What happens when one little project curiously leads into something very, very real? In a classic tale of wonderful things springing from work you love, these two wonder women have turned a small project of selling crystal jewelry into a full-born fashion label that’s turning alot of heads.
In truth, it would be a disservice to describe their youngling brand, Magic Mountain, as just another label. Anne and Sanne’s designs are woven together of dreamscapes, inspiration, talented experience, and the change to see through their own ideas. Their story is fit to match.
One chilly evening before Christmas, I visited their showroom for a warm cup of glögg, and quickly became curious with their story. Who were they? How did Magic Mountain rise up? What is at the top of the mountain?
Sanne and Anne, who are actually long-time friends, were polite to explain how they had nurtured their fascination for crystals into their first collection hanging on the racks in front of me. Of all the experiences they spoke of, their decisions to make Magic Mountain the centerpiece of their professional lives very much inspired me. Although I didn’t manage to get a real interview then and there, they kindly answered my questions by email.
What were you working on before Magic Mountain?
Sanne: “I’ve been doing graphic design, artwork and campaigns for other brands, along with other projects for years. I still do it. Together with photographer Elizabeth Heltoft and director Jonas Arnby I recently ran a small gallery shop called Chi Chi Potter in the heart of Copenhagen. We had the place on a limited time of 1 year. We did group shows with pieces from emerging artists from all over the world – mostly in Scandinavia.”
Anne: “I represented various creative talents through my management agency Gejst. I have also been involved in different fashion and PR projects and worked as a human resource consultant on a freelance basis. My background is handling client accounts and I have a law degree, so I have been doing a little bit of this and that since I quit the advertising world.”
What made you want to break from your previous careers and start Magic Mountain?
Sanne: “During the years my work has mostly been about making other peoples ideas, work and products shine. Now I’m at a place where it feels natural to put my own ideas in the centre of my work.”
Anne: “I have always had an urge to be a part of creating products rather than negotiating budgets and taking care of other people’s businesses. So when the possibility to hook up with Sanne who has the splendid creative skills to do so, there was no doubt in my mind.”
Do you refer to yourselves as entrepreneurs? Or is Magic Mountain just another project?
“We are used to starting up projects but Magic Mountain is definitely the biggest one to date. We have to do everything and make every tiny decision and we are the only ones responsible – so yes, we definitely see ourselves as entrepreneurs. A project is temporary and has a defined beginning and end. Looking at the way we started Magic Mountain with a few crystal jewelries that all of a sudden emerged into a full clothing collection and a bunch of other ideas for the future. Magic Mountain is definitely not another project.”
Why do you feel it’s so hard for many people to break the security of ¨normal work¨ and start a new project?
“Somehow it is always a bit scary to be the creator of your own luck – you are away from your comfort zone, you can’t hide and there’s no one else to blame. Also the social aspect and value of having good colleagues can be hard to quit for some people.”
What’s a great day at Magic Mountain look like?
“A great day is every day we discover new land.”
Where do you hope that Magic Mountain will take you?
“To other peoples mountains, minds and closets. Magic Mountain is and will always be motivated by a desire to make personal belongings that run a little deeper than trends -
something you would like to wear for more than one season and hopefully keep forever. We have so many ideas on products that fit this ambition.”
What advice do you have for others looking to start their own brand?
“Be true to yourself and open to others. And use all the time you have available – before you start your brand – to create a clear vision on where you want to go with your brand and what it takes to get you there.”