December 01, 2011
designer charlotte swiden
Swedes are perhaps as well known for their love of colour, as well as their passion for white, white, white. And so it goes with the designs of Charlotte Swiden. While she was born and raised in Sweden, she moved to Melbourne in 2005. Initially Charlotte worked as a product and stationery designer for the Australian brand with a Swedish aesthetic kikki.K (read a Daily Imprint interview with its founder Kristina Karlsson here). But now she has ventured off to create her own brand with Swiden, celebrating colour - and white.
Which five words best describe you? Small, smiley, summery, Swedish, super colourful.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? I started as an apprentice at a small design company back home in Sweden, studying graphic design after hours and freelancing on the side. Four years later I decided I wanted to live in Melbourne, Australia so I packed up my life and moved. I completed a bachelor degree in communication design and kept freelancing. After that I found my dream job at kikki.K as a product and stationery designer. It was hard work but so rewarding and I had almost total creative freedom. I stayed with kikki.K for three years and then decided to realise my dream to design and make my own products.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? To trust my gut instincts. If it feels right - go for it.
What’s your proudest career achievement? Probably my first sales and positive feedback, realising that people want and enjoy what I'm creating.
What’s been your best decision? Moving to Melbourne and leaving my home in Sweden was life changing, but the best decision I ever made. My life wouldn't have been what it is now otherwise. I met my fiance here, I found my dream career, I love the city's lifestyle and I'm always close to nature.
Who inspires you? Passionate people who are living their dreams.
What are you passionate about? My man and my home, designing my own products, being in nature, the ocean, traveling, reading, good food.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? I think I'd be too tongue-tied to meet some genius like Einstein or Dalai Llama. If I could beam myself to meet my family in Sweden a bit more often I'd be pretty happy.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? So many things! To make a living from making my products. To be a good mum. To make my own porcelain products, design a kids collection and to own a beach house...
What are you reading? Just about to start reading Norwegian Wood by Japanese author Haruki Murakami.
images courtesy of charlotte swiden