"roots"

A meaningful word which has inspired us in this season’s Autumn/Winter collection. What does it mean and why is it important for our existence and actions? A conversation with Josefine Ekstrand.

We have met 'Josie' and her lovely family in the south of Portugal. Together with her husband Emil and the two kids Leopold (5) and Hilma (3), they took the road from Copenhagen all the way through Europe in an unique self-renovated bus, which they dearly call “the blue wave”, a cool project which shows their adventurousness for life and the urge of creativity. We immediately had a crush on them so it was obvious that we had to bring Josie and her adorable kids in front of the lense for our AW20 collection “ROOTS”.

Josefine Ekstand, the determined woman

Josie, our dear friend and the creative mind behind her own brand, LEO LEO Copenhagen, a family run business with the focus on organic and sustainable toys for kids. Talking about a sustainable lifestyle, her personal meaning of the word ‘roots’ and the creativity she is driven with. 

It is very clear to see that Josie has an eye for aesthetics (check out her Instagram: @leoleofamily – an absolute must !) and the desire and understanding of a sustainable living. She runs on creative ideas and likes to develope her designs until they are exactly what she had in mind. It comes very handy to have skilled craftmanship. Her origin and education in Skandinavian design is also quite notable, "less is more" and less doesn't only mean minimalism. She also surrounds herself with projects with a deeper meaning.

“We’re regular DIY nerds in this house. We love making things ourselves. Building furniture’s, sewing clothes etc. A conscious mindset is to me mandatory and luckily we find it fun to figure out our own solutions. Brewing our own kombucha, making our own toys and follow the ‘buy better, buy less principle’.”

"A CONSCIOUS MINDSET IS MANDATORY TO ME"

 

So no wonder that the power couple created their own brand inspired by the love of their family, to share their passion and backgrounds with everyone (with those skills, you can rule the world !).

When and why did you start LEO LEO?

“I thought my path was in high fashion, but highly pregnant doing my master on The Danish Royal College of Fine Arts, I realized I could take my creativity in another direction. It was a total game changer. The kid’s world, this parallel universe filled with playful brands and bright colors for kids opened up. That was it! I was at my sewing machine the rest of the pregnancy and knew something special was cooking.”

 

What inspires you?

To me it’s all about not overthink everything. If it ain’t fun, then what’s the point really?! We have a rule and it’s about saying “yes” rather than “no”! That makes everything in our everyday work more fun and thus spread the inspiration.

 

  "BREATHE AND EXHALE - LIFE IS GIVEN TO US, SO I TRY TO MAKE IT AS BEAUTIFUL AS I POSSIBLY CAN FROM WHERE I STAND"

 

ABOUT ROOTS

The meaning of ‘roots’ is our primary source of origin and starts with a relation to a place because we were born there or grew up there. In the botany we are talking about the roots, which give strength to the whole plant. But it also is our lifeline, which nurtures us and gives us strengths. Our roots are our base from where we get our direction, grow and expand in new paths.

"I find that becoming a mother has clarified many things for me, especially the importance of shaping my own family and to be the solid ground for my kids to stay on. That to me is very important.”

So when it comes to her own roots, Josie gets reminded by her own origin, where she came from and what it means to be Skandinavian.

"Being in Scandinavia we are far from the world's focal points. We have no hurricanes, earthquakes or major government conflicts. It’s both good and bad. The opposites and having something to fight for, man may well need some time in order to evolve."

"ROOTS IS ALSO A SYMBOL OF BEING CONNECTED TO THE EARTH AND OF BEING ABLE TO STAND FIRM ON ONE'S OWN VALUES AND DREAMS"

"It also makes me realize that not all roots are permanent. Growing into adulthood I find, that roots can grow in new directions, seek water on new land.” 

 

5 Thoughts from Josie:

FEARLESS
“I try to look fear in the eyes, knowing it’s a part of life, but not necessarily an obstacle. When you walk past the fear, you discover that it was often just an illusion.”

 

LOVE
“I’ve often wondered about love and one thing I’ve realized is, that self-love is always a good place to start loving.”

 

HAPPINESS
“The joy of cleaning and be home alone for an hour, just to enjoy it before the kids take over.”

 

MOTIVATION
“Motivation comes and goes, but it helps me to have a goal! Motivation seems to occur; in that very moment you know what you want.”

 

VALUES
“I refuse to compromise as a designer. I often work from having developed on 20 designs of which only one goes into production. I'm probably not as uncompromising in my private life, but I've taught myself not to deal with people who do not want the best for me.”

 

Also a special thanks to our dear friend Birgit Sfat, she took the photos above, @overtheocean_com

 

 

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