Scan Magazine | Issue 68 | September 2014

Page 35

Scan Magazine | Special Theme | Swedish Style & Design - Our Top Brands

Bold – and remembered for it With a penchant for colour coordination and a strong strategic intuition, Maria Lovisa Dahlberg is the brain behind the candle holder so popular that it is now approaching international design icon status. Represented in 400 interior decoration shops worldwide, including The Conran Shop and Skandium, her company Freemover has reached an eight million SEK turnover since its inception a decade ago, and now a collaboration with the Lamino maker, Swedese, has the design world bubbling over with excitement. By Linnea Dunne | Photos: Freemover

“It seems a lot of people think that you’re either a creative or a business person, but I’ve had the chance to combine the two,” says the entrepreneur who has studied both design and economics, lived in seven countries to date, and did a work placement at Australian department store David Jones at the tender age of 16, learning all about marketing, photo shoots and fancy magazines. “In some ways I’ve been lucky, but I’ve also always been hungry for knowledge and keen to test what I’ve learnt to see if it works. And most often, it did.” Determination and focus are present throughout the Freemover story, the entire venture being self-funded from the get-go and the growth carefully managed by accepting plenty of help from both

mother and sisters. And sure enough, it has worked a treat – but being businessminded in a world of creatives can be tough, says Dahlberg, who prefers the entrepreneur label to calling herself an artist: “It’s almost taboo to talk money in design and art circles in Sweden, but I can’t pay rent with gratitude alone!” The Rolf series of candle holders, a modern interpretation of an old ’50s classic, made sure that paying rent would not be an issue. Initially launched at DesignTorget in 2004, the simple yet striking design became a huge hit, and with its three heights and countless colours it is now somewhat of a collectable. “I like the movement the combination of different heights creates, and the modern yet clas-

sic colours have been key to the concept’s success,” says Dahlberg, adding that her penchant for colours is a time-consuming vice as much as an invaluable skill. As Freemover prepares to launch a collaboration with Swedese, dressing its classic Lamino armchair in graphic textiles, a Dahlberg hallmark starts to emerge. Descriptions such as ‘graphically sculptural’ and ‘confidently playful’ spring to mind. “I’d rather be a bit bold and remembered for it than create something bland,” she says. “I love fun, strong and clear colours and patterns.”

Above left: Maria Lovisa Dahlberg. Right: Swedese's Lamino in the Prisma print.

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