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Inspired by Iceland

It is easy to get inspired by Iceland. OK, maybe not if you are about to travel and you see on the news those volcanoes erupting and spreading ash all over Europe. And being a reporter trying to pronounce the name “Eyafjallajökull” feels perhaps more ridiculous than inspiring…

And it is not so much inspiration involved when you think about the financial situation that came as a horrible hung-over after a decade of booming economy when Icelanders were ranked as the happiest people in the world.

However, musical exports like Björk, Sigur Rós and FM Belfast have inspired people all over the world, in the case of Sigur Rós despite singing in Icelandic. Many young people have tried to Google translate Icelandic lyrics to their own language to catch the meaning of their epic music.

Sigur Rós

But Iceland is also known for the beautiful landscape inspiring people from all over the world to visit an island up in the North Atlantic Ocean.

Yes, Iceland comes in many different shapes and colours and below you will see some new additions to Icelandic design.

thegoodpeople.se had the pleasure to speak to one of many visitors who liked Iceland so much that she decided to stay and she was so inspired that she even created an own design collection. Katerina Weissova is a Czech designer trying to make herself a name in Iceland.

Katerina Weissova

Hi Katerina   – tell us about yourself and how you ended up in Iceland?

– Hello, well I am from the Czech Republic, but since several years I have spent my time travelling around the world. I was always impressed by Nordic countries and their untouched and wild nature along with people living in peace and harmony of everyday life. And I love islands, all kind of islands as they all have one in common – they are not in a hurry, they have slower pace and time for everything.

Sounds like a pleasant way of living – but how is it to be in Iceland right now with the current financial situation?

– I try to not focus so much on mainstream living and instead I want to enjoy the happiness of present life. Of course, lots of changes happened around here but I think Iceland was on its top when the crisis came so result of its fall could seem dramatic but in my opinion they can still keep some “standards”, Iceland is still very strong.

You have designed a collection called Ice Ear that I have been hearing so much about. Tell us more about your collection.

– Ice Ear design is my own brand of handmade earrings inspired by Iceland. I have found a lot of inspiration and positive energy in the unique Icelandic nature and I wanted to share this experience with everyone. With the Ice Ear earring design I try to capture the special Icelandic horses, whales, puffin and sheep. Every piece is handmade and original.

Puffins in Iceland

Ice Ear collection "Puffins"

OK, so you are finding inspiration from typical features in the Icelandic landscape – is nature important to you?

– Yes, I have a big respect for the nature.  I love those escapes out of the city to the nature where I can feel harmony and calm, no disturbance like in the big cities.

Icelandic nature is wild, rough and magic. It has some spirit that makes me feel alive and connected with nature.

How did you come up with your idea to make a collection of earrings with an Icelandic theme?

– As I was often travelling between Iceland and Czech Republic, I wanted to bring some presents for my friends and family. But I could not find anything that would satisfy my taste, as I wanted something different.  I wanted to describe my positive attitude of Iceland. Something you could see all around the island, something that is typical for Iceland as well as to give them a good mood from the present. So I did some own design of the most common Icelandic animals and it turned out that my friends were very satisfied and happy about it. So I thought I could make more people happy by marketing it to a broader audience.

Ice Ear Collection "Horses"

So you could not find it on the market and decided to do it by yourself. Good initiative but it takes some talent of course. What about your marketing strategy, how do you plan to reach your potential customers?

– I want to focus on a long-term business and with emphasis on quality instead of quantity. I am choosing retail stores which would suit Ice Ear brand to display my products as well as with potential customers online.

Have you had challenges with marketing and selling your products?

– The main challenge is to find the right places to sell them. It has to fit the purpose and be in line with the design.

So who is your typical customer?

– I think its people who are not afraid to show their uniqueness and originality. That’s what I have seen so far. But it is also people like myself before, looking for something nice to bring back as a memory from Iceland.

Are you using social media to promote yourself? You obviously have a story to connect to your products.

– Not so much until now but you could say it´s work in progress. First of all I am meeting my customers through some stores and hotels presenting them in a own designed stand to enhance the products and its background. I’m also trying to present the design on Facebook.

What are your next steps with the collection?

– I would like to extend Ice Ear design to more stores, and to work on an online comunication with the customers.

What do you want most of all right now

– Hmm, I think I want to please people with my products and make a smile on their faces, as this is one of the satisfactions I can see so far.

Thank you Katerina for the interview. We think you are following some of the most important success criteria for marketing of products and design – to have unique products and to sell them in a unique way. Good luck with your design and we hope you will be successful with your collection.

Ice Ear Collection

If you are interested in the Ice Ear Collection please contact Katerina Weissova on email: ice.ear.design@gmail.com and on Facebook.

Facts about Iceland:

  • About 300 000  people live in Iceland
  • The GDP / Capita is 38 300 USD (201o est) and despite the overall image of Iceland as a crisis country it is still a wealthy country.
  • 3/4 of the working population is involved with service
  • Iceland is currently in negation with European Community about becoming a EU member

Do you have your own idea and looking for a way to meet potential customers? Contact thegoodpeople.se.

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