When you’ve got mini style icons such as Harper Beckham wearing your gear, you know you’re a brand to watch...
Gardner and the Gang was founded by stylish Swedish mother Kristin Nystrom and has since become renowned for its statement sweatshirts and pants, among other pieces. The wildly creative Nystrom hand draws each print (hello pink sharks and bright blue polar bears) and has also just launched a special Christmas collection with Harrods. We caught up with the Singapore-based mother of two to find out more…
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Things you make that seem less than perfect might be the things that will change your future. It is not necessary to do exactly what everyone else is doing.
What qualities do you love most in people?
Genuine kindness, empathy, wit and honesty.
What is your advice to new first time mothers?
Believe that you are a good mother who knows exactly what your child needs, because you do, even if it might not seem like it to you at all times.
Can you tell us about your career path and how you came to launch Gardner and the Gang?
It all came to life with the birth of my daughter Ava (named after actress Ava Gardner.) I suddenly felt like I knew exactly what I wanted to do career wise, and every day I feel truly blessed, since I really love what I do.
Why is Gardner and the Gang unique in the market?
It really encourages individualism and ‘out of the box thinking’. I wanted to create comfortable fashionable pieces for kids that they enjoy wearing.
Can you tell us about your collaboration with Harrods for Christmas?
Together with the Harrods team, we worked to create limited pieces that are a modern take on Christmas. We wanted a fun range with a high dose of fashion, while at the same time basing the collection on a beautiful tradition.
How do you manage your time and balance work with family?
It is a constant struggle against time (as I can imagine a lot of parents will agree on) so I try and organise my day. My best advice is to have specific times in the day that you check your emails, deal with them, and move on. I used to keep checking my emails by the minute and it is really irrational. Also, when I am with the kids I leave my phone behind and check it when I get home again. Less stress and more efficiency!
What’s the most challenging part of running your own business?
When I am designing a collection, a lot of creativity goes into the creation, so sometimes I struggle not to take things personally if someone expresses something negative. All of my creations are very close to my heart.
What has been the most rewarding part of running your own business?
Looking at the accomplishments and really be able to think, ‘I really did this!’ That is a truly fulfilling feeling!
What’s next for the brand in 2016?
We are planning an amazing (dare I say ground-breaking) project that will launch in the early summer months… to be continued.
What do you love about raising children in Singapore?
The multicultural society.
What is your uniform?
Jeans and a tee, finishing my look with sneakers.
What are your summer fashion essentials?
White sneakers, denim shorts, a white tank top and a hat
So far what’s the hardest and best part of being a mum?
The hardest part is self-doubt, but the best is when they come to me and whisper, ‘Mummy I love you’.
What’s your favourite part of the day?
The morning and that pink sunrise, with a great coffee.
Kristin’s little list of loves:
Coffee The newest issue of Vogue. Swimming with my girls. Jalapeno crisps. Vintage levis jeans – a new obsession. My new white sneakers. The morning hours cuddling up on the sofa with my children. Friday afternoons on the beach with happy kids and the new collaboration flamingo rain boots with Nor-folk. Words: Angela Heathcote