Being an entrepreneur and small business owner, I love to hear success stories of talented people who started companies, with the goal to make a difference and to to bring something new to the market; people driven by a vision, a passion, a curiosity, and a determination; people with a mission.

Today I would like to introduce you to Maria Richardsson, the founder of Nordic Design Collective – A fantastic online shop we proudly feature in our Directory. It is a marketplace for new and upcoming designers in the Nordics, where you’ll find hundreds of home accessories, jewels, prints, etc. – Handpicked items you won’t find everywhere else!

Here, Maria kindly answered a few of our questions.

 

Q: What inspired you to start your shop? 
A: There are so many talented designers out there, but if you’re not a total design nerd it is really difficult to find them. At the same time, as a designer you might not be that passionate about sales, marketing and e-commerce. So that’s were we come in, we make the two worlds meet.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-01

 

Q: What sets your shop aside from it’s competitors?
A: I think it is the focus on upcoming designers, we don’t carry any of the bigger Nordic brands, just new and exciting stuff from young designers.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-07

 

Q: Who or what influences your style? To what do you attribute your wonderful aesthetic?
A: I would have to say the Nordic design heritage, in combination with the talented designers we work with.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-02

 

Q: How do you find the pieces/products for your store?
A: In many different ways. Sometimes the designers contact us, sometimes we find them through trade shows, exhibitions or social media.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-06

 

Q: What are the biggest challenges you face with running your own store?
A: Oh, where to start. There are so many different challenges in building your own business. Anything from daily things like finances and server problems to finding the time to do all the things you want to expand and develop your business.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-07

 

Q: What do you love most about having your own store?  
A: I think there is two things that are important for me. First of all, the feeling that we are actually making an difference for someone, that we can help and support the new designers in getting their businesses off the ground. And secondly, the sense of freedom you get when you’re in the drivers seat and in charge of your own future. There are definitely challenges with that as well, but the fact that you’re in charge of your own destiny beats most difficulties.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-05

 

Q: What are you proud of? 
A: Again, the one thing I’m most proud of is working with all of our amazing designers, being able to support them in building their businesses and making a difference for them.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-04

 

Q: Do you have any special projects in the pipeline or exciting future plans?
A: Well, we certainly do have a lot of exciting ideas! I’m not sure exactly what will be the next project, but we are hoping to travel the world a bit more, to spread the word about our talents.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-03

 

Q: What are your favorite pieces/products at the moment?
A: Wow, such a difficult question! The new Glasilium vases from Eva Levin are spectacular, and the wool blanket Ruter from Lina Johansson is also really beautiful.

 

Interview-Maria-Richardsson-NordicDesignCollective-08

 

Visit Nordic Design Collective to discover true gems!

 

Photos: Nordic Design Collective