Where: At the magical summer house Ekbacken in Sörmland, two right turns from Stockholm but several miles from reality. Mostly because visiting Ekbacken is like stepping right into a fairytale.
When: A late summers day in August 2014 when the warm weather was still lingering and the grass was blowing in the wind.
How: Among heavenly dresses, bubbly baths, tree houses and sparkling games.
Two right turns from Stockholm and getting closer to Ekbacken, the summer residence of the Jansch family in Sörmland. We turn in on the small gravel road and anticipate with all our senses that we are getting closer to the idyll.
At the end of the road there is a red wood house with a gigantic fairytale-like oak tree, which we later find out has been named Albus by the three sisters Celeste 13, Margaux 9 and Caprice, aka Cappi, 6. Jennifer waves from an open window on the top floor and we enter a house that most likely both Pippi Longstocking and Anna Wintour would call a dream house.
Jennifer Jansch is the uberinspiring stylist who was one of the founders of Mama and Family Living. In year 2011 she took the big leap and made her dreams come true by moving to New York with her husband Micke and the girls. Jennifer now runs her own business Bag-all – a brand with a unique eco-friendly idea of reducing garbage by reusing fabric gift bags and storage bags.
Thank you the Jansch family for having us over! Your universe moved ours to a slightly more magical dimension.
Photo: Linda Alfvegren
Tell us about your journey with Bag-all. Berätta om din resa med Bag-all.
Well, I got tired of all the garbage created by gift wrapping around the holiday season each year. I thought there must be a better , more sustainable way to do the gift-wrapping so I started experimenting with reusable fabric bags. When I gave the bags to my friends they started using them for other things such as putting their hairdryer in it. That’s how the idea for the Organizing Collection was born.
Your best advice as a mother?
Not to say “no” too often to small things when the kids are little as if you do they won’t listen when it’s really important. When they get older I don’t think a parent should let them “decide” too many things, as that is putting the adults responsibility on the shoulders of the child. You aren’t doing the kids any favour by letting them “rule”. Quite the opposite. And the most important thing: give them love in overdoses! Kisses and hugs and praise, telling them how much you love them every day. The combination of lots of love and being quite strikt is a very good one.
What is the hardest thing as a mom?
To me it is keeping the house in order. Three kids mess it up in no time and if you are messy like I am it makes matters worse!
What are some of your favourite things in life?
When I see my children’s different personalities, they are so completely different. To hear their thoughts about different things. I often get aha-moments from my kids.
What inspires you?
Peoples energy! I get so much wonderful respons from people. They e-mail me, comment on my blog, comes up to me in the street. Honestly I had no idea people in general are so generous.
If you had more time? Om du hade mer tid?
Work our more, do more yoga, take massages more often.
What makes you happy?
People who care about the environment.
What do you do on a Saturday?
Most often I have made tons of plans, which the children can find kind of annoying. I want to take the opportunity to go somewhere, see new things. If the girls get to decide they want to be in their pyjamas all day.
What does your everyday life look like?
The children, my husband, work, workout/yoga, friends. Pretty much in that order.
Ekbacken, our summer house in Sweden and our roof top terrass in New York.
What are your dreams at the moment?
A Bag-all store in New York and more people to help me with my business.
Best vacation spot?
Five things you can’t live without?
If I have to choose things that would be: my iPhone, my computer, my wallet, sewing machine, clothes.
How do you decorate the girls rooms?
Exactly the way they want it.
Put out cucumber, carrot sticks, mini-tomatoes on the table before dinner. I have never seen a child that does not eat his/hers vegetables then!
Do you want to give a general tip?
I have a film on my website where I show how to make my bags yourself.
Five New York tips?
- Good shoes to walk everywhere.
- Explore Harlem.
- Queens is cool, like Brooklyn used to be.
- Go to one of the mile-long beaches outside New York on Long Island. Kismet on Fire Island is a favourite.
- Eat at Republic on Union Square (and do order the Litchi Martini).