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Working on several projects simultaneously seems to be Stine Goya’s forte. Last week, she showcased her eponymous brand's autumn/winter 2020 collection during Copenhagen Fashion Week. Alongside working on the current show, the team was also planning and designing the next spring/summer 2021 and pre-fall 2021 collections. This may seem like a tall order mid-preparation for a show, but as Stine puts it, “it’s just part of the industry, and the pace. You have to constantly be pushing ideas and the brand as far as it can go.”
“When it comes to to-do-lists as a company we definitely do it all - write, type the works. I love to receive lists from my team, which give me a comprehensive overview of where we are with projects and activations. However, for myself, it’s all by hand. I like to think that the act of writing engages me with that particular task, so I’m more present and mindful when it comes to getting it done.
If I’m honest my lists are always a little scattered. Ideas and thoughts often find their home on stray pieces of paper and post-its. More succinct lists and focus points are always kept in a Moleskin-style notebook. Again, it’s that act of getting my day organised and clear that helps me execute a busy schedule more effectively. I find so much satisfaction in checking things off a list and feeling like I am getting things done - it’s all about the progress and development.
On the flipside, the worst part about a list is realising all the things that you actually have to do or that have not been done yet, but that is just the nature of having a busy life and you have to come to terms with that. I have certainly become more organised as I’ve built a stronger and bigger team around me.
Companies require growth and growth requires organised strategy - it’s something I have learnt and continue to learn. Luckily, I have always tended to flourish in the chaos of the industry. That backstage buzz, or the print that felt rushed but ends up being the most iconic - it’s definitely manic at times, but for better or worse I often feed off that energy and channel it effectively.
Sometimes I’m in the office crazy hours - sometimes I’m leaving early to pick up my kids. Balance is a day-to-day battle, but in Scandinavia people value their “off-time.” I feel so engrained in Scandinavian culture which strongly supports a healthy work-life balance. However, in fashion, it’s often a case of pushing yourself to the limit. I could not live or do this without my family. I have two children with my husband, and I think they are a strong reason why I am able to and want to push for a near perfect work-life balance. I want to be present for them and I want to live and have experiences with them - not just for my brand.
As a designer you constantly have ideas swirling about in your mind - it’s often hard to take a moment. My family are a strong reason as to why I am able to shut off. I take long weekends in the country and have time to connect with other interests and this balance is key to me working to the best of my ability. I walk to work every morning. Those 15-20 minutes across town is a perfect start to my day.
I have been honing my visual language and design repertoire for over 13 years now, and I feel really attuned to what my core customer wants and feels inspired by. Understanding how you work is so important. For me it is a really intuitive feeling. Of course, I am very often pleasantly surprised by a look that I was maybe at first unsure about and how with a few tweaks it becomes something I’m really excited to present.
The balance I have found in my life allows me to stay excited by my work, and I find my collections always drive me, as well as my team and of course our customers. I am my own boss for sure, but I also think it is critical to have people around you that you trust and can involve in the process. I show up and put in the work for them.
When you launch your own brand - it really is just you driving everything forward, with the control and vision centralised in one person. As my company has grown, it’s become more collaborative. I am certainly happier to delegate now, and I am definitely more trusting. I have a team of super talented individuals, that I trust to take decisions and support me in pushing the Stine Goya brand in a universally understood direction.
There is this really amazing moment when you reach a certain stage of development when you can actually afford to refocus your attention on a more specific task. I started this company to design and it’s come full circle now to where I am able to confidently do just that. If you stay on your own path and fight for your vision; you can get there.”
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