Today we are honored to introduce you to Annika from Lilleputt Studio.
Please introduce yourself to our readers and explain a little bit about your business.
My name is Annika Schmidt, and I am the artist and designer behind Lilleputt Studio. Growing up spending summers in Sweden visiting family, I have always been captivated by all things Scandinavian. I am inspired not only by the stark and beautiful simplicity of Scandinavian design, but also by the calm and considered lifestyle. At Lilleputt, a lot of my designs stem from nostalgia or memories of time spent there, and the belief that the playful and whimsical should not only be reserved for children but appreciated by all ages. My emphasis is on simple, thoughtful designs, incorporating bold pattern and cheerful color. ‘Lilleputt’, Swedish for “pee-wee”, was named for the size of the studio, and for the size of some of our intended customers.
All of the patterns and designs are my own. The fabrics are digitally printed by a domestic fabric-printing company, a environmentally-friendly process, using eco-friendly, water-based inks on natural fabrics. All fabrics are then cut and sewn here in the studio. The ceramic and glass items are printed locally in Maine.
We believe that one of the ways to achieve happiness is to “Do what you love, love what you do.” How does this philosophy apply to your life?
Graduating from art school with a degree in Furniture Design in the middle of the recession, I got swept up in the current to New York City, which seemed to hold the most prospects and opportunity. There I held a variety of positions, often simultaneously; designing, freelancing, serving as an artist’s assistant, and as a waitress as well. While I wasn’t unhappy, I wasn’t doing what I loved. In fact, in the three years I lived there, I barely even picked up a pencil with my own work in mind. It began to feel unproductive, and I began to question the reason for my being there and for working so hard. After a brief stay in Portland, my like-minded boyfriend and I packed up on a whim and left Brooklyn and the life-style behind. With the change of scene, and having more than a few extra feet of space, I was able to set up a little studio and get sewing. It wasn’t long before I was designing my own fabrics, and putting most of my energy into ‘Lilleputt’. While I still wear many hats and love to have my hands in many projects, Lilleputt is the constant thread in my life. It focuses my energy and keeps me on track. I’m never happier than when I’m feeling productive and working towards something, so Lilleputt has become that structured environment I need to just sit down and get to work.
Our mission here at The Bright Side Project is to spread sunshine on a daily basis because we firmly believe that life is (still) beautiful. Where do you find beauty and inspiration?
I love watching or overhearing small random moments between people; a parent’s amusement at a curious child’s question, cheerful conversation between strangers, or spontaneous acts of kindness. I think it’s very easy to get caught up in ourselves, our errands and obligations; it’s moments like these that remind me to step back and reflect. I often find it’s the quiet moments in our daily routines that can hold the most joy, but are so often overlooked or taken for granted.
On a dreary day, what do you do to infuse your life with a little bit of sunshine?
Nothing makes me happier than being holed up in the studio on a dreary day, but if the weather is getting me down, the best thing for me is to grab the dog and head out into it. Living on the peninsula here in Portland, Maine, we are a 5 minute walk to the water in three directions. Regardless of the weather, there is something about that gusty, salty air that always cleanses the soul and rejuvenates me.
And if all else fails, I bake.
What are you most grateful for?
Support. My friends and family have always been supportive and encouraging, and my boyfriend has always believed in me and my work, even when I’ve had my doubts. I’ve always had the drive to be self-sufficient and independent, so it’s never been easy for me to ask for help. Having those constants there has enabled me to feel confident and secure, even when taking risks.
Check back later today for an amazing giveaway from Lilleputt Studio!