We are already in the third week of January 2023. Three weeks into the new year. I gave myself some sort of time off over Christmas and New Years, which in my case meant I ended all promotion of the Christmas offer and paused social media. I decided to enjoy for a while that so many people bought the Christmas package, consisting of two tea towels and a pot holder, and that it actually meant that MWD was in the red at the end of the year!
The first two weeks have been a lot about planning for the coming year. In addition to MWD, I run a project together with Karin Callin on the theme of sisterhood, female leadership and entrepreneurship. We have named this collaboration Sister Creation! and it's something we've both wanted to delve into for a long time. At the time of writing there is a brand new website and a facebook group which quickly gained over 100 members. We are extremely happy and proud of that. If you think this sounds interesting and want to know more, you can join the group by searching Systerskapa! and then apply to join. You can also read more on the website .
Model after 50
Another very funny and unexpected thing that happened is that I got a modeling contract! An agency that invests heavily in combating ageism and promoting older bodies and souls in the modeling profession has started to gain ground and I am one of a little over 100 50+ models. It feels both fun and important to be able to contribute to this. If you are curious about what my model self looks like, you can surf here .
Portfolio photography with the amazing photographer Veronika Szweijk.
Madeleine Wideland Designs
But back to MWD. Here at the beginning of 2023, I can state that the past year has been eventful. It's pretty much exactly one year as a self-employed person, with my own brand as a textile designer. I have managed to go from dream to reality and when I look back at everything I achieved during the year, it almost feels...unreal! It has been a year of countless lessons and surprises. Some positive things and some less positive.
- The webshop up and running in English
- 16 different fabrics by the meter and hand-sewn cushion covers in linen
- Feature in Sköna Hem and Allt i hemme Sommarliv
- Open house in Järna with many visitors and good sales
- Divorce and separation
- Left my studio in Järna and now have a studio at home
- Began an assignment as a freelance teacher on the Mothership but dropped out/postponed it
- Started Sisterskapa! and held a first workshop
- Signed the first modeling contract of my life with Golden Age Models
- Open house in the new studio with good sales
- Changed webshop platform to be able to have it in several languages, especially Swedish
- New collection with 16 new fabrics/patterns and hand-stitched kitchen towels in cotton/linen
- The Christmas campaign with towels and pot holders was a success
With this in the bag, I have reflected and contemplated what I want to invest in for 2023 and what may have to be left behind. At the end of each year, I do a mental inventory and instead of making New Year's resolutions that cannot be kept, I decide on an intention and a word that will guide me through the coming year. For 2023 it is Center (in English center, in Swedish centra) which for me means that I must practice letting everything I do have its origin in my innermost being and grow outward into what will become. Not letting what is outside of me, other people's needs and impulses or anything else that my sensitive mind picks up, guide my choices. This may be the hardest thing there is for me and certainly for many others (especially women who are raised to satisfy other people's wishes first and their own last). It is partly about setting limits for myself, which in turn can only be done when I listen inwardly. As a basis for it to work at all, I need to take care of myself. I do this, among other things, by:
- minimal stress
- prioritize sleep (eats melatonin which works so well)
- cook and eat good food (The portion during the tian is a goldmine!)
- associate with people who give energy and wisdom
I am now single and the baby has moved out and I have only myself and Mickey the cat to take care of, for the first time in my adult life. I have never lived alone before, apart from a few months when I was young and between two boyfriends. It gives me space to center and really explore who I am, who I want to be, how I want to live. We can call it egocentric and that's totally fine. However, it is very little about sitting back and very much about looking ahead and taking steps in the direction I set out.
So what do we think 2023 will look like for Madeleine Wideland Designs?
We will minimize the stock of fabrics and finished products and instead focus on manufacturing to order. The unstable economic situation combined with sustainability considerations makes it smarter to do so. This means several positive effects for our customers as well:
- more designs to choose from
- more different products
- greater opportunity to special order what you want
- The delivery time will be slightly longer because the fabric must be printed after ordering and any products must be sewn, but it is about 7-14 days and it might still feel okay.
- Certain fabric qualities will not be able to continue to be produced because the cost will be too high as you have to go up many meters for the price to drop. So you cannot order 1 meter of a pattern at a reasonable price.
It's great fun to have a brand new collection like this at the beginning of the year and those fabrics are perfect for spring. Now we also offer, for example, placemats and tablecloths in those fabrics. Because they are made in a cotton/linen fabric, they are more durable for everyday use. I'm busy putting this up in the web shop, but it's great to order right now by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org . You just look in the shop at the fabrics here and specify which fabric you want for your tablets and quantity. Price for one tablet is SEK 250 and if you buy four, you get a SEK 50 discount!
I hope you have had a good start to the year and find a way to get through the very gray blanket of January. After all, there is a limit to how much you can immerse yourself in the Swedish coziness...