Meet the designer: E.Leijon
Emelie Leijon never planned for a creative business. She has always been very athletic and had a career as a professional golf player when she decided to do something different. That something led to the launch of her brand E.Leijon.
Emelie grew up in the small town of Gislaved in Småland. “Everyone knows anyone there, it is a very small community. I have a three sisters and we all played golf so we were known as the golf sisters, When I moved to Stockholm, I really enjoyed the energy and the anonymity, that I got to start to build a new identity away from the golf” she tells us when we meet in her bright and stylish home in Nacka, just outside of Stockholm.
She moved to Stockholm in 2008 and started art school. “I’ve always been very interested in colour and design, and it was great to be able to explore that. But it was a little bit too arty for me, I wanted to find a way to make a living from it. When I went on to study Graphical Design at Berghs School of Communication, I found an approach to the creative work that suited me better” she tells me. Her final project during her studies laid the foundation for her current collection of tableware. “I wanted to do something different, something three dimensional. My boyfriend is in the restaurant business, and that inspired me to create tableware. I found a ceramist in Gothenburg that helped me do the prototypes for my project, and that I applied my patterns to. It was, and still is, the biggest challenge for me, to find partners to produce the ceramics. It is a balance finding someone who is willing to work small scale and have the capacity to expand, but still being able to keep control of the costs”.
Emelie has never been doing pottery herself. “No, for me the interest of design goes beyond the material. And I have such respect for the talent and hard work that each craftsman can bring to my project. In general, I believe in finding persons that are better than me in different areas and have them help me to reach my goal. If I were to learn everything as good as them, I would never be able to continue to develop and grow my company, with new patterns, products and collections”.
Her background in sports definitely shows in her drive and determination. You can really tell that she is in this for the long run, and she has a clear vision of where she wants to go. “At the moment, I work from home. I set up a small photo studio to do my patterns, and until just recently I stored most of my stock here as well. Luckily, I’ve just rented a small storage, so now we don’t have to see boxes everywhere” she laughs. “But my goal is definitely to have my own studio and work full time with my own brand. It might take a few years to get there, but I know I’ll make it” she says. “I already have plans and ideas for my next collection, it will be released in 2018 according to my plans, but before that I will launch a few more pieces to complete the tableware collection”.
I leave her home impressed with her gentle and sweet personality, combined with so much drive, determination and professionalism. I’m convinced that her future career will be a very exciting one to follow.