Recently, we launched a new blog post series for the ELSA AND ME website. Entitled “Herstory”, the posts profile women we admire and asked them some set questions on what they enjoy about their work, what they think makes America great, and how a woman from an older generation inspired them.
We hadn’t intended to do a post centered around ELSA AND ME founder Maja Svensson for a while and weren’t even sure if we actually would at all, but late last month Maja got word that her grandmother Elsa, who this company is named after, passed away in Sweden. She was 85 and had been in declining health.
“For everyone in my family, I believe we'd already felt a partial loss when she had a stroke 3 years ago and pieces of her personality and self-expression had disappeared,” Maja explained, “but Tuesday before last marked the definite farewell of our beloved Elsa.”
So in memory of Elsa, we wanted to do a special “Herstory” post with Maja to talk about her grandmother’s influence and a couple of other things.
How did your grandmother inspired you?
My grandmother inspired me in a number of ways, but I believe that her biggest impact was her way of being very content and present in living a very simple life. She reused what she had and didn't live to consume. I have a picture of her when she's sitting smiling on her little outdoor patio surrounded by flowers that she'd cared for and on the backside of the photo it says "My Paradise, Summer 2010." Although I believe things were scarce for my grandmother at times, having been a homemaker and dependent on my grandfather's income and not getting a lot of pension of her own, she made it work and cherished what she had. And that is something I will forever carry with me and always try to include in my own lifestyle.
What do you love about what you do?
I love to build things and building a business is part of that passion of seeing something evolve from nothing. But what I love the most about what ELSA AND ME has come to be is that I'm able to provide made-to-measure clothing to a larger audience of women, giving the opportunity to be of any dress size and still get something that fits nicely.
Maja is wearing the original ELSA dress paired with a scarf that used to be Elsa's.
How does your fashion style reflect who you are?
Aside from wearing ELSA AND ME's dresses A LOT, I have had and still do have a very varying style. I try to get creative with my style and mix and match to surprise the viewer and I think this reflects on my personality in that I like the unexpected in life that doesn't fit into a box.