Made in Sweden. Interview with Linda George, Founder and Creative Director, Stina’s Style.
Meeting Linda George, Founder and Creative Director of baby brand – Stina’s Style, there is no doubt of her love affair with Scandi design. Ice blonde hair, effortless laid-back style; the connection, respect and love of simplicity, minimalism and functionality is unmistakable. ‘Made in Sweden’ herself, Linda is the daughter of a Swedish mother and an Austrian father. Her childhood was spent in the Austrian Alps, until she moved to Australia at the adventurous age of nineteen having fallen in love with a Mornington Peninsula boy.
Linda always knew children would be part of her future career; she trained as a kindergarten educator, acquiring a bachelor of Early Childhood Education and even considered becoming a paediatric nurse. When Linda and her ‘Mornington Peninsula boy’, now husband, decided to have their second child, Linda felt the urge to make something beautiful for the baby she was about to bring home.
Creative from an early age, Linda was always encouraged to explore craft by her imaginative mother; ‘Mum inspired me to create, I hold her support dear to my heart, without her I don’t know where I would be now. When I have something in my head, I need to make it straight away, as quickly as possible. It gives me a sense of fulfilment and happiness.’
So Linda made a playmat – created the one she imagined but could not find out in the marketplace – perfect for her baby to play, a piece that represented her own design aesthetic and a mat that fit her home style. Out on display in her home, a few friends wanted one as well. So, she made them. At a baby shower, someone encouraged her to do the Mornington Market. Her passion for children and creating seemed to align, and a new idea began to emerge – to go into business developing products for babies.
“I was nervous, I didn’t think anyone would want one. Putting myself out there was a big step. Despite my fear, I did one market and sold out. I became hooked and the business kept growing. Every market since my first, I sold out, there were queues waiting for the market to open and then long waiting lists post the markets. The demand was there. I just needed to consider what was the best way to grow my business in a way that was sustainable for me. My challenge was I had no formal business training and I doubted myself. After one, very rainy market, I went home, took a photo and loaded it onto Facebook. I sold everything online that night. Organically my customers guided me to the correct next step.”
Armed with a distinctive Scandinavian business name, a logo hand drawn by her son Brodie and a product she was proud of, she launched Stina’s Style online. She has not looked back.
‘I believe the key to the brand’s success has been community; I have always been real when sharing my journey online through Facebook and Instagram. I believe this market of mothers connect to that authenticity. I always stay true to myself and design a product I personally love. A quote I feel has been a mantra in all that I do in my business is:
Be authentic. Speak sincerely. Listen thoughtfully.
Act compassionately and love, always love.
What we bring to life becomes our life.
Being part of the Mornington Peninsula community and the power of a community supporting local small business, Linda believes has been integral to her success. Another reason Linda chooses to house her studio at coworking space, Co.Co Place.
When asked what is one of the greatest things about having a business on the Mornington Peninsula for any burgeoning entrepreneurs, Linda shared:
‘I can be working for 2 hours, then jump in car and drive for 5 minutes and go to a winery or beach or Mr Curtis for a drink! We live and work in such a beautiful destination; it is much easier to find a healthy work balance. If someone has a little business idea or thinking about starting a big business; just do it. Life is too short to have what ifs.’
A story shared by
Linda George, Stina’s Style
Interviewer: Stef Boadle, Co.Co Place
Copywriter: Rachel Doyle
Photography: Photography by Melissa Hogan & Rosegrace Photography