The above quote is my dream for Lagom.
However, unlike so many superstar brand stories that you hear, the inspiration to start this Studio didn’t come from a life-long childhood dream or single “aha” moment. Rather, it was a slowly-growing flame that came from a long journey of late nights, harsh realities and confronting self-discovery, which resulted in a 27-year-old expat from a small town in the UK facing into all of the things that had thrown her life out of balance. It was a brutal wakeup call to “stop saying yes to shit I hated”, grow a pair and take control of what I wanted.
Rewind to five years ago and the first few months in my beautiful new home of New Zealand. I had just started my first job in a big corp, which was located in a beautiful skyscraper in the heart of Auckland CBD. In my 23-year-old brain, this was considered “making it”. It wasn’t until a few years into this shiny corporate job that I realised it had started to lose its sheen. Whilst I loved the team I worked with, I felt a yearning for something that would DO more, GIVE more and create change in the world, so I began looking outside of my 9-5 for fulfilment.
I didn’t have to look far, three seats over in fact, to a friend who worked on my floor and had an awesome side hustle that he needed help with. “This was it”, I thought “I have found my calling!” The next day, I set up a meeting with my boss and asked to reduce my hours in order to get involved with this venture – to my surprise he said yes!
The next three years were a crazy and chaotic whirlwind of photoshoots, product designs, business expansion and most importantly, creating real change for people and the environment. This job became my everything as I tried to balance my passion alongside a 30-hour corporate job. 40-hour work weeks crept into 50, then 60, until I was working from 6am in the morning to 11.30pm at night. Every. Day.
They say you cannot ride the wave forever, even the biggest wave eventually crashes on the shore.
This could not have been truer for me. I had filled every inch of my time with work and when I wasn’t doing work I was thinking about work. I had drained my body and soul until all that was left was a stressed out husk. On a particularly stressful day my mind was so clouded that I shut off my laptop, grabbed my favourite candle and went and sat in my studio. After a few deep breaths I got out my sketch pad and began to draw. I used the most relaxing colours and subjects I could think of, which turned into prints that now hang on my wall. For the first time in ages I had set aside time to do something that brought me a sense of calm and joy. This planted a seed in my mind and the more often I came into my studio, the more time I was making for other joyful things in my life. It was the accumulation of these experiences, both the positive (following of my passion) and negative (burning myself out) that led to the creation of the Lagom Design Studio.
Today, so many women feel the need to be the best, to stay the best and this is shown through the sacrifices they make for their work. This not only manifests in loss of their own time, but time with their loved ones, in competition with others and at the expense of their health. My journey to start Lagom is not a story about weakness, but about the strength to pull yourself up and cast aside fear in place of living the life you want. It is a message of support to any woman (or man!) reading this who feels stuck, who feels isolated, overworked, lost or who feels that what they do is not enough - you are not alone.
This is also not a lamentation about how hard I had it. I made choices that led me down this path, but the experiences I had led to some serious growth and without it I would not be as happy as I am now. Nor would this Studio exist. I started my first business at 17 and whether you are like me and have had a winding career path with many turns and pivots, or you are a straight arrow with a life-long dream of doing something you love, all I can say is don’t wait forever to go for it.
As I have said in many of my posts, the purpose of this Studio is twofold. One - to create art that elevates your space and helps bring a sense of joy and meaning to your home. Two – to use the Studio as a medium to create connection, sustainability and balance. "Not too little and not too much, just the right amount"- the ultimate philosophy behind Lagom.
Now at the ripe age of 28 I am finally doing what I love and a huge part of that is sharing this journey, my art and my inspirations with you.
Love, Freya x