Name: Elaine Hersby
Age: 34 years old
Current occupation: Designer and founder of Elaine Hersby
What did you dream about as a child?
I never dreamed of being anything but a designer. It has been a natural interest for me since I was a child, sewing clothes at the age of 6.
What key experience (a moment that mattered) impacted you to move in the direction you are moving today?
Since I was a little girl, I have been very passionate about choosing my own clothes. When I became a teenager and started going out, I would sew my own dresses an hour before going out. It came naturally to me, as it's a natural part of who I am.
I've been very inspired by home. My mother graduated from the Scandinavian Academy of Fashion Design, also called Margrethe-skolen, and she is the one who taught me the craft of designing and sewing. But if I had to point to one particular source of inspiration, it was my father, who went to work as an accountant wearing red patent leather shoes and a pink suit. He was a trendsetter who was all about style, and with full conviction, stood out from the crowd. So, design has always been my calling, but I tried twice and never got into design school.
"I am generally proud of the fact that I am pursuing my dreams. It makes me happy that I can and that I do."
What choice you’ve made in your life are you most proud of, and why?
I am generally proud of the fact that I am pursuing my dreams. It makes me happy that I can and that I do.
Do you remember stepping out of your comfort zone for the first time and how did it feel?
It must have been when I was 20 years old and went to Spain to work. I've always loved traveling because I'm curious and want to explore. But suddenly here I was, all alone with a job at hand in a foreign country - it was wild but also incredibly enlightening.
Did you feel any fear, and what was this fear about?
Not immediately. I have an approach to life as a learning curve, and I had the same at that time. Once you've learned one step, you're ready to take the next step because the first one didn't feel so dangerous.
How do you find inspiration and confidence to pursue your personal journey?
I found the confidence and inspiration to start my journey while studying graphic design. During my studies, I worked for various prominent fashion brands in Copenhagen, which gave me insight into the industry. I travelled to Hawaii as an exchange student, where I met a teacher who was involved in a shoot we were doing. I had sewn and designed the outfits my friends who acted as models wore. The teacher asked me why I was here when I had such skills. It was a special moment that I remember clearly. Then, when I was writing my bachelor's in concept development, I developed the brand around Elaine Hersby. I had taught myself to code and created an online universe that I shared on Facebook. Suddenly, I was approached by influencers or bloggers as it was then - and that was my start.
Also, I think my time as an elite gymnast when I was young taught me a lot that I still use today. I learned that if there's something I want to do, it's just to keep doing it until I finally can. However, it was all about doing x number of push-ups or sitting in a split in front of the TV for x number of minutes back then. But I guess I have a very playful approach to what I believe in. It's all going to work out anyway. You might get a 'no', an annoying review, or something like that, but then you must pluck up the courage again. For example, by surrounding yourself with good friends who give you the little nudge you need, or by looking around and thinking 'if the others can do it, why shouldn't I'.
What personal characteristics do people most often use to describe you
Spontaneous, positive, and an initiator.
"I generally take things very lightly. I'm in a very competitive industry and have decided to be in it my way."
How do you feel these unique characteristics have impacted your way in life?
I generally take things very lightly. I'm in a very competitive industry and have decided to be in it my way. I own the business 100% myself and have chosen to accept that when you do it this way, it may take a little longer, but in return, I can do it uncompromisingly.
What is your best advice to others who would like to feel more comfortable about making personal choices?
Follow your dream - and believe in it. If it feels hard, find a way to get there - small steps, at your own pace. And then do something that makes you happy. My worst nightmare is going to work just to make money.