The year 2014 has brought us plenty to be happy about: Innovative and beautiful designs, fantastic interiors, new talented designers, interesting trends, etc. I thought it would be fun to look back at the last 12 months and to come up with a special “Best of 2014” series of posts, and this is the 11th and last article – See them all here.

While I was reflecting on all the great things that happened throughout the year, I came up with five milestones that I’m proud of and that contributed to the growth of Nordic Design (and myself!).

Milestones-2014-Full-time01

Possibly one of the scariest, but thrilling, decisions I had to make. Ever. At the end of December 2013, I quit my job and my steady income to be fully dedicated to Nordic Design. I had dreamt of being my own boss, having a flexible work schedule and, mostly, being able to do what I love from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. This new adventure has brought its lot of challenges and emotions, and it was a steep learning curve. Of course there were doubts and peer pressure, but stepping out of my comfort zone has brought me so much. I reviewed my priorities, and I grew tremendously on a professional and personal level. It has been such a fantastic time. And I’m so happy.
Cheers to the unknown, to pursuing dreams, to living life to the fullest!

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I had the opportunity to travel most of January 2014. I visited design fairs, met with designers, discovered trends, and strolled down the streets of Stockholm, Reykjavik and Amsterdam, all with one main purpose: To kick off the year with a great dose of inspiration! The trip was so reinvigorating, I decided to make it an annual tradition! In 2015, my design pilgrimage will take me to Stockholm, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Tallinn and Paris. I’m so excited, I can’t wait to get started! Only one day to go, and I’ll be on my way. Expect to see several posts about these amazing cities and my discoveries in the coming days.

Read the full report here.

Milestones-2014-Shop-directory

Following numerous requests from readers to share my tips on where to shop for the best designs, including Scandinavian products, I compiled a list of my favorite retailers and launched The Shop Directory back in August.

The Shop Directory is your one stop for design; it showcases the best online boutiques into one location, facilitating and enhancing the shopping experience. Selected shops have that little something that makes me want to come back for more. They have been selected for their uniqueness, quality, style and product assortment. You’ll discover where to find amazing Scandinavian products from leading brands as well as from up-and-coming designers, along with other fantastic designs for your home that are too-good-not-to-share – And have them shipped right to your door. It’s design shopping made easy!

I make it a personal mission to find the most interesting online boutiques for my readers, as well as to help out promising entrepreneurs by giving them some of the visibility they deserve. I came across so many inspiring shops, so many talented people, and so many exciting brands and products. I really hope you also enjoy this new section on the site!

Do you know a great site you think I’m missing? Suggest a shop here!

Milestones-2014-Shop-awardsThe first edition of the SHOP AWARDS took place from September 08th to October 22nd. Meant as a celebration of excellence in online shopping, this event served to recognize, reward and honour inspiring shops with exciting product assortments, attractive design and user-friendly websites. I also wanted to highlight shops that have a positive impact on the design industry and promote sustainability, craftsmanship, quality and aesthetics.

The event was such a success! Hundreds of shops were submitted from all around the world. I had five amazing jury members who selected 25 fantastic finalists. And finally, you voted for your five favourite online shopping destinations which you believed deserved to be crowned ‘Best Online Shops 2014’ – View them here.

I had lots of fun organizing the awards, and it is surely something I would like to repeat in 2015!

Milestones-2014-Christmas

Nordic Design’s 2014 Christmas Magazine was published early November. This fourth edition was filled with thoughtful gift ideas, inspiration for your décor, touching interviews, DIY projects… Lots of holiday goodness!

Making the magazine each year is somewhat bittersweet. It is a lot of work and I put a lot of pressure on myself to have new, interesting topics that you will find inspiring. Moreover, it is not easy to feel the Christmas spirit already in September, which is when I first start to gather pictures, to come up with ideas and to define the magazine’s table of content. To help me get into the mood, I like to create a festive atmosphere by lighting up a scented candle and playing some of my favourite holiday music. Needless to say, when December comes, the anticipation is long gone and there is little excitement left for the celebrations… I honestly wonder each year if I might be publishing the last edition of the Christmas Magazine.

But then, this happens: Hundreds of thousands of online impressions, downloads, shares, likes, pins, comments, emails, and congratulations. Every year, I’m overwhelmed and overjoyed with such a fantastic outcome. It even gets better and better! Thanks to all of your support, cheerful encouragements and thumbs up, I get the motivation to keep on going, to improve and to provide you with a proper Christmas Magazine 2015 – Challenge accepted!

All pics are from my Instagram account