Interview by Entreprenörden

Summer inspiration – ArtWorkStockholm

Maria is 29 years old, born and raised in Stockholm. Her interests are many, ranging from being in nature to training, meditation, learning new things, exploring a particular subject or developing new ideas and creating own projects.

ArtWorkStockholm birth

I started the company in 2012, when I was 23 years old and I dreamed of unconditional creativity as well as freedom. To wake up every morning and make the day as I wish – a dream of having a “vacation feeling” every day.

To determine the place, time, how and what I do is the core driving force. But also that I must constantly develop, find new ways and challenge myself. Every day does not look the same. Life is exciting and I am the one creating my own life, that creates joy and enthusiasm.

ArtWorkStockholm, the Business

I work with graphic design, identities, websites and communication. The goal of ArtWorkStockholm is to make a difference in our society through design and communication. Communication is the core in everything we do. And I think it is everybodys resposibility to do whatever they can for others. I try to make the world a better place by working Pro-bono for small non-profit organizations who works and help other people.

Office? On Crete!

At the moment I am in Crete. The dream is to live a flexible life where I have the possibility to get inspired by new environments. I live a simple life that makes it easy to move and work from different places. When it appeared an opportunity to live the dream, I took it and chose a place that felt exciting.

The biggest difference between Crete and Sweden is the pace. People move slower here, they take a coffee and eat their breakfast in the sun. They greet each other, give each other advice in the grocery store and seem genuinely happy. When I’m here I do not long for anything else, and I can focus on my work in a different way. Culture and climate also make a big difference, more than we think. The sun gives us life!

Maria, the Entrepreneur!

I have a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Creating new projects, organizations or making an idea of reality is something that I’m passionate about.

The journey

The balance between a regular employment and my business has been the most difficult part. It took me many years before I dared to work 100% with the company. Economic pressure and overwork is the hard backside of running a business and it took time and illness before I found the balance.
When I look back, I’ve somehow “sacrificed” a lot, my health is one the top three of that list together with lost time with family and friends.
If I would do it again I would not have done it alone, I would look for a partner.

Common mistakes?

There is No plan. I know that it’s exciting to create and run your own business, but to go from idea to reality, you need a plan (not something huge and difficult) and a budget. It usually costs more money than one thinks to market their business, build their brand, website, business cards, etc. Everything that a company needs in the start costs money. The consequence might be that you cannot sell your product or services and need to start over again. Do it right from the start.

Why should you run your own company?

To spend your everyday life with something you are passion about! It is the best thing ever. Looking forward to tomorrow’s working day and feeling excited and enthusiastic about what you do. Life feels good every day. But yes, there is always a backside. The backside of running your own business (my opinion) is the insecurity about money. But it is totally worth it.

Maria’s tips for you who want to run your own business

Dare to invest in design. It is important to understand the impression that one’s brand gives its surroundings. A brand is something that lives, Each time your brand is in contact with a person it leaves an emotion. It can be good and bad, this is why you want to prioritize design from the beginning of your journey. Design is not only about what things looks like, its about what it feels like. As a designer, my job is to make sure that a brand looks and feels in a certain way. If your company sells “luxury” your brand needs to feel luxurious otherwise there is no credibility in who you are and what you do.

We also live in a time where thousands of brands do and sell the same thing. So dare to be unique and dare to stand for who you are and what you believe in. Dare to be you.

I would also like to advise companies to challenge themselves in terms of corporate social responsibility. How can your company make the world a better place?

Link to Swedish source: Entreprenörden – sommarinspiration ArtWorkStockholm

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