Kick-ass Women

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

the awesome ladies behind

the kick-ass women interview series is meant to inject a tiny little bit of modern day feminism into this blog. i figure when my ideology and the subjects of this blog intersect, it’s not just an opportunity to spread positive vibes and support great women in the creative industry, but it also presents an interesting story that might be inspiring to you in other ways, too.

instagram is such a fun and cool community, don’t you think? it’s where i first ‘met’ isabel, katleen and liesbet, three ladies with an impeccable sense of style and taste, and three mothers of some of the most adorable children out there. last year they launched their blog MWORDMAG to inspire likeminded moms who are not ready to give up beauty and design in their lives just because they have little drooling monsters to take care of. needless to say, i think the magazine and the ladies behind it rock, and i am super pleased to be able to introduce them to you via 70percentpure’s trademark kick-ass questionnaire!

what is the most important thing you’ve learned in your life so far?

isabel – that must be the fact that you can’t do good for everyone. when i was younger i could lie awake thinking about those kind of things. once i became a mom, i had to let that go. there are bigger things to worry about, right?
katleen – be kind to yourself, you’re doing the best you can, even though it won’t be perfect… it is ok – still learning though.
liesbet – anything is possible. if you want it, and you put the work in, you can do it.

what are you trying to teach yourself right now?

isabel – not an easy question, but i worry too much. like all the time. i need to let things go. for the sake of my mental health and sleep!
katleen – to be calm with my kids at all times, even when stress takes over. i’ve learned that getting angry hardly ever helps, it often makes the situation worse. i want to be calm in my life in general really.
liesbet – patience. a lot of it. trying to not let stress get the best of me.

the awesome ladies behind

what is your favorite memory? what does it say about you?

isabel – my favorite moment must be the moment after jules was born. when we got back to the room, the first thing i said to my husband was: you must know that i want to do this again. not the being pregnant thing, that wasn’t really my thing, but giving birth was such an overwhelming experience. i never ever thought i could fall in love as quickly as i did with my kids. oh and their smell…. the best. i guess that must say that i am addicted to love or something, i don’t know, or that i should make more babies?
katleen – ok, i have three favorite memories, of course, the birth of each of my babies (so original, i know), and particularly the first moment when they started drinking instinctively, they are so alert with eyes wide open, and they know what to do, just a minute after they are born.
liesbet – the moment each of my babies were born. the moment i got to hold them close and see their little faces for the first time, hear their funny noises, smell their perfect skin… i think it is addictive; i will forever want more babies!

if you could only give one piece of advice to anyone, what would it be?

isabel – do what you love. don’t let doubt kill your vibe.
katleen – relax, don’t take it all too seriously… when you’re angry or frustrated or stressed, ask yourself ‘is it really that important? does it matter anyway?’ it’s advice that my husband gives me, and it has helped me a lot! yes, i tend to stress about silly things and details…
liesbet – trust your own instincts, you’ve got it down. and don’t sweat the small stuff.

what would you like to be remembered for?

isabel – i would like to be remembered as a person people could count on.
katleen – i would love to be remembered like i remember my grandmother. she was amazing, raising six kids in style. she was loud (like i am too sometimes, ha) but also the most loving person i have ever known, especially to her kids, and all her grandchildren. it would be great if i could be remembered like that.
liesbet – i hope the people close to me remember me as a loving and caring person. and a little wild & crazy sometimes, haha!

the awesome ladies behind

what is the biggest accomplishment you wish for yourself in your future?

isabel – i wish my kids will grow up as independent and warm hearted people and will always be surrounded by people they love and are loved by. on a professional level i wish for MWORDMAG to grow with us.
katleen – i just wish that my kids will be very happy people! and i hope that in many years, they will look back to a happy and fun childhood, and that i had a part in that.
liesbet – my biggest accomplishment would be to have raised three little ones into confident, kind and ambitious young adults. mature people in every way: mentally, physically, spiritually and relationally. for myself personally, i wish to find that perfect balance between family, work and our blog. i also hope to take MWORDMAG to the next level.

do you have an icon – someone you look up to or never fails to inspire you?

isabel – my mother. she taught me (almost) everything i know. and of course kate moss, ha!
katleen – my grandmother(s), my mother, my sister, not in that particular order.
liesbet – i must admit: my parents were right…about everything. they still play a huge role in my life, and they always will. my husband is my confident rock, the one who always has the best advice and who never fails me. he makes me laugh like nobody else can. and he has killer looks! also, my twin sister is my inspiration, i need her opinion on everything before i can make any decision.

MWORDMAG // ISABEL on instagram // KATLEEN on instagram // LIESBET on instagram
photos by kaat vandenbroeck for MWORDMAG


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my name is stephanie duval, and i am a storyteller. this blog is where i share my favorite stories about design, travel, fashion and the nice things in life.


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