Sweden has a forward thinking culture, which has led to it becoming one of the most vibrant start-up cities in the world, for fashion, tech and lifestyle brands.
Examples of traditional Swedish brands, of which not many in the UK could have missed are, H&M, Ericsson, IKEA and Absolut Vodka.
...New start-ups from the last 15 years are giving them a run for their money: Skype, Spotify, iZettle, Cheap Monday and the lastest to hit the list is Happysweeds.
Happysweeds are a new brand who only launched their first collection in 2014, and are already taking Sweden by storm. They design and create Umbrellas, but visiting the face behind the brand Rodney Lacey, it is clear that they represent so much more than just protecting you from the rain.
Earlier this autumn we jumped on the train to meet with Rodney at the Happysweeds new HQ in Sundbyberg, which he explained is on the brink of experiencing gentrification and is one of the next up and coming areas in Stockholm. I cant help but draw a parallel to Happysweeds themselves. The brand is only a year old, yet every store we were recommended to visit in Stockholm (have a look at our Stockholm guide here) what did we find? A box of Happysweeds umbrellas.
See the Happysweeds range here
One of our favourites is the Sky Lake, which is black on the outside and has a blue sky on the inside - we like the fact that it is for your enjoyment, not for others.
Another best seller is the Diamond wet look, which when dry is plain black and add water - it transforms and like magic a diamond pattern emerges. Very sophisticated.
Rodney has a creative energy, which he is focusing on designing the most stylish umbrellas we have ever seen. Have a read as to what motivates him:
What kind of products do you create and who do you create them for?
>> We create umbrellas turning peoples rainy and gloomy days into shining bright ones! We believe in creating an experience for people besides selling “just” an umbrella.
Could you tell us a little about some of your most recent design work?
>> We create designs from everything that inspires us where we believe it brings out a good vibe in people.
What inspires you?
>> Creative people, colours, architecture, the environment and love.
What is essential in your life?
>> Love, family, health, design and happiness.
What is your favourite place in Scandinavia?
>> Stockholm, since this is where I was born and was raised to a big extent of my life. Stockholm has a lot to do with who I am as a person. Also Ulricehamn, a fantastic place.
What does Nordic Living mean to you?
>> Nordic Living gives me a feel of cool design, beautiful craftsmanship. Something that has a great meaning to it.