Cappi and Margaux on their way down town.
Please read this blogpost on my new blog page click here: Jennifer new blog
Yesterday after school Micke and I took the girls down to Chrystie Street on the Lower East Side. The girls have had their photos taken by a casting agent and now the agency wanted to update the photos. The girls are quite used to being photographed as their mom, me, is a fashion stylist and on top of that I was the Fashion Editor for Mama magazine in Sweden for seven years (Mama is a high end, stylish magazine for mothers).
I always used to bring my kids along to the photoshoots we did as more often than not one of the kids we had booked would not want to participate. Especially Celeste has been in many shoots as she was only two years when we started mama and nine when I left the magazine.
We of course used our transportation of choice: NYC subway.
These two are so cute because they love to dress the same. So if Margaux decides to wear the fur vest and jeans jacket, so must Cappi.
We took an artsy photograph of through the metal wall in the subway cart.
On our way from the subway to the agency I saw this really cool wall that I haven't seen before on Houston Street and Bowery. Of course we had to stop and take a bunch of photos.
Celeste and Cappi wanted to take the subway back and Micke, Margaux and I decided to walk. I have this new fitness challenge with my friend Anna; the one that walks the most steps in a month has to buy the other a really nice dinner. I am not going to let her win! However, it is going to be super tough as she is a fitness freak and gets up and does spinning every morning at 6AM.
Micke and Margaux walking up 5th Av.
Have a great Saturday everyone!
Say Hello to Cappi!
This fun 5-year old is like a cartoon character. She has a strong will and does things her own way. Like having breakfast in her raincoat or watching TV upside down. A bit like Pippi.
You can often find her wearing goggles or sunglasses even when she sleeps. Her favorite color is red and she likes Elmo a lot. She also uses the fridge as a home for her smurfs.
She lives on Manhattan and many of you might recognize her as Jennifer Jansch´s daughter. Follow their blog at Bag-All and @bag_all on instagram.
Jennifer and I were busy photographing their apartment when Cappi came home from a water fight in central park. I asked if I could photograph her in her room. Cappi ,still in her bathing suite, gave me shoulder shrug that I translated as a “Yes” and headed upstairs. I hurried after her.
“I have a really big Elmo in my room that might be nice to photograph” she said.
Someone should make a movie about this girl she is very fascinating.
Cappi´s room is on the second floor in the apartment. There is a book shelf. A bunk bed and a wardrobe. A big yellow carpet covers most of the wooden floor and one wall is painted in bright green chalk board paint.
Click the images for a larger experience. Enjoy.
Cappi is born in Sweden but lives in NYC with her familyCappi just got back from a water fight in Central Park.
Cappi in a new set of clothes. PS:The fabric on the shelf is for Cappi´s moms giftbags.
Rules by Cappi
Happy happy and sometimes super stern.
Drawings taped to the windowStuff under Cappi´s bed: A desk. A kitchen. A magnifying glass. Air conditioning unit. Stuffed toys and other toys.
The wall is painted in chalk board paint
Big Bird and Elmo.
Who knew apple shaped glasses could look so fierceThank you for having me over.
Cappi lives with her family The Jansch´s on Manhattan. I´ve visited them before with my camera. At their summer house. And in their old apartment in Stockholm. Follow their adventures on their blog at Bag-All and @bag_all on instagram.
I am so happy to announce that Amazon, the largest web store in the world, have bought my Bag-all bags. So today Micke and I worked on shipping them out to Amazon. It is really hard to understand how to do everything the way Amazon wants it to be done, but I guess once you get a hang of it, it works smoothly.
Today we shipped out Bag-all's new 4-packs. I am doing four different 4-packs. The first one is a Women's Travel kit with the Hair dryer bag, the Wash me! Please, Ballerinas and Lingerie. These will very shortly be available here at bag-all.com. Will keep you posted.
This is what it looks like behind the scenes when Micke and I work. He takes care of most of the paperwork. I am so grateful he does it as there is nothing that more effectively kills creativity than receipts and book keeping.
Last night Micke and I had a night out. First we went to one of our favourite places on the Upper West Side, The Smith Restaurant. They have amazing seafood and on mondays they have pork that has been cooked for 24 hours.
Then we went to "The Tuesday Club", an event organised by the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for entrepreneurs held at the über cool Swedish pr agency Mother on 11th Avenue. This guy is guarding the entrance.
The speaker of the evening was Fredrik Heghammar, a swedish guy who is a Senior Executive Producer at Google Creative Labs. A super secret place where a bunch of people try to think up the most mind-blowing ideas for the future. Fredrik of course couldn't talk about most of it, but he shared the story of his life and how he got to where he is today. He ended his talk by concluding:
* Chase your passion. So true! Whenever we do what we are passionate about it doesn't even feel like work.
* Be true to yourself. Only way to go!
* Be brave. Do it even though you are scared!
* Embrace opportunities. I think hard work makes us open to recognising opportunities when they appear. If we aren't prepared I think we might miss them.
Oprah has this TV-show on Sundays called Super Soul Sunday. On the show she interviews the great "thought-leaders" of our time such as Deepak Chopra, Gary Zukav etc. I just think it is so awesome that Oprah has created this show to share very important ideas with everyone. In fact she had to create her own TV-channel (very appropriately called OWN, Oprah Winfrey Network) to be able to do it.
Mastin Kip has been on Super Soul Sunday. I have written about him and his newsletter (you can sign up for it on www.dailylove.com for free) before. Each day he sends an e-mail with reflections on different subject. It is uncanny how often his news letters refer to something that I am thinking about/struggling with/blogging about at the moment.
If you have read my last couple of blog posts you know that I have written about moving from Sweden and starting my company Bag-all. I was scared to do it to say the least as there certainly where NO guarantees it would work. I left everything I knew behind and began a journey along a foreign path.
Many times Mastins e-mails have talked about doing things despite your fears and moving forward regardless of things going wrong (however, when things do go "wrong" more often than not they are turn out to be the right thing in the end - maybe you don't get what you WANT but you do get what you NEED). This has taught me to think about my life and business differently and most definitely helped me.
Today Mastin Kip wrote in his news letter:
In my life, I have had three major revelations that have helped me step out of thoughts of fear and lack and step into a life of greater & greater abundance.
Here they are:
1. The Uni-verse will support you in manifesting your Purpose because It created you to do so.
2. Love is where you come from and It is your birthright. It is a basic principle to Love your Creator, Love yourself and Love your fellow sentient beings with the same Love that you have for yourself.
3. Things always work out for the best.
By slowly realizing these principles above, my life has gone from itty-bitty tiny to huge.
If it's true that the Uni-verse will support me in my purpose, then that means any thoughts I have and actions I do that are not aligned with my purpose are actually making my life harder, more stressful and less full. All those fearful thoughts of lack, all those doubting thoughts about whether I will be taken care of or not have never proved to be true. What I had to do was sacrifice my ego's desires and let go of any past identity of what I thought I "deserved" and instead, accept the gifts of my journey. This doesn't mean you will live in a mansion after the first week of living your purpose. In my case, I lived in an 8x8 room for a year. But it was worth it. I knew the seeds I was sowing would grow.
And I was supported and I am still supported. From fragile beginnings the roots of my journey have begun to support a stronger hold on Life.
This will be the same for you. You WILL be supported, not in the way that you want to be, but in the way that you need to be.
If it's true that Love is where you came from and that you gotta love your fellow beings the way you love yourself, it's important that you love yourself; because if you hate yourself, then that means you'll hate your neighbors, too. So it's vitally important that you get to work on loving you. Eventually as you grow in the Love for yourself, you will be more and more full, and be able to share that love with others.
If you believe that things always work out for the best, then this will give you an empowered point of view through which to interpret the events of your life. When things go "wrong", you'll know it's for the best and then make the best of it. This point of view is sooooo important to incorporate into your life. If you do, you will be able to overcome any challenge. And challenges will come on The Path.
I couldn't agree more with every word he writes!
Here is another thing that is for free:
Oprah and Deepak Chopras Meditation Challenge. Once in a while they do 21 day mediation challenges. All you have to do is sit down and listen with your eyes closed for 20 minutes a day for three weeks. Really, thinking about it it could not be easier. But of course it IS hard to find the time. I have so far never managed to complete a challenge. I have missed a day here and there, but I still feel the effects of it.
Why don't we try it together? Starts April 14th.
This is where you sign up:
Continued from Part 1 (previous blog post)
In 2009 we moved back to Sweden (livingroom in our Stockholm apartment above). Over the next few years I worked on my list. From time to time I forgot about it, then something would come up and I would look at it and add to it again.
In the fall of 2011 we were ready to move back to New York. We sold our apartment and our furniture in Stockholm and took the big leap! Scared doesn't even begin to describe how I felt. But at the same time I had a feeling that if we don't do this now, try to live our dream, it will never happen.
Once we got settled in New York I again started thinking about my business. I started researching fabric bags, fabrics, ribbons etc. I soon realised that in order to make this work I would have to make my own prints as I wanted the bags to match so people could use the bags together. Now how does one do that? I have no schooling in pattern design. Where do you even print fabrics? I knew nothing.
I made many many sample bags myself and tried different models. Lined, unlined. Ribbon at the top, ribbon lower. Silk ribbons (they fray), grosgrain ribbon (works).
Here is Celeste with an "experiment" bag. Pink and brown striped with dotted lining.
Margaux with a bag with sculls.
Bags photographed at our summer house in Sweden, where I get a lot of inspiration and do a lot of my work.
I began to understand that I would not be able to make the bags myself as I am not a seamstress and besides if it works out the quantities would be too large. I therefore started looking at factories.
I researched factories in the New York area as I would have liked to have dem "locally" made. It turned out that would be too expensive. See a big part of my idea is that people can actually afford the bags.
As I think the idea of "reuse" is so important I wanted to make the bags available to everyone. (In fact, if you keep the bags in your family and give them back an forth to each other, my bags are much cheaper in the long run than buying paper, tape and string.)
Eventually I understood that China would be the best option for me. The prices could be kept down and I could make my own prints on a small scale (all my prints are hand printed in eco-friendly colours).
I contacted about 20 factories in China and eventually had ten of them make samples. In July 2013 I got the first shipment of bags. I was so excited. Unfortunately a big part of the bags, about 40% could not be sold as they had something wrong with them. Some were dirty, some had mismatch prints, some had crocked stitching. Basically all things that can go wrong with a bag. This was really a big disappointment. But I had to focus on the 60% I could sell,
Here are some images of the bags in my first collection.
Picture by Jenny Brandt
Picture by Jenny Grimsgård
The whole family under our oak tree in Sweden.
Picture by Jenny Brandt
I will continue this story in next blog post.
I often get the question how I came up with the idea for Bag-all and I can tell you that it was a long process. In fact it took me several years from when I first got the idea to when it was ready. And in between everything that could possibly go wrong of course did.
Let me rewind a few years. Back in 2008 when Caprice was born Micke and I decided to move to New York for a while to see what it would be like to live here with children. I had lived in New York during most of the 90-ies and knew I loved it. Then I met my husband Micke in 1997 and he started loving New York as well.
In Sweden we have 12 months maternity leave so we decided to go for it.
We rented a one bedroom apartment in a town house on 73rd street between Park Avenue and Lexington Av.
It was during this time I started to understand that I would have to create my own business in order to be free. Free to live where ever we would like and free to spend my time the way I choose to. I also realised that my business would have to be some sort of product that would be produced over and over. Working as a stylist and journalist you can only sell your "story" once and then you have to start on a new one.
So this was the starting point.
I then started making a list of what I would like my product to be like. I still had NO idea what the product would be. At the top of my list I had written:
* Something eco-friendly
Then I got inspired by a british husband and wife team selling prints, www.thecalmgallery.com. I though how clever to sell something flat that can be stored in your house and is easy to ship. So next on my list:
* Flat, easy to store and ship
I want to be able to be anywhere in the World:
* Needs to be web-based.
I think it is necessary to write everything down in order to accomplish your dream. It is as if things your physically write on paper is more likely to happen than things you just think about. According to "The Secret" the Universe starts organising itself to help in the realising goals when they are clearly set and I believe that is true.
I kept on adding to the list over a couple of years. Anything that inspired me went on the list. I think this process made me ready "recognise" the product when I finally came across it in 2011. I was browsing the internet looking for a fabric bag for some jewellery when I saw a few web-shops selling reusable fabric gift bags. I thought that this was such an awesome idea. But I didn't like the designs at all. So I thought that with my background as a stylist here is an area where my expertise could add something. And I also thought making fabric bags, how hard can it be?!!? Little did I know.
Here is the very first bag I made for a friends birthday.
Part 2: Production, tomorrow!
Happy Sunday everyone!
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As we were in Sweden right before Margauxs birthday, March 2nd, and we were unsure of when we were going to come back we didn't plan a party for her. However, we made up for it yesterday by having a sleepover bonanza with five of her best friends.
I made the invitation for the party with the fantastic app RedStamp
We started by buying some decorations for the party. Margaux is obsessed with mustaches so she chose these balloons. It is kind of hard walking windy streets with a bunch of helium balloons, but it sure looks good!
When the girls came, Celeste had made a "scavenger hunt" for them. This is something we do every birthday. The girls get clues to find a price. They have to run from here to there with clues pointing them in different directions. At the end the girls found their "sleepover-gear", which was sleeping masks and beauty parlour stuff.
Girls having beauty parlour. Celeste braiding hair. Me doing nails. One of the girls making glitter tattoos.
Margaux with her home made face mask on (mashed cucumber with yoghurt, honey and suger). Cappi tried it too and after removing it (after two minutes) she looked herself in the mirror saying her skin looked "clear" haha (I love her sooo much!!!!)