We worked with Ida Holmen a few years back when she was at Volcom and based in the surfing mecca of south west France. So when we heard she’d moved back home to Stockholm to set up a rad website and live the good life we thought it high time for a chat
A lot has happened since we worked together at Volcom. I left France and moved to Switzerland for a couple of years. I worked a year at The North Face, and then moved over to the Skullcandy Europe office in Zurich. I got to combine all my passions in one job: music, skateboarding and snowboarding! Really scored my dream job!
But all good things have to come to an end; I missed Scandinavia, and wanted to move closer to my family and friends. So when I got offered a job in Stockholm I couldn’t say no. I’m not saying that was an easy decision, but I strongly believe it was the best for me personally.
I decided to do something for myself for a change. I actually started hanging out with my friends again, listening to them and take time to actually care about them.
I took up fishing, cooking, sewing, skateboarding… I started doing all those little things that make me happy.
I started DJ’ing believe it or not, I’m not good or anything, but at least people dance and enjoy it, and as long as it feels good I’ll definitely continue.
I finally had the time to learn how to use my camera. So now I basically document all the faces and places I get to meet.
I also realised that I wanted to work more with music, but as I can’t play an instrument or sing, I started writing about music. Something that resulted in my site: thisisscandinavia.com
You know what.. it’s so much FUN! I actually started the site together with my good Swedish friend Philip Liljenberg when we both lived in Zurich. Basically we missed Scandinavia so much, and realised that there weren’t any good sites that wrote about all the awesome things that Scandinavia has to offer, so we started our own! Now almost a year later we actually have a bunch of readers, a bunch of great people contributing and great feedback on what we do!
On top of having the magazine, we also started a creative agency with a penchant for Nordic heritage. We are creative with a humble approach in that we believe creativity can express itself in countless ways, like all forces of nature do.
We love the fact that strong content is not only created in an office, sometimes it grows outside our door, underground and by a greater cause. Whether it comes from a small beautiful piece of art or a statement of what all that your brand stands for, it all starts with a good story.
To find, pick up and cherish that story… that’s what we do.
Oh my, when I listen to myself I realise it sounds like I’m some kind of super human with superpowers to be able to pull all this projects off on top of my daytime job! But really I’m not. It’s just about making those priorities.
Imagine yourself as a kid walking into a candy store. Basically that’s the feeling I had the first day at work at Toca Boca [a super popular kids’ gaming company]. Not only are there toys and cool gadgets EVERYWHERE in the office, you are actually expected to play with them as well.
My role at the company is something as fancy as a producer. Basically I produce all the marketing initiatives together with a great team of creatives and marketers. It could be anything from planning a launch of an app in the app store to organising an event for kids. Not only do we do apps, we also make physical toys and clothing for kids. And last year we made two different products together with two different artists. One set of temporary tattoos together with tattoo artist Virginia Elwood, and a 3D puzzle together with the Argentinian graffiti artist CHU, both products to go under Toca Boca’s Artist play series.
So for the launch of the products I produced one event in New York and one in Buenos Aires – basically a day of play for all the kids in the city! Haha could you imagine.. 1000 kids high on sugar? It was a blast!
I don’t have kids yet, but I see all my friends are popping those little cute ones out and totally feel the pressure! But I’ve heard you need a man to make those, so I guess the first step would be to lay one down, then get the oven baked up. I love kids though, and feel very privileged to be able to work with and make great products for them.
Kids today live in a world where grown-ups tell them what to do for a big part of the day: get dressed, go to school, eat. But we think that playing and having fun is the best way to learn about the world. That’s why we create digital toys with the only goal of providing open ended play and fun. Our apps help stimulate the imagination, and let kids and grown-ups play together.
There is not a set rule of how much time kids should play our games, instead we think it is important to find a balance between different activities. Many parents seek advice from an authority to decide how much their kids can play, but it should really be down to each family to find out what works for them. We generally think parents should remember three things:
– Find a balance between the different activities in the day. Pay more attention to what your kids are doing, rather than the technical device or media channel they use.
– Remember that kids’ interests always goes in waves. They can be obsessed with one toy or one movie for weeks and then suddenly change their focus.
– Get involved in the kids’ interests and you will understand their world better. Sit down next to your child and play together, ask them to show what they are doing. There is research that shows very positive social effects when parents and kids play together.
Personally I should totally get better on switching my screens off, and actually enjoy the moments IRL.. haha
When I do, I’m obsessed with music, and usually go to concerts twice a week. I’m very fortunate to have friends that works in the music industry and that let me be part of their community. Other than that I guess I do the “normal” things. Hang out with friends, cooking, fishing, skateboarding, snowboarding and just enjoy myself.
But I miss the action sports world everyday. I miss the tight deadlines, the emails begging me for free shit, the smell of wet snowboard boots, the sound of rolling skateboards. Touring, I totally miss touring with the skate team, and believe it or not I totally miss being part of the ISPO madness.
But I needed a break, needed to take a step back and see something else for a while. That said I’m sure I will be back someday in some way. And I’m very lucky to still have great friends in the industry that haven’t forgotten me, even if I’m not in charge of any budgets or sponsorships anymore. Friends that I still go riding with, that invite me to their awesome parties and keep me posted on the latest gossip in the industry.
Cheers to friends and those little things!