Thanks to blogging and a deep-rooted obsession with all things Instagram, my Nordic discoveries continue even when I’m at home in Liverpool.
What I absolutely adore about those little squares is the love and passion that pours out of them every single day from so many amazing makers and independent design brands. That, and the fact that you can also get to know the inspirational people behind them too.
One of my recent favourites is Swedish children’s interior brand, Marnelly. With their collection of beautiful products for babies and toddlers, I instantly fell in love with the minimal soft blankets and snuggly bedding, as well as the super-cute wall hooks.
So, keen to find out more, I jumped at the chance to chat with founder and all round Mumboss, Veronica Gyllenram.
Here’s what she had to tell me:
Please can you start by telling us a little about yourself and your background?
My name is Veronica Gyllenram, and I see myself as a true entrepreneur. I currently live in a lovely house in the outskirts of Stockholm, Sweden, with my husband and two kids Charles (4) and Vicelle (3).
I have always had an interest in design and fashion. After completing the art and culture programme in high school in Stockholm, I moved to Borås – the textile capital of Sweden – to study at the Swedish School of Textiles. I moved to London working at Harrods and Selfridges for a couple of years before moving back to Sweden again. I started my own business Marnelly in 2014 and today I live my dream working for my own business full time.
What was the inspiration behind Marnelly and how was its distinctive look created?
The brand name Marnelly was discovered many years before I even knew what to do with it. During school I was probably a bit bored and played around with the letters of my name. All of a sudden, I realised that my surname, Gyllenram, backwards was “Marnellyg”. I thought that “Marnelly” sounded like a great name for a future brand, and why not use the G as well to create Marnelly Group with plenty of businesses? Marnelly is a reality now, and hopefully there will be a Group within a couple of years!
Sweden is well known for stylish and simplistic design, but I thought that there was a lack of interior design products that were practical and appealing to both parents and their children. So I decided to give it a go.
Marnelly products must fulfil two criteria: sophisticated and playful. I find much of my inspiration from animals, and one key design driver for me is to create an expression with as few brush strokes as possible.
When designing Marnelly products how do you achieve the right balance of parental style with childlike playfulness?
There is a lot of trial and error going on! I have designed so many products that are playful, but not sophisticated (and the other way around) that I have really loved. However, they have never made it to the stores as I have had to stay committed to Marnelly’s design and put them in the drawer for now. Maybe they will come alive during another brand under Marnelly Group in the future!
I also think it is important to choose the right colours. Grey is a base colour for Marnelly which often appeals to parents, but we always offer more colourful options as long as the end product looks sophisticated. Our orange coloured fox wall hook is probably the most extreme we will go in terms of colour!
I personally love the Nordic approach to form and function, how do you ensure Marnelly products are super practical as well as sustainable?
To me it is very important that the design does not affect the practical aspect of a product. However I always aim to create products where a design feature actually enhances it. Bending the animal’s legs to create hooks is a great example of how that can be achieved.
I think that all parents at heart would like to contribute to a better future for our kids in all ways that are practically possible. For me, ensuring a sustainable production process for Marnelly’s products is one way of achieving that. It is difficult being a small firm, but Marnelly’s way of contributing is by selecting local suppliers that we can, at least have a chance, to supervise as well as discuss sustainability aspects with. All our wall hooks are made in Sweden with suppliers that we know and have a good relationship with. We always select materials and production processes with the environment in mind.
What’s next for you and Marnelly?
Next for Marnelly is to expand outside of Sweden. We already ship all over the world from our webshop, but as a first step we would like to work with more retailers in the UK, Germany and France. We will also look to launch more interior products, and in a couple of years… we will launch Marnelly Group!
Thank you so much to Veronica for chatting with me. To find out more and to shop the collection please visit the Marnelly website.
Marnelly kindly gifted my Kids Fox Blanket and Dots Cot Bedding Set for this post, but all words and opinions are my own.
I’ve teamed up with the inspiring Veronica to create an Instagram competition. One lucky Nordic Notes follower will win their very own Marnelly Kids Fox Blanket, worth 45 EUR.
To enter: Just follow Nordic Notes and Marnelly on Instagram, like the competition photo, and leave a comment tagging a friend who may be interested. You can tag as many people as you like, and each tag counts as one entry.
Disclaimer: The giveaway is open to those in the UK only and ends at midnight on Tuesday 16th April. The winner will be announced on my Instagram account afterwards. Good luck!
Please note this competition is in no way associated with or endorsed by Instagram.
Image 1 by Nicola Capper, all remaining images via Marnelly.