The Inspiring Interior Designer
Ahhh you know that nordic style we all love so much? Well this wonderful Doyenne brings it straight to Zurich. Sofia took a leap of faith when she co-founded and launched Marso Living in the midst of a pandemic. But thankfully it paid off, they are doing very well. And we are not surprised here, since alll of their items are absolutely stunning and let's be honest, everyone is stuck in their 4 walls at the moment and wants to make the best of it. Plus everyone craves a good night's sleep.
Read all about this Swedish beauty, who is also a new mom and how she does it all: foreign country, start-up, baby! Cuddle up on your couch and read on. And if you need a cozy blanket, you now know where to find it.
For our readers who don’t know you yet, tell us a little bit about yourself, in let’s say, 7 sentences.
I’m 33 years old, born in Sweden in a small but beautiful town on the west coast called Strömstad. I arrived in Lausanne 9 years ago at the last year of my uni studies. Shortly after a job-offer brought me to Zug, where I stayed until very recently. When I had my son Nikolas (March 20) I decided to end my corporate job, take a leap of faith and go all in on entrepreneurship and Marso Living. On a private note, I’m married to a very tall, wonderful German man, have way too many handbags and love fresh flowers.
You’re a true entrepreneur: You founded the beauty empire schminkbar, you support women in Ouagadougou through your NGO Nas Mode, you own a beautiful furniture store… Did you always want to be self employed or where did that drive come from? How did you get started?
Marso is the first letters in Marc and Sofia, my business partners name and mine put together. It sounds cheesy but when we started our business, we began to save documents with the first letters of our names to identify who worked on what, and shared documents had the letters MARSO, simple as that ☺ We launched the web shop in November 2019 after having worked for almost a year to get it all going.
What is something about your work that people don’t know or that surprises them?
I’m an introvert person although I can come across as the opposite. In 7 years of having my corporate finance job I think I had lunch 5 or 6 times. People would laugh at me sometimes, but I value my time different. I prefer to take a walk in the sun while listening to a podcast; spending time with myself and my thoughts energize me in the opposite to having meaningless small talks.
What has been your greatest challenge and how did you overcome it?
When people spend time in their homes, they also notice things that they might haven’t noticed before, it may also result in a need to ‘upgrade’ home textiles such as bedding and bathroom essentials or simply gift home essentials to friends as it fits the current situation of people hibernating at home. Weather Marso has benefitted from this situation or just simply run well because of what it is, is something I’ll leave unsaid - but as a matter of fact we are doing very well at the moment.
There aren’t that many women in leading positions, you were one of the first ones in Switzerland to push through and shine. What does it take to make it in a very male dominated world?
A home is built in the same way as a good closet of clothes; a set of qualitative and functional basics mixed with extravagant and vintage pieces. That translates to investing in basic furniture like a classic kitchen table with a set of chairs that you know you can keep for a lifetime. Once the basics are in place you can add the ‘deco’ like colorful cushions, table lamps and vintage mirrors. But my top secret is probably ‘adding textiles’ that can transform any home into a wonderful comfortable place – meaning tailored curtains in each window, carpets in each room, a bedspread and of course quality linens. I never need to look for inspiration, I have it in me in some magical way.
You founded a besuty empire so naturally people are going to ask about beauty procedures. And you are pretty open about Botox and talk about this in your book aswell. But foremost you are an extremely successful business woman. Does it annoy you, that women mostly get all the beauty questions and men get the deep, meaningful questions?
I’m not afraid of ending things when they don’t work, I move on quickly and looking for solutions instead of dwelling in the past.
What’s a question you never get asked in interviews, but wish you'd get asked more often?
Well, I wasn’t a mom when I started Marso Living and didn’t know I would be one, so I’m bias. However, if I couldn’t give two pieces of advice to anyone weather mom or not, is to get a trustworthy business partner to share your workload and start your business while you’re still employed (when someone is paying your salary!). It takes at least 12 months to get everything up and running, you have something to fall back on and test your waters and you can sleep peacefully. To other moms I wouldn’t know what to say, I’m still struggling to get everything working!
What’s a mistake you see get made all the time, even by very smart people? What have you learned from that to handle it the right way?
I order kebab pizza, open a bottle of Spanish red wine and watch SATC.
Zodiac sign: Virgo
Favorite Quote: "If you can dream it, you can do it." -- Walt Disney (on my home screen)
Currently listening to: The most beautiful songs in the word – a playlist in Spotify.
Most beloved piece of furniture you own: oh tough question, maybe my bed?
Mornings or evenings? morning, very early bird.
Down duvet or synthetic: down
Fav breakfast thing to eat: large coffee with a piece of chocolate. Not a breakfast fan in general.
Most used emojis: 🤩
Most overrated word: Amazing
Can't live without: Coffee and a good pillow