A bridge upon creativity: one stage, four amazing women.

What do a Senior Brand Experience Designer, a CEO and Creative Director, and a jewelry designer have in common? First, and foremost: they all work in the Creative Industries, managing the businesses they work in. And also, a less intuitive one: they have all been guest speakers at Tifiti’s first-panel discussion. The event has been hosted last Wednesday, 10th May, at 1508’s digital agency office, Copenhagen, where a truly vibrant and inspiring discussion about Women in the Creative Industries has taken place. Attendees got the chance to gain interesting insights from Hjørdis Thorborg, the Senior Brand Experience Designer at 1508 A/S, Frederikke Antonie Schmidt, CEO and Creative Director from Roccamore, and Charlotte Mielko, jewelry designer and founder of MIELKO Jewellery. 1508’s office has been the perfect location, with its open-space and typical Scandinavian interior design. 

For creative people, it’s not difficult to start new things, but to finalize them. So every day I give myself a goal: I have to finalize at least three things a day.
— Frederikke Antonie Schmidt

The first speaker on stage was Hjørdis, who introduced the digital design agency, explained the importance of digital solutions, innovation, and brand experience design and development. 1508 A/S helps its customers to foster brand's potential, by focusing on engagement and culture for digital branding, by strategically applying creative processes. The next short presentation on stage was the one from Frederikke and Roccamore. Frederikke started her own career as a shoe designer and she developed Roccamore back in 2014. From a widely known problem experienced from all women to an aesthetically pleasant, innovative and simple solution, Roccamore provides a healthy product, dispelling the high "heels – aches" dichotomy myth. Finally, Charlotte Mielko presented MIELKO Jewellery and her works, telling the audience about her experiences as a custom designer for theaters, stylist, and journalist and PR for fashion magazines, before landing on her drawing jewelry passion, by releasing in 1998 her first ring collection: the Saturn. Her works consist of authentic material such as gold and silver, and her main concern is to produce locally and in a sustainable way.  

I get motivated by people telling me: you cannot do it
— Frederikke Antonie Schmidt

Once the three speakers have briefly presented their own profiles and careers, the first-panel session started, breaking the ice with some questions before the active discussion would have begun. Aleksandra asked them how do they get inspired, and all of them seemed to agree that the most important thing is to be constantly exposed to the outside influences. Particularly, Hjørdis pointed out that for her it is extremely important to gather knowledge from different topics and field, elaborating them and then bridge them into one new concept. When asked about motivation, and how do they get motivated, Frederikke firmly said that: “I get motivated by people telling me: you cannot do it”.

Always ask someone you trust and who knows better
— Charlotte Mielko

Another common trait I spotted among the three speakers was their determination and dedication to go for what they need. However, everyone in life, at a certain point, is faced with some limits and constraints. Surprisingly enough, these women would not let constraint define their own work. On the contrary, as Hjørdis stated, constraints helped her more than she could have realized. Being a mother of two, and having been on maternity leave for almost a year, Hjørdis got back to work part-time, because of time restriction moms experience, and she had to re-define her way of working. Starting from their very good advices, Aleksandra asked Charlotte what she would suggest to an emerging jewelry designer, and Charlotte highlighted the crucial prominence of collaboration with the right people, and to trust them, having a good vibe and communication: “always ask someone you trust and who knows better”. The discussion was fuelled by Charlotte’s contribution, and Frederikke took over to provide some advice for people who intend to start their own business, and she agreed with Charlotte: “consider accept advice from different people but trust your gut feeling too. And most importantly, if you want to build up your business: Just do it. Start as soon as possible. Do not wait until everything seems perfect to you because it won’t ever be. Learn, make mistakes, and do not be afraid.” 

Skills such empathy, good team-building, and kindness cannot be taught, and they just come naturally to women.
— Aleksandra Kiebdoj

The discussion was followed by a Q&A session, where some of the questions focused on women and leadership. Frederikke agreed that women are more empathetic, and they use to be perfectionists: “despite being too emotional is often presented as a flaw, I believe it could also be a strength, especially when it comes to being able to empathize with people, building relationships and a good team”. As Aleksandra confirmed, women tend to stand out for the so-called soft-skills: “they’re called soft, but they actually are quite important”, she stated, “skills such empathy, good team-building, and kindness cannot be taught, and they just come naturally to women.”

Make space for things that seem unimportant
— Hjørdis Thorborg

During the second round of panel discussion, each of the speakers clarified that the creative paths are strictly personal. For instance, Hjørdis focuses on getting inspiration 24 hours a day: “Make space for things that seem unimportant”, she said, “watch that movie, grab that book, visit that exposition you thought you didn’t have time for… If you feel it is what you need, just let it happen. Eventually, the dots will connect”. Charlotte has been more practical and emphasized that the key to success for every creative project is planning. Frederikke adhered to Charlotte’s point of view and provided her own by stating: “For creative people, it’s not difficult to start new things, but to finalize them. So every day I give myself a goal: I have to finalize at least three things a day.” 

Thus, between these intimate and passionate discussions, a glass of champagne, lots of networking opportunities, and motivating pieces of advice and tips, the event almost ended, with one last exciting rush: the goodie bags lottery! Having 28 goodie bags, sponsored by Goodiebox Denmark, Tifiti’s team planned an informal and engaging lottery, to spice up the event a little bit applying a hint of creativity.  The attendees, after being checked-in at the beginning of the event, were asked to put their names in a bowl in order to participate in the lottery draw. The audience was thrilled and looked forward to finding out if the odds would have been in their favor at the end of the panel discussion. The excitement, expectations, and joy on the audience’s faces have been as priceless as the meaningful messages shared throughout the event. In a nutshell, once again, Tifiti managed to build relationships, trigger some good causes for reflection, strengthen a sense of women's community, and most importantly empower those women.