Interviewing Sofia, our Brand Manager
We’re continuing with our popular staff interviews! Our first staff interview was of our CEO and founder Laura, and you can read the interview by clicking here. Next we have our lovely Sofia, who is our first official employee and has proved herself to be irreplaceable in our day to day life. Sofia is a master organizer and keeps all strings in her hands with ease. Sofia is working under the title brand manager making her responsible for our many aspects in our marketing, our customer service and overall customer satisfaction, market research and financial planning as well. Now let’s get to the interview!
Hi Sofia! Could you first tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Hi everyone! I’m Sofia, 26 years old and brand manager here at Lilja the Label. My family moved around quite a bit, but I mostly grew up in Germany, my mom being German and my dad being Finnish. I got my Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Management, did a couple of internships in PR agencies in Berlin and finally moved to Stockholm to get my Master’s degree in Fashion Studies. After graduating in 2020, I moved to Helsinki and started another year-long degree focusing on Fashion marketing at Helsinki Design School and started working at Lilja (yay!).
On my days off, you’ll find me vintage shopping, enjoying cold water swims or cuddled up on cozy nights at home (in a big sweater & with lots of sushi).
What made you want to study and work in fashion?
I have always loved clothing and dressing up as a kid (picture me as a toddler wearing my grandma’s heels and jewelry haha) and knew rather early, that this would be the industry I would later want to work in. I love the creative side of fashion, the international aspects of it and the joy of seeing someone feel good in what they wear. Of course, fashion can have a shallow side to it, but it doesn’t have to.
Fast forward to 2021, where I’m working for a sustainable swimwear brand empowering women all over to feel comfortable and confident in their bodies. 💛
What are your main areas at Lilja the Label? Is there an area you’d like to take on in the future?
As Lilja’s brand manager my main areas surround marketing, customer service and a bit of finance. Still being a relatively small team, I am able to dip my toes into many fields of the company, which makes every day different and exciting. Needless to say, I’ve already learned so much over the past year!! I love being creative and would enjoy taking on a bigger role in designing as well, but knowing this is not my strong suit I will most likely continue closely following the design process and being in awe of all this talent that surrounds me. But you never know what happens, so we’ll see!☺️
Where do you see your career going? What would be the ideal situation in five years?
In five years I will be turning 30 (omg such a weird thought) and would like to have a job, that fulfills me, gives me joy and is part of the sustainable sector in fashion. I want to work for a brand, that cares about its ecological impact, one that is inclusive to all sizes and races and one that has a great work ethic and team. Crossing fingers, that I’ll still be part of Lilja when that time comes x
What do the next five years have in store for you? Any plans, goals or dreams?
If you ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you, that I have always had a plan for my future. I planned what and where I wanted to study early in school and I planned moving to Helsinki when I was just a kid. I’m so grateful to say, that I’m happy where I am right now and enjoying it to the fullest. Being such a control and plan freak, I think it’s a positive sign, that I am currently going with the flow as they say.
However, of course I have some goals I would like to achieve. I would love to travel to places I haven’t been, eat meals I haven’t tasted and get to know other cultures and their practices. Also, I wouldn’t mind adding a little puppy to my life haha – hello office dog. 👋🏻
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability is inevitable these days! We live in a world, where we have to start making changes to our consumption and way of living in order to preserve mother earth for our and the future generations. No one is perfect, but implementing little changes in our everyday life can make such a huge difference. It sure has been a learning process for me (not realizing some of my habits have been very unsustainable – educate yourself kids!), but I’m doing my best to make more sustainable choices where I can. Especially since working in fashion, I focus more on what I purchase, what I actually need and which items are easy to shop second hand etc. Luckily, I’m a huge fan of vintage pieces (also when it comes to interior) and like to spend my weekends treasure hunting in small, vintage shops here in Helsinki!
If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would you choose? And where would you go?
Love this question! Honestly I would love to meet ABBA. I’ve been a huge fan forever and would love to have a lunch with the group, listening to their classics and hearing them talk about their tour life, the places they’ve seen and get some behind-the-scenes fun-facts. I wouldn’t mind where we’d go, but would like the place to be a comfortable and homey space with lots of delicious (but not fancy!) food. So, ABBA, if you’re reading this.. here’s one excited girl waiting for her dinner invitation, haha!
What’s your favorite Lilja the Label piece?
This is a tough one! If I had to choose, I would say the Kahvi Tri Top and Midi Bottoms set is my favorite so far: I love the timeless cut, flattering color and the soft fabric. It’s so so comfortable, but pretty at the same time – just my vibe! I also love the Black Ribbed Crop and have been wearing it as a top all summer. Can’t spoil anything, but next summer’s collection will have lots of gems as well ✨