She is a mother, wife, cook, risk-taker, founder, designer
- and here’s her story:
Tell me Warunee, as a role model for both your children and other women, your journey is so inspirational, how has your now 4 year old “third baby” Plystre reached its success?
Magic starts with patience, patience and belief in your idea and your own judgement. Be fearless. I try not to focus on the consequences, and just move along with my gut feeling. Yes there has been sleepless nights, there has been insecurities, but thinking of the long run, it always brings me down to daring, to just do it! I try to let my gut feeling guide me, and it might seem naive but it has led me to Plystre and living my dream. My husband has been a big part of the journey and success. His open mind and belief in Plystre, in me and us, his support has been so strengthening and motivating and has ment the world to me. He has made it possible for me to chase my dream at the same time as starting a family. We’re not so traditional maybe, in the family-sense, but this has worked so well for us. We’re a team, and a really good one.
To start with, emotions more regularly caught up with and it hit me with uncertainty. Trying to live up to the norms of the family life put out my fire. To me, life is all about balance, to enjoy life as an individual as well as a mother and a life partner. That is happiness and completes me as a person. I don’t believe that my two girls have suffered seeing me embrace all the different roles I’ve had to step into, I hope they see both a hard working mother and a person chasing her dreams, just as I hope they will do. I have been on my own since seventeen. My parents left me in Norway and went back to their roots. It might sound very dramatic, and trust me when I say I have cried a river, yet at the same time, this has shaped me. So in good or bad, I have chosen to focus on the positive and channel strength out of this.
Luckily, things usually works out for the good. And if it doesn’t, do something about it. A change always starts with yourself. My sensitive side is a subject I am still learning to cope with. Its both my strength and sometimes a source of frustration. When frustration comes to visit, nature is my escapism, my safety net. Many of my childhood memories are from here, with my parents. I have come to understand the value and importance of these memories, they take me right where I need to be when I need time out. And comfort.
Plystre is a result of flexibility and an open mind to change course. If there is one thing I would highly recommend its that. Don’t feel you have failed if you see that you should have thought differently, if so, do differently. There are so many things that must be right to make something work 100% from the very beginning. To have an open mindset is a strength if you throw yourself into starting a business.
And if there have been milestones? That is most definite The Project Bag. The whole idea started with a frustrating personal experience, where my own knitting over and over again ended up in this chaos in my travel bag, taking so much time and energy from the whole knitting situation that should be calming, to solving the knots and mess. From there, there was only a few months till the bag was a reality, and everything after has been overwhelming.
Dont dwell to much, thats another advice I would like to advice. JUST GET INTO IT, and don’t necessarily chase perfection.
Lowering your guard will make things so much more interesting and fun! Its probably looking awesome anyways.
Getting down with being social in the media-world is not the easiest task to me, and I am sure its not for many others out there. The “chase” can be overwhelming and so stressful, and I cannot recommend other than to do this in your own pace and style. I feel its an individual game, and we should respect the dose of need to share both professionally and private. But with that being said I must add that I really enjoy sharing with my community, be it useful stuff, inspiration, a new idea or current projects. Getting those feedbacks are much motivation to keep on moving and chasing new projects for Plystre. You know, when most of your presence is online, its nice to have these channels to maintain dialogue with all the awesome knitters out there.
Being a mother of two fairly young girls and a wife, your 24 hours must be filled with family arrangements and activity. The Plystre project seems to be a big part of your personal life, as your lifestyle. Considering the fact that you started Plystre in a time that might have been the most busy one in every parents lifeline, would you start at the same time if to do it again? Would you advice other mothers and fathers out there to do the same, and how have you managed this lifestyle with your family?
Would I? I think so. Its all about that gut feeling, trusting the intuition. I would not dare to change a thing, I mean, the journey has not been easy, but it has taken me to today, and who knows where I would have been if I changed that? Having my two little girls gave me even more drive! They motivate me to do better, I love having them along in this project of ours. They make it even more playful and fulfilling.
Making mistakes has made me do better. Mistakes should not be feared, I don’t let the panic be roadblocks, I embrace them and try to maintain human in this digital puzzle. Its a way of making me feel like I am alive and embracing. I believe that one grows even more by mistakes than not having the opportunity to make them. I should thank my parents for that, they’ve had the same lifestyle, maybe that’s the reason I have a low guard regarding that as well?
Chase your inner strength, with mistakes this is how you get to know both this and yourself better, and that comes much in handy if you plan to run your own business, because its not going to be easy in so many aspects.
Tell me more about Plystre, who is Plystre and why are your products important to todays society? There is no doubt that The Project Bag has ment a lot to Plystre, how and where did the idea come from?
I feel that its authenticity is a healthy contribution to today. Its a way of slowing down and doing something self releasing by working with your own hands. And what’s great about knitting is that its so flexible and travel friendly, you can do it wherever, whenever. It has always been important to me create for something better, solving some kind of problem or challenge, and Plystre has done that by adjusting something traditional to the modern lifestyle. Knitting doesn’t weigh much, and is a good way to meditate and practise ease. It also makes you watch the world more, than always slaving to your smartphones. I enjoy that it makes people be more offline.
The idea came to me as I had a problem with solving the knots and chaos in my own knitting bags, aiming to create something that would make it easier to practise your hobby wherever you want to. The other aspect of it is that it solves problems, Plystre has adjusted something traditional to the modern woman and lifestyle. The Plystre community aims to do exactly that, and I want to continue making it flexible and stylish to all ages and levels of knitters. My community is key to understand how all my Plystre projects are accepted, used and how it all evolves. We make each other stronger, and it means the world to me to see my customers recommend my products to others.
I need to keep it real. It would be against my beliefs to fake the process. I like keeping it close to humanity, seeing, feeling, interacting. For the products to be carried with respect, they must come from a production line with respect and responsibility for individuals and healthy working conditions. Its fulfilling to be a part of the whole journey, from idea to making it available. That is beautiful!
All the hats a woman as a founder needs to wear, which has been the most challenging?
By no doubt the marketing part. Reaching out. Its been a personal challenge, and I have my loyal customers and followers to thank for this. THANK YOU!
Marketing is key to any success, how did you plan this path and which step was the most crucial one to you and Plystre? Is there one, or has there been a series of several bunding up to the position Plystre has today?
There was no route planned out when I started. First of all I had to choose the main focus, if that was to include me as a designer or just having the products in the lens alone. Today, I guess there is a healthy between both, through the personal effort I have received feedback like no other, and this motivates me to keep evolving. The Plystre community inspires both ways, and that is so giving and so much fun!
The process is sometimes more important and exciting than the result.
To find your voice in this world of much competition and lesser borderline limitations is not easy, how did you find yours, and has it evolved from the beginning till now? Has there been any regrets or bumps in the road that has dramatically or naturally changed your voice?
There was a big bump entering when my father got ill. It required me to take a complete break from Plystre. It was a big step back, but things in life happen, and one needs to pause things in between, regardless the cost. The only thing important to me then was my fathers recovery. With this pause and heavy life event came a change, I call it a new start, for both my company and self. My father luckily recovered, and the situation characterized my life. Plystre changed from knitting childrens clothing to making kits and bags, an adjustment that I felt was a natural turn that gave me a new view, even though the playground still is the same.
Norway is your first, may we call it main market? We see that your products bring much positive value to out northern society, but your goods must be adaptive to other communities out there as well. Is Norway where you would mainly like to root, or is Plystre planning on leaving the nest for new destinations in the near future? Following up with whereto if so?
My heart and customers are here to stay. I love Scandinavia, the originality and nostalgia suits the Plystre vibe so well. Although this is where Plystre mainly belongs, America is a continent I would love to explore more, so yeah, I can see several states that would be a good match for my products. So maybe one day, when the time is right.
Your website is your store window, and its so fresh and versatile! How much time do you spend weekly developing and administrating on your site?
When I chose the platform to work from, I had my check-points and demands to the system, fortunately my background helped me choose the right solution to work from. With a background and experience from webdesign, choosing an intuitive and flexible system was key, so that I can focus on what I like doing the most; creating!
What are your top advices that has shaped your roadmap, that you would advice other women and men out there to include, or exclude, in theirs?
I am sure I must be seen upon as a bit old fashion, but there is so much from my upbringing that I strongly believe in and that I want to forward to my children. What I have taken strong notice of are these points:
1. Patience. Good things take time
2. Make mistakes. Its a good way to grow - again; patience
3. Don’t focus on perfection. Make it fun and interesting along the way
A big trip is coming ahead, you have decided to sell your home and move to the country of your origin for a year. How did this decision arise? The logistics is one aspect, regarding the children, schooling, your husbands job, we’re presuming this big puzzle has worked out since you’ll all be voyaging in a month, yet this also must have been quite a time-consuming project. This must mean a lot to you personally, what was the motivation behind this, and what is the thing your looking forward to the most? This journey could mean new means and inspiration to you as a designer, have you had time to consider how Plystre could evolve from this?
We wanted something else, where work is secondary and family first. This is a part of a subject arising after my father got sick, the timing was right and I had a call to head back to my roots and family. I am sure Bangkok will make the year pass fast, but we feel extremely fortunate to be able to do this, and see this as a part of our storyline as “one”, as a family. Were all so excited to see how life in a different city is, to be in a different culture and for my children to live in a whole different part of the world which they actually belong to. And of course I hope Plystre and I will harvest new ideas to share from this, it`s going to be both so good but also so much fun.
Are there any new projects or new product releases ahead, any sneak-peaks or hints to start looking forward to?
Yes there is, and I am super excited! Its something a bit else this time, and I cannot wait to show all this new branch of Plystre. I am super stoked, and the time of launch is not far away, but the news must wait a little bit longer, but I promise something very cool!
Wrapping this up with the last question, Warunee; where is your go-to for inspiration and motivation in the daily hustle? Do you have any super-sources that you would love to share that works releasing for you and your creative mind?
Nature pluss my knitting, this is when I relax and charge my batteries. Both opens my mind, and I`m like a funnel where I gather new energy and views, this is a powerboost for my creativity. Regarding nature, it might have relations to my childhood, my parents upbringing might have characterized my relationship with it. It`s like a safeplace where I feel free and at home, because they were there so much with me. I feel lucky to have that comforting relationship with nature, and fortunate to have it so close to my everyday. I`d love nothing more than to give the same feeling to my own two little girls.
Sometimes we come across individuals that has these stories that make you reflect on your own path, and evaluate those ground values and life goals. Thank you Warunee for sharing yours, you are a strong bull disguised as a beautiful butterfly.
Don`t miss out on the fun: www.plystre.no