that is feasible to be decorated with flowers.

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TheShortcutsBubble: What was the best collaboration you’ve ever had so far or the best project you’ve ever worked on?
Manuela: Right now, we are preparing for a great adventure starting this March. We will provide flowers for the Monument Hotel, a five star hotel located in the emblematic Paseo de Gracia. By the magnitude of the project, the effort and the dedication put into it, I think it represents the largest project I’ve worked on so far.

TheShortcutsBubble: What flowers do you love the most to work with?
Manuela: I love all flowers.. think they are a celebration of beauty. Obviously I do not look at them one by one, in detail, all the time… but even when I put them in a vase to decorate my house, I find it rewarding. The arrangement, the combination and the result look so alive… sometimes all you need are a few herbs and two or three imperfect flowers to create poetry with…

TheShortcutsBubble: Is there some plant or flower you never use in your designs?
Manuela: No, there are no flowers or plants that I do not use. I think they all will look perfect within a composition and when choosing a specific container. I like twigs, dead leaves, peonies, I like each and every one of them.

TheShortcutsBubble: Is it enough to have a creative eye in order to make a good florist or does it require thorough qualifications?
Manuela: Flowers, you have to feel them…. otherwise the result will be perfect, but lifeless. It is very important to observe the flowers and combine them so as to transmit emotions: the passion and sensitivity behind a piece. I am not a fan of excessive consumption and medals. I am passionate about my job and that is what I wish to convey. I like consistency in things. Having a creative eye is essential, but it is essential in all fields today… Therefore, what I value the most when selecting my assistants is rather their sensibility. I am quite radical and work many hours. It is hard work, with all types of weather and there is a lot of pressure… but in this profession the perfect result is only achieved through effort, dedication and hard work.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Is it difficult to keep the balance between being creative and doing business?
Manuela: No, I don’t think it’s difficult… just that I’m not good with
negociating (jijiji!)… But I think everything is in knowing that everything has a price. The flowers are expensive and this happens because a lot of energy is used to produce more and more flowers everywhere in the world, every time of year. It’s the same with flowers like with tomatoes for example: it is unthinkable to have the same price in January as in June. At times they come from Chile, so we can enjoy them.
The world of flowers, is a very complex world involving the work of many people. It is a complex business and a daily struggle, in which the overall result is magical, but not easy and sometimes harmful. I’m too aware of these things and it is very important to educate to build a real world and not to take pride in using more flowers.

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TheShortcutsBubble: If you weren’t to work with flowers, what else do you picture yourself doing?
Manuela: I love flowers, it is my passion and I’ll always be linked to them in a way. I’m interested in a lot more research on cultivating organic flowers for example… and although is not yet feasible, I like to play with the idea. Right now I’m also working on some garden design projects and I find it exciting to prospect the compositions and the mixtures of colors that can be achieved. It is an endless world that I want to be part of FOREVER.

TheShortcutsBubble: What advice would you give to someone who wants to start a flower business?
Manuela: Be prepared to work. It is the kind of work that requires great dedication and many hours, but it also bring much satisfaction.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s in plan for 2016?
Manuela: 2016 will be a year full of new projects, I’m truly happy and feel very fortunate to do what I love.

TheShortcutsBubble: And your favourite scent is ….
Manuela: Mmmmm, I have many favourite scents… the smell of tuberose, jasmine, the scent of honey given off by almond trees …. scented roses, hyacinths …. I could go on forever… nothing seems more exciting than the deep smell of flowers.

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Thank you, Manuela, for sharing the lovely insights of your beautiful,  scented world…

Photo credits go to:
www.umamifotografia.com
and
www.laralopezphotography.com

Article by: Andreea R.
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GANG AND THE WOOL

LECKERBAER – REINVENTING THE DANISH BUTTER COOKIES

Name: Gabi (29) & Jakob (30)

Profession: both are formally educated chefs, with many years of experience in Michelin-starred restaurant around the world

Country: Switzerland (Gabi) & Denmark (Jakob), currently living in Copenhagen

Website: www.leckerbaer.dk
Instagram: @leckerbaer

After having previously focused on healthy eating and dietetic cuisine, it’s high time for some decadent treats, just to keep the balance straight. This is how we got to Leckerbaer, a gourmet pastry shop located in Copenhagen, where you can enjoy not only the famous Danish butter biscuits but also cream puffs, brownies, blondies, cookies and delicious coffee.

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The characters behind this story are Jakob and Gabi Bär Mogensenused, a couple who worked in several  Michelin-starred restaurants before they decided on a fresh, sweet start. What makes Leckerbaer different is the fact that one can look see inside the kitchen right from the street and follow the process all the way.

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TheShortcutsBubble: For someone with a sweet tooth like me, your idea of exchanging Michelin stars for Danish butter cookies is nothing but brilliant. What made you decide on a fresh start like this?
Leckerbaer: After working many years in the kitchen, we felt that the time was right to pursue our main interest in the sweet kitchen. We both love desserts, chocolate and cakes, so it was actually an easy decision. To work with what you like the most is a dream coming true.

TheShortcutsBubble: What sets you apart from the pastry shop round the corner, what makes you a favourite?
Leckerbaer: In Copenhagen, pastry shops like ours can be counted on two hands. What makes us different is our main product, the  “hindbærsnitte”,  which is our own version of the Danish classic. It is a butter biscuit with raspberry jam and sugar icing, a favourite especially for kids.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Your motto says: “reinventing the Danish butter cookies”… what is it that you bring new to the traditional recipe?
Leckerbaer: We try to make each cake their own. A lot of the cakes are based on old recipes, but we try to mix it up with different new ingredients and techniques.

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TheShortcutsBubble: What inspires you to create new desserts?
Leckerbaer: The flavours and the textures, since these are the most important elements. Everything should fit together – sweet, sour, chewy, crunchy, soft. When we have the flavours set, we try to make the best out of them, sometimes it works out 🙂

TheShortcutsBubble: How would you describe your philosophy on food?
Leckerbaer: In our pastry shop we always try to find quality in the products we use. When you have something really good, you don’t need the same amount.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the one item always on the ingredients shopping list?
Leckerbaer: Good chocolate. Chocolate is a product where you can’t cheat. We buy our chocolate in Switzerland from Felchlin. In our opinion they make the best chocolate in the world and at the same time it is a brand that works a lot with sustainability and shows respect for people and nature when making their chocolate.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Your favourite flavour in the bakery kitchen?
Leckerbaer: Chocolate, chocolate and chocolate! Did we mention we have a thing for chocolate?
🙂

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s the country with the best desserts ever, or at least what’s your favourite?
Leckerbaer: Difficult question… all countries have something where they are the best. That’s also what makes it so interesting to travel around and “taste” the different countries!

TheShortcutsBubble: What does an ordinary day look like at Leckerbaer?
Leckerbaer: We start to produce early morning, so we can have everything fresh and ready when the shop opens at 10. We refill the shop during the day, so everything is as fresh as possible. On a normal day we also have one or two tests of cakes or desserts to do.

TheShortcutsBubble: What’s next? Any expansion plans for the near future?
Leckerbaer: Since our shop is only a little more than one year old, we still have our hands full with developing and trying a lot of new things 🙂 In a few years, who knows…

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Gabi and Jakob, the two “magicians” behind the Leckerbaer story. Thank you so much, it was a real pleasure! 🙂

Article by: Andreea R.
TheShortcutsBubble

LECKERBAER – REINVENTING THE DANISH BUTTER COOKIES

DANS LE RESPECT DE DAME NATURE

Name: Angèle Ferreux-Maeght

Profession: Chef (organic and dietetic cuisine)

Country: France (Paris)

Website: www.laguinguettedangele.com

For those who want to indulge in delicious healthy treats, La Guinguette d’Angèle (34 Rue Coquillière, Paris) is the perfect place to be.
Angèle Ferreux-Maeght, the Parisian young Chef specialised in organic, dietetic cusine, strongly believes in the indisputable connection between gastronomy, health and well being, while using exclusively bio and gluten free local products. In consequence, what she does is not only amazingly beautiful but also 100% healthy.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Growing up between Paris and Provence, in a very artistic environment, everybody would have expected you to follow in your family’s footsteps and become a very successful art dealer. Why dietetic cuisine instead of art? How did it happen?
Angèle: Cuisine is also a form of art and art is also a healing force! Coming from an artistic family makes my choice for cooking and alternative medicine even more natural, doesn’t it? I also wanted to create my own path in life and start my company from scratch.

TheShortcutsBubble: Tell us about how the encounter with Céleste Candido (famous French naturopath) changed your life.
Angèle: It changed everything. Céleste truly represents everything I look up to. She isn’t driven by fear and  she helps people by understanding their symptoms in a holistic manner. Her belief is that a healthy person needs to have a healthy relationship with certain definite factors (i.e people, sports, food, sleep, fulfilment at work). She views health as a whole, a balance and harmony between these elements. I immediately embraced her philosophy and constructed my values upon it.

TheShortcutsBubble: You studied naturopathy at Cenatho Eupean College in Paris. How does this reflect in your cuisine and your lifestyle, what are the principles that guide you?
Angèle: All my cuisine is based on that science. I don’t do dairy free vegan or gluten free for the fashion of it, but because I know the physiological impact such a diet can have on people and the environment. In my work, as well as in my life, I stay ethical and true to my previously stated values. For me it is ideal to be able to combine pleasure and consciousness.

TheShortcutsBubble: Delicieusement Green by Angèle, a recipe book for a happy and healthy lifestyle. How are gastronomy, health and well being linked together?
Angèle: They all have their role in the complex recipe of happiness, thus they are deeply intertwined.

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TheShortcutsBubble: What did you keep from the traditional French cuisine and what did you take out, because of being extremely unhealthy?
Angèle: For me it’s more about taking out any processed food and non ethical  products using pesticides. I believe in LOCAL “terroire” and embrace every culture of the ingredients I use.

TheShortcutsBubble: Any tips to keep us in good shape? What are your “superingredients”?
Angèle: Eat with consciousness (know what you eat), chew the ingredients and eat slowly, laugh, breath! My superingredients are: seaweed (chlorella, klamath, spiraling.. all of them), hemp and Macca…. and sports (as a life ingredient)!

TheShortcutsBubble: What do you snack on if you are hungry when you shouldn’t be?
Angèle: Avocado with gomashio and lemon, it’s very filling and amazing for the skin (it’s full of rich oil that your body doesn’t produce by its own)

TheShortcutsBubble: La Guinguette d’Angèle (organic and detox boutique and catering service) is a very successful story, which brought you collaborations with very big names, especially in the field of fashion. Which of them has been the most impressive so far?
Angèle: The fact that these huge brands choose to collaborate with La Guinguette… it’s true, it’s sort of crazy to collaborate daily with huge brands such as Hermes, Dior, Louis Vuitton etc… I can’t believe it myself!

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TheShortcutsBubble: We’ve just mentioned fashion and you are French.. so the following question is kind of inevitable…:) How would you describe your style?
Angèle: My style reflects the way I am: colourful (helps me to be happy), vintage and playful (never the same sock colour on each foot, rainbow nail polish etc.). In Paris there’s this true cliché and everybody is dressed in black and never smiles. I make my own little protest everyday by just being colourful and joyful in the streets! Fashion is maybe the key to success hahaha ?!

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TheShortcutsBubble: What is in your opinion the worst fashion faux pas.. something you’d never wear?
Angèle: To dress oneself out of shame. You should always embrace who you are and wear something that YOU love, instead of trying to fit into what models on magazines tell you.

TheShortcutsBubble: You lived in the USA and Australia for a while, what did you miss the most about France?
Angèle: I missed the cultural and historical world you can find just by opening your eyes in the streets of Paris. you don’t even have to read a book or go to the museum, you just need to “flâner” (wander) through the streets of Paris. It’s also very easy to find local organic products for a reasonable price at markets such as le marché d’Aligre.

TheShortcutsBubble: The best thing about living in Paris is ….
Angèle: Its beauty. It really is a GORGEOUS city!

Find Angèle here:
@laguinguettedangelle (on Instagram)
or here:
http://laguinguettedangele.com
http://laguinguettedangele.tumblr.com

La Guinguette d’Angèle – cuisine biologique, sans gluten, de saison!

Article by: Andreea R.
TheShortcutsBubble

DANS LE RESPECT DE DAME NATURE

Paper Me Nude

Name: Hilde Mork – born 1978

Profession: graphic designer, but has also done styling and  photography for magazines and books

Country: Norway

Webshop: www.hildemork.com

Instagram: @hildemork78

 

By far, the best thing about running this blog is that I get to talk to so many wonderful people from all over. To some of them I just feel an instant connection, because they’re not only super inspiring and talented, but also very warm and friendly. Hilde is one of these lovely people and I’m happy she wanted to share her story:

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TheShortcutsBubble: Tell us a bit about your background and about how you got to work as a (freelance) graphic designer.
HM: I got my BA (Hons) degree in England, Institute of Surrey. Then, back to Oslo I started Commando Group, a design studio where I worked as a partner and senior graphic designer for almost 9 years. When I got pregnant with my 2nd child, we decided we wanted a house with a garden and ended up in Skien. Having this long experience as a business partner and someone with lots of responsibilities concerning their staff, I soon realised that I wanted to work on my own and chance made that here in Skien I met Jeanette Lunde, who guided me into the new life as a freelancer. I´m very grateful to her! Today I work with graphic design, but have been lucky to enlarge my horizon and work with styling and photography as well.

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TheShortcutsBubble: From digital to print, Paper Me (Nude) is a really cool project. What inspired you to start?
HM: Thank you! I think it´s all about taking back those moments which are so ephemeral in the digital word. And after all, I´m a graphic designer and I love paper! I hope to print more issues or similar publications.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Why VSCO (digital) and why matte paper (print)?
HM: I love matte paper because it makes the pictures more soft, and the feeling of the paper is unique. VSCO helps me to give some of the pictures the same feeling and it is a very good tool when it comes to adding a personal touch to them. I use less filters these days, but I still use VSCO to edit my pictures before bringing them to life on matte paper.

TheShortcutsBubble: You say “nude” stands for being true to yourself. Is it also something related to the renown Scandinavian clean and minimalistic style?
HM: Yes, Nude is all about being yourself. Nowadays too many people think they have to be in a certain way due to all the influences from trends, the digital world etc, but after all, aren’t we the happiest when we are tuned in to our own speed, lusts and taste? Less is always more!

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TheShortcutsBubble: How did the idea of using Instagram as a personal sketchbook occur to you?
HM: It all started when I realised that I enjoyed taking pictures, not only with my iPhone, but also with a proper camera. By posting pictures I slowly found out what I liked or not, daring to expose my style. Instagram was like a book, I started to mix and match the pictures to give the followers and myself a nice feed. My mood and my life decide the theme and I try not to be too fixed on a certain style, although I hope I have a style which says *Hilde*!

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TheShortcutsBubble: Any advice on how to set up your own business and make it work?

HM: Be patient, polite and work hard! Take breaks, be with your family and friends and the most important – do what you love and are able to do! The rest.. find good people to work with.

TheShortcutsBubble: Have you run into obstacles along the way? If yes, how did you surpass them?
HM: Yes, many! But they have all given me new strength and knowledge! It was learning by doing!

TheShortcutsBubble: How do you picture the future? What are your plans/projects/hopes?
HM: I hope I can work more with my prints, make more books (ref: The Little Christmas Book that I made with the eco baker, Siv) and to always be open to work with new things!

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TheShortcutsBubble: Where can people admire and purchase your beautiful work?
HM: On my own web-shop and there are also other stores in Norway (Houz Oslo, Nordiske Rom etc), Europe (Poster Club – Denmark, Frau Hansen – Germany) and Australia (Simple) that sell my prints.

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TheShortcutsBubble: Any blog or Instagram profile that you like and find really inspiring?
HM: Oh, so many people to admire! But I have to mention Beth Kirby (@local_milk), Studio Oink and Jennifer (@amerrymishap). They have what I like, that clean, Nordic style added with American, sober, but lush and blooming touch.

Hilde Mork

Paper Me – Nude, the story about being true to oneself… Thank you so much for the inspiration, Hilde!

Article by: Andreea R.
TheShortcutsBubble

Paper Me Nude