Last summer, during my visit to the DesignTrade show in Copenhagen, I was happy to be invited by ferm LIVING to a blogger breakfast at their fair booth. In the early morning hour, before the door opened, we had the exclusive opportunity to have a proper look at the new MORE collection and chit chat with the founder and creative mind of ferm Living, Trine Andersen. I used the momentum for a little, personal interview with Trine, a charming and super successful lady, who started out with an idea and made ferm LIVING a worldwide known, iconic Danish homewares brand. Enjoy the following interview with Trine Andersen.
Trine, tell us a bit about your background and how you got the idea to found a design label?
Trine: I worked as an art director in both advertising and fashion before starting ferm LIVING. But it was always my dream to have my own business, so in 2005 I started out as a freelance art director working with different clients. The idea of starting my own brand came after we were looking for some wallpaper for our new house. We couldn’t really find the right design for us, so I thought there’s probably also other people with the same issue as us. So I started out making 10 different wallpaper designs and presented them on the Formland fair in Herning in spring 2006.
How did you come up with the name and the logo? What does ferm mean and what’s the meaning of the little bird in your logo?
Trine: The name ‘ferm’ was actually inspired by my grandmother. When she said that someone was ‘ferm på fingrene’ – i.e. skilled with their hands, literally ‘good with their fingers’ – it was high praise indeed. The bird is on the logo because before I started ferm, I decided to visit a clairvoyant mostly for fun, who saw a little bird sitting confused on a branch, not knowing which way to fly. I saw that as an indicator to start ferm LIVING. And the little bird would sit perfectly on top of the company logo.
How were the early days of ferm LIVING? With what products did you start?
Trine: As you already know, I started out with 10 different wallpaper designs. After one year more products came to life, wallstickers, cushions, tea towels etc. Now there are a bit more than 600 different products in the collection.
It is amazing to hear tha you started with a few wallpaper designs and are nowadays worldwide known as an iconic Scandinavian design brand. Tell us a bit more about your new collection named MORE.
Trine: The idea behind the MORE concept is to show that we are fully devoted to our products, suppliers and customers. We work hard to give the products that extra MORE. We put MORE edge, MORE effort, MORE delicate materials, MORE sophisticated structures, MORE creativity in everything we do.
Which is your favorite piece of the MORE collection?
Trine: Hmm, there are lot of good items this time. But I am especially glad with the Wall Wonder products (lamps, clocks and mirrors) we made this season.
We’ve seen that ferm LIVING evolved from a few wallpaper designs into a design label with all kind of goods for happy homes. Do you have plans to extend your portfolio in the near future?
Trine: Yes, we continue to move forward into other categories of design products but it’s too early to say what… 🙂
Thank you Trine for this interview and some personal insights into the history of ferm LIVING. As someone with marketing and PR background I know how important it is to stick to correct brand names and spellings, but this one time I would say I could rename this adorable Danish design brand into ferm LOVING.