One small step for Illums Bolighus… One giant step for Walter!

ILLUMS BOLIGHUS IS NOW REALITY

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This picture has been my visual goal and motivation every day for the last three years! A simple picture showing Walter being launched at Illums Bolighus. But ever since I started this journey with Design by Witt and my little happy Whale Walter, the only place this picture existed, was in my mind. I visualized the picture and burned it into my mind. Now, three years later, this picture is no longer just a product of my imagination. Today the picture is very real.

But how do you end up in the flagshipstore of Illums Bolighus? The nr 1. interior design retailer i Denmark. Why was Illums Bolighus the main motivation? And now that Walter is launched in Illums Bolighus, then what is the next goal and motivation?

About three years ago, I got this somewhat funny and crazy idea. For some time, I had had the dream and the urge to try to start up a project or a business of my own. On a daily bases I was working as a real estate agent. But I wasn’t completely satisfied, so I made a decision and quiet the real estate business to go start my own design brand. You can read the whole story here. 

My dear cousin was one of the first persons ever to lay eyes on this little design, I had just made. From the first moment she saw Walter the Whale, she told me, it should be sold at Illums Bolighus.

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She was working at Illums Bolighus herself, and quiet an expert on interior design. This statement did something to me. I lit up my motivation like never before.

Quiet early in the process, she managed to set up a meeting with the purchasing manager at Illums Bolighus. I showed up with a good friend, and we actually had a great meeting. The purchasing manager liked my designs and the concept. But she need something more. A concept and a univers surrounding the designs. On top of this she needed some nice wrapping and a guarantee for a serious and stable big scale production.

Two purchasing managers and 2,5 years later, my good friend and I showed up at Illums Bolighus again. We had been working on all the demands the first manager had asked for and once again my dear cousin had helped us set up a new meeting. This time Design by Witt was no longer just an idea of a business based in an old wooden workshop. This time Design by Witt was a serious business, with retailers all over DK and in NYC, London and Cologne. This time we had a professional set up, a unique concept and a happy univers surrounding the designs.
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45 minuets later we walked out of Illums Bolighus. This time we didn’t just have a great meeting. This time we closed the deal!

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Just getting out of Illums Bolighus

My friend and I went to a near by cafe, to just sit down and reflect on what just happened. As we sat there my friend looked at me and said “Martin! You still might not understand what just happen in there. But when you get home, you gonna flip out completely”. And he was absolutely right! The journey from my fathers wooden workshop, till finally being singed up with Illums Bolighus, had been one of the most exhausting experiences for me. So yes, I got emotional.

WorkshopThis is my beloved workshop 🙂

But the thrill of sealing the deal, was in every way worth the effort. At the same time it taught me an important lesson. If you go all in, work hard and fight for what you believe in, then anything is possible. For me personally this is the finally approval and blue stamp to show, that my happy little whale is recognized as a serious design.
Last week the company also won the “Entrepreneur of the year” award.

Walter & Illums Bolighus
So what now? What is next? Well, only time will tell 😉 But I promise you this! Very soon we will reveal our next big project. Another project that will take us yet another step closer to full-felling our main vision – To become the next danish design icon.

Learn more about Design by Witt at our webpage

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR 2017, FREDERIKSBERG

“And the winner and is – Design by Witt”.

WHAAAT!!?? Seriously!?? Wait, what!!? I couldn’t believe my own ears! Was this really happening? The mayor of Frederiksberg had just announced the winner of this years prestiges award as entrepreneur of the year 2017.

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What just happened? Why would they choose my start-up amongst these other super competent entrepreneurs? At that moment millions of thoughts exploded in my head.

Two month earlier a good friend of mine texted me on a late friday night. She had just heard that the local community of Frederiksberg, was looking for promising upcoming entrepreneurs to present this years award. All I needed to do, was to sent in my presentation and explain my concept and business. There was just one issue. The deadline was only two days away, and my weekend was totally booked.

To be honest, I was on my way out to meet up with some friends for a drink. I made a quick decision and canceled on my friends – sorry for this guys 🙂 Instead I spent the whole night, making my presentation ready.  Early in the morning my presentation was done and I sent it.

One month later I got an invited to the award ceremony. Again, being honest, I had no idea I even had a chance of winning this thing. Most of all, because these awards are always given to innovative tech start-ups.

So with no expectations at all, I went to the ceremony. I didn’t even invite family or friends. The first surprise hit me, when I was personally greeted by the mayor, when I entered the room. I remember I was thinking, that since he knew who I was, he must have seen my presentation. So maybe, and just maybe, I had a chance of being one of the officiel nominees. If so, this would be super cool.

30 min later Design by Witt was announced as one of the nominees. I couldn’t believe this! This was a great sign of approval! Minutes later I was completely shocked – and happy. Out of the blue, Design by Witt was called to the floor as Entrepreneur of the year.

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After the ceremony I got this funny felling. Last time I had been this surprised, proud and happy, was on my birthday age 11 or so. At a local summer event I was announced as “Athlete of the year”. Not for winning anything, but for being a good sportsman always keeping up the good spirit.

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Getting this award means so much to me on so many levels. The work you put in to your start-up is super crazy! I have never before in my life worked this hard, had so many frustrations and made so many scarifies. This award is a recognition of this hard work, and it means everything. At the same time, this award is special to me, because the comity choose design and concept over tech and innovation. Walter the happy Whale and I are deeply honored and ever so thankful.

A week later Im sitting in a cafe, writing this blogpost and reading the newest edition of the local newspaper

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A special thanks to TimeGruppen and Frederiksberg Kommune for this award.

In the next blogpost, I will share with you what amazing new project this award has already kicked of 🙂

How to adopt a whale

“Martin, you should adopt a whale”. Im at a meeting with the leading manager at the Go Grow accelerator program at CSE – Copenhagen School of Entrepreneurship. Dorthea was the person who put this fantastic idea into my head. In every why this idea made sense to me. How cool would it be, to actually adopt a real whale! But how do you adopt a whale? And is it even possible?

Since I carved the first little happy whale, the idea was to create a concept of happiness. A concept that would not just include a happy design, but also happy actions and happy deeds.

Learn how Design by Witt started in this first blog post: From real estate agent to entrepreneur

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Thats why we´ve been supporting organisations like the WWF – world fund for nature, from the beginning. We want to give something back to the beautiful nature that surrounds us.

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So what to do, if you want to adopt a whale!? First natural thing for me to do, was to ask google what to do. Apparently it wasn’t so difficult as I first thought. My search online quickly let me to a fascinating organisation called the Whale and Dolphin Conservation. They actually offered the opportunity of adopting a whale.

I immediately wrote them about my concept of happiness and the story of Walter the happy whale. I was pleased to read their responding email. They loved my concept and was pleased to hear, that Walter and I showed interest in their adoption program. Over the next couple of weeks, I had some inspiring skype meetings with the organisation.

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Not only did Walter and I end up adopting the most beautiful Humpback Whale Salt, we also found other ways to support this amazing organisation and the work they do. One way was to launched a speciale WDC Shop to Support edition of Walter the Whale.

Adoption certificate Salt 2017

But we are also working on a new product in store. A new product that will be released in the fall. We cant say much more right now – but it´s all about Whales & Happiness 😀

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Thank you for reading this blog. Sign up for our news letter at: Design by Witt

Den største udfordring som iværksætter – min mor!

Jeg bliver ofte spurgt om, hvilke udfordringer jeg løber ind i som ny iværksætter og hvilke problemstillinger der giver flest kvaler. Det er faktisk et lidt uoverskueligt spørgsmål, som hurtigt bliver svært at svare på. For hvor pokker skal man starte??

Livet som iværksætter er unægtelig det sjoveste og mest crazy eventyr jeg nogensinde har kastet mig ud i. På vanvittig kort tid, har hvalen Walter givet mig så ufatteligt mange sjove, spøjse og uforglemmelige oplevelser, som jeg glæder mig til at underholde med på plejehjemmet om mange mange år. Men livet med en lille ny start-up, er også et liv med ben hårdt arbejde 24/7, konstante daglige frustrationer, udfordringer og uforudsete problemstillinger. Du kan læse om en alm dagligdag her: En dag som iværksætter

Men skal jeg pege på én enkelt udfordring, som uden sammenligning overskygger alle andre! Én evigt tilbagevendende frustration, som af uransagelig årsager bare ikke lader sig kue! En fuldstændigt uventet kilde til evig irritation, som bare får alle andre problemstillinger til at virke ubetydelige. Så er og bliver det min kære mor…

Nu tænker I nok at jeg er utaknemmelig. Men lad mig kort forklare…

Når jeg besøger mine forældre, så får jeg ofte en lille kærlig opfordring fra min mor om, at det kunne da være rart, hvis jeg snart fik et rigtigt arbejde. Jeg har slet ikke tal på, hvor mange gange jeg efterhånden har forsøgt at forklare hende, at “Design by Witt” er mit rigtige arbejde! At jeg aldrig i mit liv har arbejdet så meget, som jeg har gjort de sidste to år!
Men alt det hårde arbejde, kan min mor på elegant vis få kogt ned til en meget elegant formulering ala “Jamen så meget arbejde kan der da ikke være i, at få solgt de figurer søde skat…”

Samtidig kan jeg også mærke, at mine mere flydende arbejdstider giver anledning til en vis forundring hos kvinden, der ellers opdraget mig til at være pligtopfyldende og punktlig. Fra tid til anden får hun ringet til mig godt op ad formiddagen på en alm hverdag. Enten fanger hun mig ikke fordi jeg stadig sover eller også besvarer jeg hendes opkald med en meget grynet stemme.
Her fornemmer jeg straks en vis form for stram skepsis overfor min meget sløsede og laissez faire arbejdsmoral. Men så er det jeg får den indskydelse, at jeg måske skulle ringe til hende en gang i mellem, når jeg efter en 16-timers non-stop arbejdsdag holder fyraften ved 03-04 tiden en tilfældig hverdagsmorgen, fordi jeg har siddet oppe det meste af natten og knoklet med små drilske udfordringer. Det har jeg dog ikke gjort endnu…
Når alt det er sagt, skal det dog også sige, at min mor samtidig er den første til at støtte op om mine skæve og skøre ideer (dog måske ikke lige den med tatoveringen af Walter (#Beyourbrand).

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Gang på gang smider hun alt hvad hun har i hænderne, for at hjælpe mig. Naturligvis under højlydte protester om, at næste gang ville det altså være rart med et lille “heads up” i god tid, så ikke det hele skal laves i sidste øjeblik. Troligt lover jeg naturligvis bod og bedring. Det er så bare ikke lige sket endnu…Undskyld mor!

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(Her hjælper min kære mor med til bagning af Walter-kager op til jul)

Jeg må nok bare erkende, at et karriereskifte til et mere usikkert arbejdsliv ikke falder i god jord hos en kærlig mor, der kun ønsker det bedste for hendes børn. Jeg skal da heller ikke benægte, at jeg gerne ville vide hvad der for´ gennem hovedet på hende, da den ene af hendes håbefulde og ambitiøse sønner glædeligt kom hjem og fortalte, at han nu droppede mæglerjobbet og den sikre kilde til indtægt. Altsammen til fordel for at smitte små glade træhvaler og gøre dem til Danmarks nye design ikon.

Hvor skørt det end lyder, er jeg dog dybt taknemmelig for min mors små stikpiller, for det tænder ekstra godt op under min lyst og motivation til at lykkes med mit lille firma. De vækker en ukuelig vilje til at bevise, at drømmen om mit firma godt kan lade sig gøre og at det nok skal lykkes!

Så mens min far har lært mig håndværket, giver min mor mig motivationen – den perfekte kombination til et spændende iværksætter-eventyr.

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Følg med i næste uge, hvor du kan læse om min deltagelse i Dagens Mand 🙂

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En dag som iværksætter

5:20 står der i displayet på vækkeuret, da det ringer første gang. Jeg tillader dog altid mig selv, lige at snooze 10 min. Der skal jo være plads til de små glæder her i livet. Foran mig venter endnu en spændende dag i livet som iværksætter. Et liv hvor dagligdagen mildest talt er uforudsigelig. Da jeg ofte bliver spurgt om, hvordan livet som iværksætter er, vil jeg i dette blogindlæg forsøge at beskrive en helt almindelig dag.

Selvom dagene kan virke ret ustrukturerede, prøver jeg at skabe nogle faste rammer og rutiner. Det giver trods alt en vis form for balance. Derfor starter jeg altid dagen med lidt motion eller træning. Det giver mig en super fin start på dagen, samtidig med at jeg holder mig i form til dagens udfordringer. Denne dag starter med lidt boksetræning kl. 6.00. Så er man ligesom i gang.

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Kl. 8.00 er jeg klar til at tjekke mails og skabe mig et overblik over dagen. Kl 09.00 står den på morgenmøde med mine interns. Her får jeg en status på deres arbejdsopgaver og vi får lagt en plan for deres dag. Herefter smutter jeg videre. Kl 10.30 mødes jeg med en god kammerat. Vi skal have lagt sidste hånd på Design by Witt´s nyeste promotionvideo. Den kan du se her: Design by Witt – Tokens of Happiness

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Denne dag er vejret er godt og solen er fremme. Det giver mulighed for et hurtigt photoshoot hjemme i gården. Jeg mangler stadig de sidste billeder til de nye brochure, der skal bruges i forbindelse med en nært forestående lancering af et nyt design. Jeg når det hele inden mit næste møde med en af mine mentorer kl. 15.00. Efter mit montormøde når jeg lige på posthuset med de seneste bestillinger fra webshoppen. Herefter bliver det tid til en gang hurtig aftensmad, mens jeg får klaret en stribe telefonopkald til forhandlere og forretningsforbindelser. Vejret er som nævnt skønt, så springer atter i træningstøjet og tager mig en løbetur, for at rense hovedet og få lidt luft.

Kl. 19 mødes med Anette Hallev på en cafe rundt om hjørnet fra hvor jeg bor. Hun vil gerne lave et interview til sin skønne blog “Mormor på farten”. Anette vil gerne høre historien om min rejse fra ejendomsmægler med fast job, til livet som iværksætter uden sikkerhedsnet. Et liv drevet af passion og jagten på drømmen om frihed til at gøre hvad man vil. Du kan læse interviewet her:   Mormor på farten

img_3395Kl 21.00 er jeg hjemme igen og klar til at slappe lidt af på sofaen. TVét kører i baggrunden mens jeg får kigget lidt på det næste indlæg til min egen blog. Jeg må ærligt indrømme, at det er sjældent jeg slet ikke laver noget arbejdsrelateret. Der er altid noget at se til, når jobbeskrivelsen bl.a. spænder fra kreative direktør, driftsansvarlige, HR- og regnskabschef til salgschef, webudvikler, brandmanager, produktions- og produktchef. Men det er sjovt og jeg nyder det.

Klokken er ved at være 01.30 er det er så småt på tide at gå i seng. En´ ting er sikkert, i morgen er der ikke boksning kl. 6.00!

Læs med i næste uge, hvor jeg fortæller om den største udfordring som iværksætter – min mor 🙂

Entrepreneurlife

The display on the alarm clock shows 5:20 am, when it goes of for the first time. I hit snooze and allow myself just another 10 min. You have to enjoy the little things in life. In front of me awaits yet another exciting day as an entrepreneur. A life where every day is more or less unpredictable. People often ask me what the life as an entrepreneur is like. So in this blog post I will try to describe an ordinary day.

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Even though the days seem quite unstructured, I try to create some routines. After all, the rutines provide some kind of balance. Therefore I always start the day with some exercise or a good workout. For me it’s a super nice way to get started, and to keep myself fit for the day’s challenges. This morning I start of with a little boxing session at. 6.00. A good way to kick of the day.

At 08:00 am Im ready to check emails and plan the day. At 09:00 am I meet up with my interns. They are giving me a status on their work and we lay out a plan for their day. At 10:30 am Im off again to meet up with a good friend. We are going to make the last corrections on Design by Witt‘s latest promotional video. Design by Witt – Tokens of Happiness

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This day the weather is good and the sun is out. This allows me to do a quick photo shoot at home in the yard. I still need the last pictures for the new brochures, that I will need for my launch of a new design.

I manage to finish the photo shoot before my next meeting with one of my mentors at 03:00 pm. After this meeting I just have time to go to the post office, to drop of the recent orders from the web shop.

Then it is time for a quick dinner, while Im making a handfull of phone calls to some retailers and business associates. The weather is still great, so I decide to go for a run to clear my head and get some air. At 07:00 pm I meet up with Anette Hallev at a cafe just around the corner. She wants to do an interview for her wonderful blog “Grandmother on the go.” Anette would like to hear the story of my journey from realtor with a permanent job, to the life as an entrepreneur without any safety net. A life driven by passion and the pursuit for the dream of being free to do what you want. You can read the interview here:
Mormor på farten

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At 21:00 I’m back home and ready to relax a bit on the couch. The TV is on and running in the background while I get started on the next post for my own blog. Honestly I must admit, that it’s rare Im not doing anything not work-related. There is always something to do when when your job description includes everything from creative director, operations manager, HR- and accounting manager to sales manager, web developer, brand manager, production- and product manager. But it’s all fun and I enjoy it.

The clock gets close to 01:30 am and it is time to go to bed. One thing is for sure, the next day I will not be attending boxing at 06.00 am!

Look out for the next blog post, where I talk about the biggest challenge as an entrepreneur – my mom 🙂

Design by Witt – The movie

“Tak allesammen, thats a wrap!” Fotograf og instruktør Peter Vintergaard lyser op i et kæmpe smil. Vi har netop skudt sidste scene til Design by Witts  nyeste promotionfilm – Tokens of Happiness. Men hvordan kommer sådan en promotion film i stand? Hvor meget arbejde ligger der egentlig bag og hvorfor overhovedet lave den?

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Jeg ville fortælle historien bag Design by Witt og vise hvor inspirationen og passionen kom fra. Jeg ville tage folk med “behind the scenes” og vise hvordan de første designs blev til. Derfor tog jeg fat i Peter – en god barndomsven og en pokkers dygtig fotograf. Vi fik brain stormet på nogle gode ideer og manglede bare at få sat et fornuftigt storyboard sammen. Hvor svært kunne det lige være? Filmen skulle jo bare rumme nogle storslåede naturscener, give en fornemmelse af den autentiske stemning fra værkstedet og ikke mindst vise hvor vi vil hen med designet. Altsammen kogt ned til en historie på under 2 min. Det lykkedes heldigvis til sidst.

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Optagelserne gik som planlagt. Vi filmede non-stop fra morgen til aften og med hjælp fra en håndfuld gode venner, fik vi klaret det hele på en enkelt dag. Peter kunne nu se frem til at par dage i klipperummet, mens jeg skulle bestemme mig for musikken til filmen. Det lød umiddelbart som en men opgave. Men musikken skulle både sætte den rigtige stemning og passe til den voiceover der skulle indtales. Det blev til et par lange aftner/nætter i selvskab med hovedtelefonerne.

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Et par dage efter mødtes vi igen hos Peter, der havde sat et lydstudie op hjemme i garderoben. Det var i bogstavligste forstand i garderoben. Peter havde foret sit klædeskab med sofahynder og dermed ombygget det til vores lydstudie. Efter et par mere eller mindre heldige forsøg, fik jeg indtalt manuskriptet. Det blev flettet ind i filmen, som nu endelig var færdig. Det en ubeskrivelig lækker følelse at se filmen første gang. Og anden gang… Og ja, de næste mange mange gange. Jeg syntes virkelig vi havde fået lavet en flot film, som ramte nerven i Design by Witt.

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Kort tid efter kunne jeg endelig offentligøre vores lille promotion film. Det var overvældende at se, hvor godt der er blevet taget imod den. Så tusinde tak til alle der har været med til at se, “like” og dele den på de sociale medier. Det er på alle måder værdsat.

Du kan se filmen her Design by Witt – Tokens of Happiness

Læs med her på bloggen, når jeg næste gang fortæller om den travle og uforudsigelige hverdag som iværksætter. Fik du ikke læst sidste blogindlæg, kan du læse det her #Beyourbrand

Kæmpe tak til Peter Vintergaard og  Vintergaard Media for hjælp med hele produktionen.
Tusinde tak til Vejrhøj for det flotte ur og til Jewelry by AD for de smukke smykker til Laura.

En særlig tak til alle dem der har hjulpet både foran og bag kameraet – Laura Madalena Tore Fløjborg, Ditte S. Stievano Kristiansen, Dorte Levring og Gustav Westling.

 

Design by Witt – The movie

“Thank you guys, thats a wrap!” Photographer and director Peter Vintergaard lights up a big smile. We just shot the last scene of Design by Witts latest promotional film – Tokens of Happiness. But what does it take to make such a promotion film? How much work does it actually take and why even do it?

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I wanted tell the story behind Design by Witt and show where the inspiration and passion came from. I wanted to take people “behind the scenes” and show them how the first designs were crafted. So I called up Peter – a childhood friend and a damn good photographer. We brainstormed  on some ideas. Then all we needed to do, was to put together a sensible storyboard. How hard could it have to be?
The film just had to show some spectacular shots of nature. It should give a sense of the authentic atmosphere from the workshop and not least show the joy and happiness within the design. All of this boiled down to a history of less than 2 min. Fortunately we managed to do it.

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The shooting went down as planned. We shot non-stop from morning to night and with the help of a handful of good friends, we did it all in a single day. Peter would then spent the next few days in the editing room, while I had to decide on the music for the film. It might sound like an easy job to do. But the music should both set the right mood and match the voice over. I spent some long evenings/nights with headphones on.

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A few days later we met again at Peters. He had set up a recording studio in the wardrobe. It was literally in the wardrobe. Peter had stuffed his wardrobe with cushions and thus converted it into a recording studio. After a few more or less successful attempts the voice over was recorded.  It was added to the film. Finally it was finished. It is an indescribable feeling to watch the movie for the first time. And the second time… And the third and the…. I think we really did a great job with this film, that hit the nerve of Design by Witt.

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Shortly after we would finally go public with our new promotional film. The responce it got, was overwhelming. Thank you all so much for your views, “likes” and shares on the social media. It is appreciated in all respects.

You can see the movie here – Design by Witt – Tokens of Happiness.

On the next blog post I will talk about the busy and unpredictable life as an entrepreneur. Did you not read the last blog post, you can read it here #Beyourbrand

Thank you so much Peter Vintergaard and Vintergaard Media for helping with the production.

Thank you Vejrhøj for the watch and Jewelry by AD for the beautiful jewelry.

A special thanks to Laura Madalena Tore Fløjborg, Ditte S. Stievano Kristiansen, Dorte Levring and Gustav Westling for helping in front and behind the camera.

#Beyourbrand

Sometimes I get some ideas, that can seem just a bit crazy. Sometimes these ideas might even be a tiny bit extra crazy. The worst – and best – thing about these ideas is that once they have planted themselves in my mind, I cant seem to let them go. I had such an idea  recently.

One late evening in the spring I enjoyed a nice glass of wine with a good friend. Or… As a fact I believe we enjoyed a few bottles of nice wine. At one point the conversation falls on tattoos. Surprisingly, my friend had a very inspiring passion for tattoos. I told her that I for some time had thought about getting a tattoo myself. One that would reflect who I am as a person. A person with a happy and positive approach to life. At the same time I wanted it to be a drawing or a symbol, that could be a reminder to myself to fight for what I believe in.

The minut I said it out loud, it was clear to me that I would have Walter tattooed on my arm! To me, Walter had already become a symbol of following your dreams no matter how unlikely or impossible they might seem. At the same time Walter was my Token of Happiness. The whole idea of Walter was, that no matter the circumstances he would always smile. There was no doubt! I wanted Walter the Whale tattooed on my arm.
My friend obviously thought it was a fantastic idea and immediately drew a Walter on my arm. Probably a very good thing, that this drawing was made with a normal the pen.

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Now there was only one a very small and relatively insignificant obstacle in this very exciting project. It would be my first tattoo and my sweet and loving mother did not like the idea of me having a tattoo. But who actually has a mother who thinks having a tattoo is a good idea?

Another good friend was going to have a tattoo herself, so I jumped in as well. Slightly spontaneously, but what the heck. I was bursting with excitement! I totally loved my new happy tattoo!

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Now I just needed to break the news to my mother … “Timing is everything” I heard. So when does someone present his mother the his first tattoo? On Mother’s Day off course – flowers, chocolates and the news of a brand new tattoo! What could go wrong 🙂

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My mother really liked the chocolate! And she loved the flowers! The tattoo on the other hand … Well, after I was disinherited, Im just extra motivated to succeed with Design by Witt.

In the end however, my mother forgave me and she likes Walter on my arm.
The tattoo has given me everything I had hoped for. It is a daily reminder to follow your dreams and fight for what you believe in.
At the same time I am proud to carry my own brand on my arm. It’s all about commitment and passion! #Beyourbrand

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Thank you much to Charlotte Bee from Iron & Ink  for the super cool tattoo. And Thank you to Warmdal Blomster for the beautiful flowers.

Read on in the next blog post, where you can read about the daily life as an entrepreneur and the challenges it offers.

In the meantime you can read all about how Design by Witt started right here: From real estate agent to entrepreneur & From real estate agent to entrepreneur – part 2

Taking the first bite of the Big Apple – Del 2

Walter close up

Noget af det jeg elsker allermest ved iværksætter-livet er, at man langt hen ad vejen bare er nødt til at kaste sig ud i det, når man står overfor en ny udfordring. Tidligere har jeg været vant til, at kunne læne mig op ad viden jeg har fået gennem min uddannelse eller ældre kollegaers erfaringer.

Sådan er det ikke som iværksætter. Her må man typisk bare ud og prøve forskellige ideer og tiltag af, for at få sine egne “hands-on” erfaringer. Heldigvis er det en læringsproces, som jeg i den grad trives med.
Sådan var det også på seminaret i New York. Her skulle vi naturligvis også ud og prøve kræfter med den virkelige verden. I mit tilfælde betød det, at jeg skulle ud og finde nye forhandlere til Danmarks nye design-brand.

Efter et par gode pep-alks fra Mik fra Lemonsqueeze, var det på tide at flyve fra reden! Første gang jeg trådte ind i en butik i New York, var det en smule grænseoverskridende. Men der viste sig hurtigt et mønster. I modsætning til Danmark, hvor Danish design i bund og grund bare er.. design. Så er Danish design åbenbart super sexet i New York.
Det blev til i alt 5 besøg den første eftermiddag. For hvert besøg blev jeg lige en tand skarpere i mit pitch og jeg lærte hurtigt mere og mere om, hvad der fangede de forskellige forhandleres interesse. Til trods for god interesse i de første 4 butikker, gav det dog ikke pote.

Da jeg kom til den sidste butik, var der endelig jackpot. Her var det ejeren selv, der stod bag disken. Han bød mig velkommen og var meget begejstret for mine designs. Så begejstret, at han inviterede mig tilbage to dage senere, så vi kunne få alle de praktiske detaljer på plads. Jeg var ovenud lykkelig og helt paf! Havde jeg virkelig fået min første forhandler i New York!? JA SGU.

Det blev det sjoveste møde jeg længe har haft. Til trods for mine mange forberedelse anede jeg intet om deres “basic terms and conditions”, hvordan logistikken skulle strikkes sammen eller hvordan vi skulle forholde os til betalingsvilkårene. Men vi satte hos ned og gennemgik alle forholdene punkt for punkt. Til sidst kunne vi give håndslag på et godt samarbejde.

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Tony fra ABODE

Kommer du en dag til New York, så tag endelig en tur forbi ABODE i Williamsburg. Her vil Tony og Brian helt sikkert tage rigtig godt imod dig.

Men det stoppede ikke med en ny forhandler. Mik havde lige et sidste es gemt i ærmet. Ugen igennem havde vi talt om muligheden for, at få mine figurer på hylderne hos én helt særlig forhandler. Her talte vi om en forhandler, der i min verden var fuldstændig uopnåelig. Men Mik havde en vej ind. Tilbage på kontoret kom Mik hen til mig “Fredag kl. 17.00 møder du op på denne adresse! Dont be late”.
Fredag kl. 17.00 troppede jeg så op hos et af New Yorks mest eftertragtede designbureauer. Efter en rundtur i deres allerhelligste lokaler og et indblik i deres nyeste produktudvikling, fik vi os en god snak om mine produkter. Igen en vanvittig og surrealistisk oplevelse. Et halvt års tid forinden stod jeg hjemme i værkstedet i Nordsjælland og drømte om hvad mine små hvaler kunne blive til. Nu sad jeg så i et imponerende kontor midt i New York og talte med et ikon indenfor design. En mand, som nu ville gøre sit for, at få mine designs afsat hos en forhandler i den absolutte superliga inden for design. Det var næsten ikke til at fatte.

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Turens mest spændende kaffemøde

Efter mødet vidste jeg ikke, om jeg skulle slå vejrmøller hele vejen ned af Broadway eller tage i byen og købe den største flaske champagne jeg kunne støve op.

Ugen var ved at komme til sin ende og det var så småt på tide at vende næsen hjem ad igen. Kufferten var tømt for designfigurer og i stedet fyldt til randen med oplevelser, indtryk og ikke mindst en ny forhandler.

Hvad jeg ikke vidste på daværende tidspunkt var, at et tilfældigt møde den sidste dag i New York, med en ikke helt tilfælde skolelærer, skulle vise sig at tage hele konceptet for Design by Witt i en helt ny retning… Men mere om det i næste blog.

ABODE
Go Grow
Lemonsqueeze