personal

Your Dreams May Not Come True

Image: via standard.co.uk

Image: via standard.co.uk

I think that if your dreams are big enough they will not get completed during your lifetime. For some human beings the song in their heart will die if the situations around them does not work out the way they think it should happen.

Your inner experience should not be determined by what is happening around you. In the very nature of things, life is made in such a way that the outside will never happen 100% the way you want. And it should be that way, as if everything happened 100% your way - where do I go, where does everyone else go? Sometimes it goes your way, sometimes it goes my way, sometimes it goes someone else’s way - everything is fine.

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What do you want for yourself could be either blissful or miserable!
Remember fundamentally everyone wants the same thing: Pleasantness within themselves and pleasantness around them. I think what you want for yourself is the highest level of pleasantness 100% clear - the highest level of pleasantness.

· If pleasantness happens in our body we call it health, and if it becomes very pleasant we call it pleasure.

· If our mind becomes pleasant we call it peace, and if it becomes very pleasant we call it joy.

· If our emotions becomes pleasant we call it love, and if it becomes very pleasant we call it compassion.

· If our life energies becomes pleasant we call it bliss, and if it becomes very pleasant we call it ecstasy.

· If our surroundings becomes pleasant we call it success and this is all that we want in our life.

The outside pleasantness is determined by many forces, not just by ourselves. And all of these forces must cooperate to create outside pleasantness, but to create inner pleasantness we do not need anybody’s cooperation, just ourself!
This one thing, if we can make it happen will enhance our dream in such a way that it could not be fulfilled in one lifetime. The fear of suffering is what is making people dream small, think small, work small because if I dream big and it doesn’t happen what will happen to me.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO NOW IF YOU KNEW THAT YOU COULD NOT FAIL?
How would you answer this question? You can share your answer here or you can keep it to yourself, but mostly I hope you do something about it.

The Same Old Cycle

The Same Old Cycle


Love Is A Dirty Word In Business

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For many, love is a dirty word in business. Bringing love into the workplace, it’s platonic, but it’s there. I love these people and I am going to support them doing great work and we are going to do this together. According to Richard Branson, “Customers should not be first, employees should be first because if you take care of your employees, your employees will take care of your customers.”

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Almost every successful person begins with two beliefs: the future can be better than the present, and I have the power to make it so!

Having a deep purpose to the why we do things, it’s not just a job, it’s not just a salary. I understand that these things are so important and people get caught up in working for organizations because they have obligations - but there is a choice about picking something that you are passionate about. And then the human connection, recognizing your own humility - I think Brené Brown’s The Power of Vulnerability Ted Talk from 2010 sums it up quite nicely.


Demonstrate Value Before Turning Up The Volume

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Happy New Year - 2019
It’s that time of the year when everyone is planning for the new year, and the journey can be scary. As you already know, it’s wise to know in advance how to get where you want to go before you embark on any journey.

Challenging The Status Quo With Lasse Have

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Tell me a little about your education
I am an autodidact and have 30 years of visual drawing experience beginning with T-shirt designs, posters and flyers in High School and that has evolved into what it is today, which spans from basic illustration, over animation, to complex presentation. At the beginning when faced with the question – “Do you know how to do this?” – My answer was always “Yes”, - even though sometimes I had not tried it before. But I quickly learned the necessary skills and I always delivered a solid and trustworthy product. So, learning by doing, was the basis of my commercial success.


What excites you right now?
Vector graphics has been hot for years now, fortunately for me, I was presented to Vector tools very early, and working with vector graphics is still my favourite. My role is to notice new trends and utilize my experience to identify who is capable of buying these solutions, and able to benefit from them. As the majority of my clients are conservative companies, I am very aware that I have to ensure that my solutions fit into my clients existing framework and style.


What are you looking forward to in 2018?
This is a difficult one! (Pause)
Personally, it’s a rebuilding project in my home – the renovation of our loft room.


What’s the best thing that happened to you in 2017?
In our world we are always looking at the next thing, but sometimes it’s nice to reflect on what has happened. Moving into Republikken in January 2017 gave me a new creative push as I was in downtown Vesterbro on a daily basis. Meeting lots of new people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds with drive and ambition, provided me with a new energy that comes with shared office spaces.

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Tell me a little about you and your childhood?
I was born and bred in Nyborg in Fyn. My siblings and I were brought up with conservative parents and raised to be self-sufficient and to follow our dreams, which was kind of natural as both of my parents were self-employed themselves. As a young man, I was in a hurry to get out and explore new things. Right after High School I chose to go into the Navy as part of my National Service, where I worked in the Operations Room and was in charge of the ship computers and radars.

When my National Service ended, I went to Paris and lived there for a memorable year before moving to Bordeaux. I lived there for 5 years where I had a lot of crazy experiences and a variety of jobs, and I quickly learnt the language and embraced the French culture. After a few years in France I was able to live full time from my drawings and freelance jobs.


Who was your favourite superhero?
My very own Mr. Pigsel who is the virtual front figure for the company. He has a split personality as he is also Professor Pigsel, Inspector Pigsel, Doctor Pigsel as well as the superhero Captain Pigsel.

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The whole world is talking about CSR, do you support any charitable causes?
One of my biggest wishes is that we find an alternative to plastic. I recently heard that Lego have announced that its first brick pieces made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale later this year. Production has started on the sustainable pieces, which include “botanical elements” like leaves, bushes, and trees. Let’s hope that this is the future for plastic!


What’s the most important thing I should know about you?
I don’t know :).
I enjoy being self-employed and having control of my own destiny, knowing that I have to pay the same insurance as my neighbours’, but being free of the restrictions of employment makes me feel very privileged!

I hate to think of myself as a consumer, even though I know that I am one. I try to avoid shopping centers at all cost. The thought of being a human battery, where “they” drain us of energy and in this case, energy is our attention and money. I guess the worst thing you could say to me is that I am normal.

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What would your professional like look like if it was easy?
It is easy, I am living my own dream – yes, I know that sometimes it can be tough, but I guess we all need obstacles to challenge us and to push us into new areas of growth.

I draw, I’m doing what children love to do and sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure that this is not a dream and I am really living.

Many thanks Lasse. You have been blessed with a natural talent and you have had the courage to make your living from your talent, RESPECT.

If you would you like help with your animations, illustrations or your presentations, please contact Lasse via Pigsel ApS.

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Your Journey to Sustainability

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Dr Martin Luther King Jr. once said: “The time is always right to do what is right”. This week I had a wonderful Q&A with the sustainable jewellery designer, Anna Moltke-Huitfeldt. When Anna asked me a few years ago about what I knew about sustainable gold, I had never heard of the phenomenon and had no idea that sustainable gold existed. What do you know about Fairtrade standards or Fairmined mining certification?

What made you start working in the jewellery business?
When I got divorced then it was all about doing the right thing for my children and in my opinion, it was to put their needs before mine. Now that they are grown up now I have the space to do things for me and focus 100% on my business. I will always be there for my children to ensure that their life is as balanced as possible, after my divorce I sat down and worked out my goals – and one of my goals was to build wide boulevards for my children to walk on and meet like-minded people. I was painting and attended a sculpture class at Holbæk Art High School in 2001, as for many years I wanted to work with my hands. I made a sculpture in wireframes, and I put all sorts of small things inside of it, that I welded together - I made friends with some women who were in a painting class – and when they saw my sculpture, they asked whether I had considered making jewellery? This sparked an interest, and as I had always loved jewellery I attended a workshop in Copenhagen and as soon as I started, I knew this is what I was going to do.

Why did you start your own brand?
I started my own company in 2004, working with both gold and silver as I was looking for transparency. In the beginning, there were so many things that I didn’t know so I was looking for transparency in gemstones and my designs were inspired by the spiral and the eternal movement upwards. The air that makes the form and how if there was no air it would all be a ball and things like that and it was during this process that I found out about sustainability and fair things.

When did you start investigating about fair gold?
It all began in 2008 at an art fair in Berlin, where I had a personal interaction which led me to exhibit at the Basel trade fair. I discovered a magazine with an article about Oxfam America’s No Dirty Gold (NDG) campaign, which sought to raise the human rights and environmental standards of the global mining industry. This led me to the Oro Verde gold mine a community in Colombia. I approached some Danish goldsmiths who were already working with Oro Verde, to see whether we could start buying gold together, they were not interested! So I contacted, Cred Jewellery, who were one of the first to start working with fair gold, and in 2010 I bought one time directly from Colombia.

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How can the consumer know that the gold is fair?
In the past, the “big” mining companies came in with huge excavating tools to dig up and move the soil and when they were finished they just took their tools and left. Leaving and spoilt the landscapes, this stopped the local food farmers from agricultural farming for years. Oro Verde miners return the soil after excavation, which allows the land to replenish and is ready for agricultural farming after 3 years. Oro Verde (Green Gold) was a Colombian initiative working with Afro-Colombian artisanal gold miners in the Chocó bioregion, an area marked by high rates of poverty, social exclusion and a very sensitive ecosystem. Oro Verde has involved about 1,300 miners in the certification system and the premium they earn helps pay for local community development projects and diversification into other livelihood activities.

If you are a licensee from Fair Trade International, you are allowed to stamp your jewellery. You need to have a contract and that is expensive for small companies, as there is both the premium and license contract and this has to be factored into the price of the finished products. Nowadays, the Alliance for Responsible Mining bi-annual fee is US$60 p/annum and for each kilo of gold there is US$4.000 premium added for the miners, so now chemical free mined (ecological) gold is available at an additional US$2.000 per kilo premium.

What is alluvial gold mining?
Alluvial gold mining is the process of extracting gold from these creaks, rivers and streams and is generally considered to be the most environmentally friendly method of gold mining as a result of the reduced environmental impact when compared to underground mining. Using a leaf from a local bush that they crushed and mixed it with water instead of using chemicals to extract the gold.

Where are you nowadays in regards to sustainability?
I have stopped working with Fairtrade gold as my contract expired in 2017 and I chose to work with Fairminded as I wanted to be closer to the people who are close to the miners. I was advised not to quit by Fairtrade, but I did as Fairmined is a smaller organization, as it is important for me to have a personal connection to those who know how the miners are doing, and when I send my regards to the team, the message goes to the whole team.

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How about your business, what are your sales & marketing strategy?
In the beginning, I attend a lot of lifestyle and art fairs and it was before the financial crisis of 2008, so it was easier with everything going up and being sold. After the crisis, everything went down and I focused on developing myself and my brand simultaneously during those difficult times. I’m not so good at marketing as it’s too personal for me – going out to shops is not my strength, as if they do not like my jewellery, I take it personally and get annoyed.
I sell through 2 shops in Copenhagen and a Dutch Fairtrade/Fairmined platform, plus you can find me on UK Jewel Street and ENIITO.com, an online platform for Scandinavian designers. And of course, you can contact me via my own website. Men usually come to buy engagement & wedding rings, I have young clients from early teens all the way through to late 70’s, and I have made products from Christening gifts to Golden Wedding Anniversary pieces. I also make collections where people can choose from, but it’s more important for me to do the right thing than it is to make lots of money.

I can see that your drive is not economic and you will compromise on your values, so where do you see your brand 5 years from now?
I look much further into the future and I expect one of my grandchildren (who are yet to be conceived) to take over my business, as I plan to continue working as long as I can. I anticipate that by the time my future grandchildren are at that stage of life where they can take over the business, they will have a really strong sustainable brand to build upon. I want to remain a small jeweller, I don’t want it to become a big brand, of course, I want to make more money and employ more people, but I like the fact that my business is personal. So when I make things for people, I have the time to speak to them and get to know them, and this helps me to open up a designed universe to the client and help them to create something individual together with all the possibilities that are available and in the best quality.

Photo: Sandra Aaberg

Photo: Sandra Aaberg

"Those who know, do; those who understand, teach." - Aristotle