Lotta tells Miranda Jessop the story behind Lotta from Stockholm as she takes her on a tour of her Twickenham showroom.
I was born in Sweden in a suburb called Farsta, just outside Stockholm. In the 1960s and 70s, everyone in Sweden wore clogs all the time, even to school; I was given my first pair of clogs when I was just five years old.
It was when I was working in publicity and promotions at Warner Music Group that I first met my English partner, Jonny. He was based at the office in London and came to Stockholm for a meeting. For three years we had a long distance love affair but I moved to London when I became pregnant with our eldest daughter, Emma, now 20. We have two more children - Anna (17) and Joey (12) and have been living in Twickenham for the last eighteen years.
Six years ago I noticed that clogs were starting to make a comeback in Sweden and I bought myself a couple of pairs. All my friends in London loved them and, every time I went home, they would ask me to bring them back a pair. In the end, I found a family business where they had been making traditional clogs by hand since the 1800s and placed a small order. This was the beginning of Lotta from Stockholm.
When we started to get really busy, Jonny put his music consultancy on the back burner and joined the business full time. www.lottafromstockholm.co.uk was launched and, as demand for our clogs exploded, we called on family, friends and neighbours to come and help us pack the clogs into boxes. For a long time our house was completely overrun with clogs.
It made perfect sense for us to open our first Lotta from Stockholm showroom right here in Twickenham, just round the corner from our house. It’s fantastic to be able to meet some of our customers face-to-face.
Today we export clogs to more than seventy different countries. We even send clogs back to Sweden. As well a wide variety of clogs, we also sell a range of gorgeous Scandinavian rugs, clothing and accessories, all hand picked by me.
We love hearing from our customers. Some of them are almost like a special sect of clog people; they adore their clogs so much, they are always taking photos and sending them to us to post on Instagram. Some have as many as ten pairs.
Even our dog is from Sweden. Pompe is our beloved Hungarian sheep dog. He used to belong to my dad and came to live with us four years ago. He loves coming to work with me and is always by my side.
I make sure I take my children back to the family farmhouse on Gotland island for six weeks every Summer. A three hour ferry ride from the mainland, this Swedish island is where I spent all my holidays as a child, riding our Icelandic horses, swimming in the sea, taking care of the sheep and helping with the hay. It's like my oasis now and I savour the precious moments I have there with my mum, brothers, friends and all their families. Although I love living and working in Twickenham, Sweden will always be my home.
Lotta from Stockholm
Unit 3, Heathlands Industrial Estate, Heathlands Close, Twickenham TW1 4BP
020 8892 5252