when a couple years ago i was invited to a workshop hosted by danish design label VIPP in copenhagen, i was curious to learn more about the company that managed to elevate a trash can to an iconic design object. jette egelund, daughter of vipp’s founder holger nielsen, told the story of how she took over her father’s company and brought it into the 21st century with help from her children, sofie and kasper. she’s an excellent storyteller – charming and honest and funny. she managed to inspire each and every one of the workshop’s invitees. i also got the chance to talk to jette’s daughter sofie, who is currently in new york, establishing the american branch of vipp. she is as vivacious and driven and kind as her mother, and i follow her stories on instagram with much admiration.
i’ve worked together with vipp on several occasions, creating a BREAKFAST STORY with their gorgeous ceramics, sharing the experience i had at their STYLING WORKSHOP, and most recently incorporating their ICONIC TRASH BIN and new SHELVING UNIT in juliet’s nursery. i thought it was time to let you guys in on why i am so fond of vipp – beyond aesthetics. so i asked jette and sofie to participate in the kick-ass ladies interview series. with these stories, i hope to inject a little bit of modern-day feminism into this blog, by letting strong and inspiring women share their experience and wisdom. i hope you’ll find a bit of inspiration in these six questions and answers.
name a challenge that you didn’t think you could overcome but conquered anyway.
jette – taking over my father’s metal workshop alone and without any capital – i had to learn everything from scratch. so i moved in with my mother in my childhood bedroom and spent long nights bending plates of steel for the vipp bins. but i just couldn’t bear to see my father’s work sold and disappear. i knew the bin had potential – and all the hard work proved to pay off in the end.
sofie – giving birth to my two lovely children. beyond comparison.
what is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?
jette – it must be that it pays off to be persistent and stubborn when you’re trying to achieve your goals.
sofie – to dream big and reach for the stars. if you can dream it, you can do it.
what are you trying to teach yourself right now?
jette – to relax and cut down on my hours, as i have actually reached my retirement age.
sofie – to stay focused and be more structured. i am very driven by my mood when i am working, so i tend to get a bit all over the place. my husband says i jump from task to task except for when it’s something that really interests me. well… i try!
if you could only give one piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?
jette – don’t let the sun set on your anger.
sofie – stay focused on your goals and always give it 100%. in denmark, we have a saying that nothing comes from nothing except pocket lint, which i think is pretty accurate.
what is the biggest accomplishment you wish for yourself in the future?
jette – i would really love to be able to remodel my apartment into a lovely space for my partner and me.
sofie – to succeed at my newest venture of moving to New York with my husband and two young children (5 and 8 years old) to establish both our family and family company, vipp.
do you have an icon – someone you look up to or who never fails to inspire you?
jette – i have never had one particular hero that i have looked up to. i feel more inspired by people who work for a greater cause such as doctors without borders.
sofie – actually no. i’m not really a person to idolize a specific individual. i feel more inspired by team efforts, because when they pay off you have someone to celebrate with.
VIPP // SOFIE on instagram
photos by VIPP