Browsing Tag

interview

Be Inspired

Yuhme – a water bottle with a purpose

Approaching maternity leave with her youngest daughter, Alexandra Nash began questioning their family’s day to day existence. Why should she and her husband spend eight hours a day away from their children? How could they expect their children to grow up looking at the world in a unique way if they live the same way as everyone else? And most importantly, how could they make a difference? All of this resulted in the beautiful journey of Yuhme, the world’s most eco-friendly water bottle.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Michelle Chavez

Alex & Alex, the Gothenburg based couple figured they wanted something more out of life, while at the same time do good, so they decided to start their own business. Since they are both former athletes it came naturally that it had to be sports related, and what better than a water bottle?
– Water is the start of everything. Water is the first step out of poverty, it allows children to go to school, it allows parents to start farming and being able to provide, and most importantly clean water means we stay healthy and alive. Over 500 million people today still don’t have access to clean water. And a crazy fact is that if we used all the money we spend on buying bottled water we could end the entire water crisis, they explain.

Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment.

Having decided on producing a bottle, it was important to keep it environmentally friendly.
– Yuhme is about showing that you can start a company that does good for humanity without compromising the environment. Because there is no point to give with one hand, but contribute to another problem (global warming), with the other. And the name, Yuhme, is an acronym of You Us Humanity Me Environment, Alexandra says.

They set out on a journey looking for the right material, and when they came across a special type of plastic, not produced from oil but sugarcane, they knew it was the perfect fit.
–  After researching the material thoroughly, we both realized that this was the only material we could make a bottle from, and even better after a lot of research and hard work we managed to start the production in Sweden.

What makes this particular bottle better than other eco-friendly bottles?
– I would say because it reduces C02 levels in its production. It is CO2 negative from cradle to gate, which means it actually takes CO2 out of the atmosphere. The bottle is also produced from sugarcane which is a renewable resource, unlike stainless steel, aluminum, glass and oil-based plastics, which other bottles are made from and are all produced from finite resources.

And for each of their handy and beautifully designed bottles sold, Yuhme provides six months of clean water to a person in the Central African Republic through Water for Good, an organization working to empower people with sustainable access to clean water.
– We work very closely with Water for Good and they are an amazingly transparent organization, so the figure of exactly six months comes from them crunching the numbers based on how much we donate. They work extremely hard on both maintenance and new digging, which is important as many new wells break down after a few years and no one knows how to fix them. They also train the local people so that they can do the work for themselves. And lastly all money donated goes directly to the cause. Administrative costs etc. are fundraised separately, they explain.

With their beautiful patterns, hand drawn by a Swedish artist, they sell not only a beautiful water bottle, they, together with their customers, give the best gift a person can give: clean water, while taking care of the environment.

How can we (the common man) contribute to reducing the impact of climate change?
– In making daily decisions that are thought through. Is it reasonable that something costs 30SEK for example? Do the research, just because someone says it is eco-friendly is it? Also, accept costs to a certain degree. We work a lot with new materials, and in order for them to get out there and reach mass production people need to use them, and in the beginning, they might not be the cheapest. Try to think of your consumption rate, recycle, be mindful of your food and travel choices.

Any tips on daily sustainable switches you can easily make?
– Stop using things that are made from oil. Don´t litter ever, especially not in the ocean. From my perspective, the problem is not so much what is in the ocean, but how it gets there. Always make mindful choices. And don’t waste water.

If you are interested in learning more about Yuhme, head over to their website or check out their Instagram account and the #betheyuhme. Alex and Alex will also be in Stockholm to talk about their mission on Saturday the 26th of August. Get your tickets today. 


Name: Alexandra and Alexander Nash
Age: 34 and 34
Lives: Gothenburg, Sweden
Are inspired by: Social Entrepreneurs like Blake MyCoskie, Caitlin Crospy, and Adam Braun.

Be Inspired Mind

Embrace yourself wholeheartedly

Emotional baggage; we all got it and kind off hate it. Sandra Aggemo on the other hand sees it as a gift and embraces it wholeheartedly. Why? Because she believes that is what makes a person unique.
By: Henriette Danielsen

I met Sandra for the first-time years ago in a small town in Sweden where she was studying Business and Finance. When our paths crossed again a few years later in Stockholm, she had quit her job to pursue her dream of working as a fulltime Life Coach. This awoke my curiosity!

Her whole adult life Sandra has been running from the feeling of not being good enough, even though everyone around her always spoke so highly of her.
– People have always said that I should be happy and proud; “You are such a talent, you have this and that… You have good education, good job, friends”. I could hear them, but I really couldn’t feel what they told me to feel. It was like something was missing, she explains.

Nevertheless, she is thankful for this, because it led her into areas like KBT and ACT (cognitive- behavioral therapy); reading all kinds of books, meeting therapists, doing yoga and meditation, talking to friends about it and finally, finding her path in life and become a certified Life Coach.

– I wanted to use all my emotional baggage to better understand me and my surroundings. To be a Life Coach, for me, is an approach to life itself; curiosity, openness, warm meetings and vulnerability.

But what does a Life Coach do exactly?
– A Life Coach will help you dig underneath the thoughts and feelings of “what if’s”, help you realize what’s important to you and explore those inner voices. Which one is the terrified and playing-it-safe inner-critic and which one is your bedazzling inner intuitive voice? As a coach, I help you clarify and sort it all out. During the coaching-session you are encouraged to find your own answers, your own truth. I have the questions, you have the answers. As a Life Coach, I act as an objective warm hearted friend, support, encourage and challenge you.

Sandra has always loved that spark in someone else’s eye when they realize something about themselves or their life that can help them overcome their fear and find their path.
– I have always wondered what people run from. We are in such a high pace all the time. Why? It’s like we need to finish a race, but the finish line is being moved forward all the time. We sweat and forget to recharge at the water station. One of my answers are that we are running from ourselves, our longings, our feelings.

As a Life Coach, I have the magical opportunity to meet people at the “water station” and help them recharge and/or change direction.

Sitting opposite to Sandra I sense a certain calm aura over her, but at the same time she feels playful and adventurous. She has that look in her eye!
– People often find me both humorous and deep. I truly believe that the most serious things could include laughter and the funniest things could include tears. In my company, you are very welcome to both cry and laugh, she says.

Having built up a client base both in Stockholm and other parts of the country, Sandra sees a recurring topic in her sessions.
– Many of my clients feel stuck, lost or scared of doing what they truly dream of doing. Some have high expectations on themselves and the people around them which causes a lot of disappointment and stress. Some are struggling to understand who they are or just how to be themselves. Some say they have low self-esteem. Some say they don’t know what they like to do anymore. And some clients are extremely happy and just keen on exploring themselves, she explains.

While I listen to her I nod my head, I can indeed relate to more than one of those topics. Which makes me wonder, how do we become happy?
– I believe that the way we today constantly strive for happiness and pursuing our dream is more a happiness trap than anything else. And I have been there myself, always seeking for that good feeling trying to erase the “bad feelings”, striving for that next goal that should fulfil my life.

– I’ve realized that it’s not about seeking happiness or achieving goals, it’s about finding a peaceful way of living. It’s about understanding that we are in constant change and so are our feelings. Happiness it’s not static – a goal does not last forever. I see it as highly important to understand that humans have all sorts of feelings and accept that. A life in joy is not a life without tears, fear or uncertainty – it’s the opposite, she explains.

Before we part ways, we hug goodbye. The last Sandra says to me before she leaves is:
– Maybe happiness is the same thing as self-acceptance, being in contact with the real you and not trying to change everything. Because there is nothing as beautiful as a person being in contact with themselves, without a facade and lots of filters.


Name: Sandra Aggemo
Age: 28
Lives: Enskede, Sweden
One thing that makes me smile: People dancing – being captured in the power of now and the music.

If you want to learn more about Sandra Aggemo and her services you can check out her website and follow her Instagram account.

Be Inspired Stories

A new workout experience designed to transform & inspire

A new training concept is in town and I’m so excited! There’s nothing more motivating than
trying something new, and the timing is perfect because my new year’s boost is almost gone. I met up with Jennifer Winter, founder of the Bodywheel method to learn more.

By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Ali Mian

The Bodywheel method is a whole new training concept that is the lovechild of Pilates and functional fitness. The entire method is developed around a wheel that is used as a versatile guiding tool, and each class is 45 minutes of body conditioning, sculpting and lengthening the physique.

It was the lack of physically and mentally challenging classes that made Jennifer Winter set out on a quest with one goal: to simplify the fitness world.
– Either the classes were too long and easy or they felt rushed without direction. I also found them outdated and repetitive. It’s interesting how in 2017 we have drones and self-driving cars, but fitness and health seems to be stuck in the 90s. So why isn’t fitness granted the same innovation as all other aspects of modern life? Then it struck me; Fitness can be modern, fitness can be creative and fitness can be chic. My goal was to then create a workout that is updated and effective, she explains.

Jennifer was working as a professional ballet dancer in New York, London and Austria, but moved to Stockholm three years ago. Inspired by the entrepreneurship of Stockholmers she decided to switch careers and founded Bodywheel in September 2016.

When she created it, it was important for her that everyone would be able to participate in her classes.
– Each exercise is modifiable and the wheel allows you to decide your own level of intensity. There are also variations you can do without the wheel if an exercise is too advanced. In the future, I will develop an online guide showing each exercise step by step, she says.

I developed Bodywheel for the modern woman thus making it short and effective so you have the time to conquer the world

What makes this workout form better than others?
– This workout is something NEW! It gives your body and brain the opportunity to engage in a whole different way. I developed Bodywheel for the modern woman thus making it short and effective so you have the time to conquer the world. The biggest disappointment is leaving a class and not feeling sore the next day, so each Bodywheel exercise targets the body head to toe with direct muscle stimulation.

And the results show that it’s working!
– The combination of stretching and strengthening is the perfect dynamic your body needs. You will see improvements in your balance, coordination, mobility and overall strength. The wheel allows you to find your full range of motion and lengthens the muscles without bulk.

Do you recommend focusing on only this kind of workout or combine it with for example running etc.?
– Although the class is well rounded with elements of strength, cardio and stretching, I always encourage people to move in any way that motivates them. I love to combine a morning run with a Bodywheel session, she says.

Having invented a new and fun workout form kind off gives you the motivation to get up of the sofa, I guess. Do you have any tips for those who still struggle with getting more active?
– Start off slow. You can train for 15 minutes once a week, 20 the next. This gives your body the time to catch up and eliminates the stress-factor of having to get in shape right away. It’s a more realistic and approachable way of reaching your goals. Also, try to find a class that you genuinely enjoy, and then it won’t feel like working out.

Interested in giving Bodywheel a try? Check out Jennifer’s website here or follow her on Instagram for more inspiration.



Name: Jennifer Beatrice Winter
Age: 30
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
What motivates you? Knowing that I can help someone find their full potential and make them feel superhuman for 45 minutes is immensely motivational.

Stories

Get to know Sassa Asli

We have been inspired by the talented yoga teacher, personal trainer and blogger Sassa Asli for quite some time now, so we were thrilled when she met up with us for a little Q&A about yoga, health and her passion in life.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Sassa Asli

When did you start practicing yoga and what is it to you?
It’s my break, my energy and my happy place. It’s that space which I create so that I can connect back into the present moment. I started practicing yoga in February 2015, so I’m still a ”newbie”!

Has yoga changed your life in any way?
Yes, in many ways. I would argue it was one of the missing pieces in my life and it has helped me a lot over the past couple of years. It’s an overall tool that is very useful in many different aspects of life, and it has brought more self-love into my life, and for that I’m very grateful!

How do we set aside time for yoga in a hectic everyday life?
You just need to make it a priority. I believe that most people have time for the things that matters and are important in their life. It’s not always easy, but it almost always goes back to your priorities and how you choose to shape your daily schedule. Also, yoga does not need to be a physical practice all the time, some days a few minutes of breathing exercises or meditation at the office can be just as good!

Do you have any advice for beginners?
Smile more and don’t be too serious. I truly think it’s important to have more fun! I don’t believe yoga is all about being strict and to always aim for the most difficult poses. It’s rather about enjoying the journey, and to get to know your own body and mind. This, while you bring the beginners mindset as you evolve!

How do you find time for yourself? And what do you do?
My morning rituals are essential to me. Yoga practice, breakfast and workouts! That’s something I rarely compromise with. I don’t find time for myself, I make time for myself.

What makes you happy?
To travel, move my body and spend time with people I love!

What does health mean to you?
I don’t believe health can be captured in just one definition. However, words like balance, movement, good relationships and a positive mindset are some of the important ingredients for good health.

Have you always been as healthy as you are today?
Not at all! It’s a journey like everything else and you need to find out what works best for you.

Any advice for those who want to live a healthier life? Where to start?
Changing bad/old habits can take time. When it comes to food I often recommend to start adding a new healthy alternative every week or month, rather than black listing foods. Also, listen to your own body: Avoid changing all habits at once, as it might last for only a couple of weeks. Most importantly, be kind to yourself!

How would you describe your blog?
A delicious mix of self-love and self-care tools to create a more balanced and healthy lifestyle! I love to inspire people to embark on their own journeys and explore the beauty of a more vibrant, happy and healthy life!


Name: Sassa Asli
Age: 29
Occupation: Blogger, Yoga Teacher, PT
Lives: The Netherlands / Stockholm
Favorite yoga pose: It depends on my state of mind or what my body needs at that particular moment. But I must say that I love all kinds of inversions – headstand is definitely a favorite of mine.

Check out her blog or Instagram account for more inspiration

Stories

The road to self-love

On Instagram she goes under the name @blissfullyliving, where she inspires thousands of followers with her positive attitude and yummy pictures of food! But everyday life for Clara Mo hasn’t always been easy, and she shares her story with us!  
By: Henriette Danielsen Photo: Private

The autumn darkness has descended upon the city when I rush into my favorite vegan café for my interview with Clara Mo. Her smile brightens up the whole room when she gives me the biggest hug. Before we sit down she warmly recommends the chocolate mousse, and who am I to say no to that?

Clara is studying nutritional science at the University of Stockholm and has so many dreams for the future. In front of here is her MacBook, she’s been studying for a few hours.
– I love studying nutrition and a part of me wants to work in the field of research. But at the same time,I feel there is a missing link between all the research and common people, and I would want to help people understand it, since I love people as much as I love nutrition, she says and smiles.

But she hasn’t always been this happy and energetic. A few years back Clara struggled with anorexia.
– It started slowly, it’s not something that happens overnight. At first I thought I was just being healthy, but before even knowing it I got caught in this dark spiral that sadly to many of us get caught in. But after a while I realized I couldn’t keep this up, something had to be done. I was 18 at the time.

My self-esteem was far from good and I realized I didn’t love myself.

The road to recovery was long and hard. Clara reached out for help on her own and for a year she went to a professional once a week. She started gaining weight and getting back to “normal”.
– I got healthier and I gained weight, but what I didn’t work on was the mental part of it all. My self-esteem was far from good and I realized I didn’t love myself. The last two years has been a beautiful journey of finding out who I am, learning to love every part of me and finding out what I value in life, she explains.

How did you do all this?
– First off; I realized had to confront my biggest fear; my anxiety. I for example used exercise as an opportunity to escape it, so I decided to stop excercising for a period of time. That was the only way for me to being able to face my fear. I needed to be able to go be active for the right reasons. And it was tough, I can promise you that.

Clara decided to instead fill her time with things that made her happy; filling her everyday life with joy.
– My goal was to become happy, healthy and be pain free. I wrote a list about things that made me happy; meeting new people, singing a song, writing a letter telling someone I love them, studying nutrition, and then I did these things. This also led me to a whole new lifestyle; a vegan one!

What does health mean to you today?
– It means being able to love yourself and being happy. Like the quote on your webpage; Happiness is the highest form of health! Health is so much more than a fit body; it’s about love, happiness and feeling free. This is also what I try to communicate through my Instagram account.

Clara’s experience dealing with sickness and anxiety had led her to want to help other people who may find themselves in the same situation.
– I would also want to work with people and their self-perception, help them in their road to recovery and in the journey in finding themselves. Become strong as an individual, she says.

Who inspires you?
– Likeminded people who do their own thing and have faith in themselves. Who are passionate about something and wholeheartedly follow their dream, without being afraid to stand out.


profile-clara-mo

Name: Clara Mo
Age: 23
Occupation: Student
Lives: Stockholm, Sweden
Favorite food: I love acai bowls! And ooh; my morning oatmeal with different toppings! Brekkie is without doubt the best part of the day!

For more inspiration follow Clara on Instagram 

Stories

Customize your breakfast

Great ideas often pop up at the most random moments and it was no exception for Hubertus, Max and Philip, three students from University of Passau. As it turned out, a simple radio ad was all they needed to kick start their company mymuesli.
By: Henriette Danielsen Photos: mymuesli

Their story reminds us of a well-known one, back when Mark Zuckerberg sat in his dorm room, inventing Facebook. Except they didn’t build a new social media platform, their story is about muesli.
– The idea came when listening to a radio commercial for a well-known German muesli brand. We started talking about what we liked in our muesli and quickly found out that we couldn’t come up with any muesli that we all actually liked. We were surprised that there wasn’t any option for customized muesli on the marked, so we agreed that not only could we make a better radio-ad, but also a better muesli, one of the founders, Hubertus Bessau explains.

This was the beginning of late nights in their dorm room and mymuesli went online in April 2007, becoming the first worldwide company to offer a service for mixing your own muesli.
muesli-middle-image

So how does it work?
– You simply go online, choose from 80 different ingredients and make your own, customized muesli. This way you get exactly the one you like, and we also provide the nutritional value of your mixed muesli. In addition you can visit our stores and buy premixed muesli, based on our costumer’s favorites.

Hubertus tells us that their main focus is to deliver organic ingredients, free from colorants and refined sugar.
– The ingredients are the most important part of our muesli and we never compromise on the quality. We only use organic ingredients from certified sources and we buy from regional farmers based close to our workshop in Passau whenever it’s possible. Instead of refined sugar, we sweeten our muesli’s with honey or raw sugar cane.

The response and development of the company has been overwhelming. Not only did they win the founders award “Enable2start” by the Finical Times Germany, but they were also voted “Startup of the year” in 2007 by the online magazine Deutsche Startup and won the “European Innovation Price” in 2013 by the German Council of Shopping Centers. In 2008 they opened their first stores in Germany and since then they expanded to Europe and now, Sweden.

What is the best part of running this company?
– Even though our team has grown so fast, with over 700 employees, we still have an amazing connection to our co-workers and we all focus on what’s important: our ingredients and our muesli friends.
founders-muesli

How do you keep evolving?
– With every new store and market we launch we get new insights from our muesli friends. All feedback is good feedback and is valuable information for us to keep evolving in the best way.

Their goal this year is to focus on their international expansion, which led them to Sweden.
– Our Nordic neighbors have always been an inspiration to us when it comes to organic standards, design and food trends. We are very happy to have joined the Swedish market, and since we are aiming to show people who love breakfast, that it’s possible to enjoy the perfect, healthy muesli, without compromising the taste, ingredients or quality, we couldn’t be happier. If we can convince the Swedes, we can convince anyone, he says.


Name: Hubertus Bessau
Lives: Berlin
Occupation: Founder mymuesli
Favorite muesli: Ancient Grains

Want to know more? Visit their website or follow them on Instagram!