We are pleased to introduce our fourth Girl Crush post. The one woman power house, Petra Gardefjord – founder of Swedish brand, Mini Mocks. Fiona asks the questions.
I had the pleasure of meeting Petra in real life when she presented at the Wilding Workshop here in the UK recently. For those who don’t know you, Petra, please tell us a little about you.
Hi! My name is Petra and I’m the mother of Frank (4.5) and Liv (2.5). We’re also expecting baby number 3 in December 2015. Me and Martin met 6 years ago, but it actually feels like yesterday. The time has just flown past us and it’s amazing how fantastic our life has become together. We like adventures and traveling with the kids. We take our bikes out a lot when the weather permits and we have visited many countries together. It’s the best way to get to know each other, even as a family. Our kids are very playful, they don’t argue much but definitely have their own wills and they have completely different personalities.
I’m the creator and owner of Mini Mocks and this is really my 3rd (well 4th) baby. It’s very fulfilling to create something from scratch by yourself, there is no better feeling. Same goes with making babies!
What’s one of the most exciting things you find about running a business?
Since I started Mini Mocks about two years ago I’ve learnt so much about running a business. There is no better way to learn, than by experience. I’m completely self taught and haven’t been so good at listening to people’s advice 😉 I don’t like to ask for help. The only person that gets to hear it all is Martin and he is the most positive person you will ever meet! Only good energy. So the most exciting thing about it all, is that I never know what’s next. What’s around the corner, who will email me about an exciting collaboration.
Planning. For sure! (Funny, it goes hand-in-hand with what I find exciting)
I’m the worst. I was never an optimist before, but for some reason I am now. With work, the actual production of our products, I’m like, I can do that in an afternoon. And it ends up taking me three days. So annoying… and also to put work to one side, that’s tricky too. Especially when we work with the whole world, there is always someone awake somewhere. And it’s hard to take a weekend or a holiday.
One of the things I most admire about you is your supportive approach with other businesses. You’ve collaborated with Gardner & The Gang and Tiny Cottons, have you got any new collabs launching soon that you can tell us about?
Yes I really love a good collaboration! I just released a new design with Melissa Sonico whom I’m a big fan of. Check out her blog. They are out of stock already so we are making more! I’m also working on a moccasin together with MINGO dropping next week and there will be more from Gardner and the Gang and us too. Another exciting collaboration before Christmas is with a trendy Swedish toy maker brand. Can’t say more about that, but I’m super proud and honored!
What inspires you?
I try to look for inspiration away from children’s fashion, and children’s interior designs. And I wish that this was a more common way… I find colors, textures, details, patterns and feelings that I like and I try to adapt them to my moccasins. I save a lot of pics on my computer and, if I could, I would release over 50 models tomorrow – that’s how many ideas I have waiting. But I have to take one step at a time and focus on what I have got. Focus on selling that!
I know you’re well travelled, so if you could live anywhere, where would it be?
Copenhagen! I’ve lived in many tropical countries and, to be honest, it’s not on my wish list anymore. So another beautiful city would be Copenhagen in Denmark. The people and the atmosphere is quite similar to Stockholm but more relaxed and down to earth.
I find it hard to juggle home and work. Do you have tips on how to make the best of your family time without work getting involved?
We have our kids at preschool (daycare) every day of the week. It’s how it works here in Sweden. It makes the society more equal since both parents are out at work. That’s what I think. But of course it makes you question the time you spend away from your children too. That’s why we tend to do a lot of things together during the weekends and sometimes take a Friday off too. I’m looking forward to my maternity leave coming January since it will give me more time with the other two as well. But I’m not good at all at juggling the tasks at home and my company. Martin is doing a lot in the household and sometimes I wonder when he will get fed up and leave, hahaha There is no such thing as life balance. But as long as we are happy, it works anyway.
Have you got any holidays booked?
I’m going to Austria in November to visit my lovely friend Kinga from Four Monkeys. She is the sweetest person ever and I just had to see her before the baby was born. A little risky to travel this late in the pregnancy but I’m sure I’ll manage!
When you’re not pregnant, what’s your favourite alcoholic tipple?
I only drink beer and wine really. And some Champagne or Cava! Bubbles makes me happy!
What are your favourite fashion brands (for you)?
For myself at the moment I’m very fond of COS, &otherstories and, of course, Acne. But being pregnant I just can’t find any inspiration at all. Nothing fits and I hate how all tees are too short and all pants are too tight. I’m actually not someone that looooves being pregnant. I kind of long for the end already from the beginning.
And, finally, what does the future hold for you, Mini Mocks and your family?
Well, we are having another baby. So that’s big, right?! We are taking some time off together but Mini Mocks will run as usual. I’ll try to stay away for a bit 😉 We also want to make a big trip end of 2016, beginning of 2017 to Australia or maybe Asia again!
As for the business, we are looking to expand our production and will be contacting more retailers for the winter and spring. It’s a huge step but has to be taken now!
Thanks so much Petra for giving us an insight into your world. You are such an inspiration with an infectious appetite for life and adventures.