In Grandpa Family, we highlight creative, exciting, and ambitious people who are close to us. This time we met up with Sophie Wiking Ekman in Malmö. She’s a stylist and florist, and entrepreneur. She’s got her own business called Florista Studio located in central Malmö.
We met Sophie in 2017, the same year we opened up our Malmö Store. She then had a flower shop called just ”Florista” just around the corner from our newly opened store. We’ve made some collaborations through the years, and Sophie has even had a pop-up shop in our store.
This sunny June morning, we met up Sophie and her cocker spaniel (aptly named Farfar ”Grandpa”) at our store. We have a coffee and try out some clothes before heading over to Sophie’s studio around the corner. After an inspiring time in the studio, we head for her apartment which is, if possible, even more inspiring.
Read our interview with Sophie below.
[b]Tell us a bit about yourself and how Florista came to be.
[/b]Following a stressful and tough time in my life, I had to reevaluate my life choices and have a long hard think on what makes me happy. I then stumbled over a florist degree and realized that this is exactly what I should be doing! I had been studying before to be a biodynamic gardener, and after that had been working as a graphic designer. Working as a florist seemed like a good combo of those two skills. I had also been dreaming of running my own business for a long time but hadn’t figured what kind of business it should be. Everything fell in place.
[b]What used to be the flower shop Florista is now Florista Studio — what does this transition mean?
[/b]After running the flower shop for five years I felt like it was time for something new. I loved having the shop, but I also wanted to pick up jobs outside the store. Jobs like working at another location, or that required more space or time. So nowadays I only work with weddings, events, installations, or editorials. So far I’m loving it, even though I miss my regulars from the shop.
What are your favorite flowers and why?
Oh, there are so many to choose from. There are different favorites depending on the season, too. But here are a few:
The white lace flower — because this flower is so beautiful in itself, but it also makes any bouquet look like a summery meadow.
Smoketree — because of the color shifts and the fluff!
Garden cosmos — because of the feeling of high summer it brings
Spiraea — because these are the best addition to any bouquet
Wood anemone and common lilac — because of the nostalgic memories they awake in me
What’s a day in your life like?
Ever since I switched the business model around, my days are very varied. Some days are all meetings. Other days I make installations or work with flowers all day. If I need flowers for work I’m up at 3 in the morning to make it in time to the flower market in Denmark. They open at 4 and you need to be there early. After I’ve gotten what I need, I’ll drive back, leave the flowers in the studio then go to sleep for another hour or so. Then I’ll take Farfar down to Florista Studio, put on some music, and work the flowers as needed. This goes on for hours. Usually, friends drop by for a coffee while I work. When I’m done arranging or tying the flowers into bouquets I make them ready for delivery or pick-up. Then I’ll take Farfar to our allotment and spend the evening there.
Are you from Malmö, or how did you end up here?
I’m originally from Stockholm, but moved to Copenhagen in 2012 and stayed for a few years. Then I started longing for Sweden again and took a gamble on Malmö, even though I didn’t know anyone there. It turned out better than I could have hoped!
"I enjoy that it’s a multi-cultural city, it gives it a wonderful vibe. I feel like the people here are happier and friendlier than in Stockholm and Copenhagen. It’s less pretentious, people aren’t as stressed out or looking to increase their status as much. It feels much easier to be happy in Malmö!"
— Sophie about Malmö
We think that you’ve got an incredibly inspiring studio and home. What inspires you?
Thank you! I’m not sure where my inspiration comes from. My style is a mishmash of things I’ve gathered over the years. Almost everything in my studio and at home are things I’ve bought from flea markets, second-hand or auctions. But Marie Olsson-Nylander inspired me to get the curtains in my living room, and Linnéa Salmén inspired me to not think twice about things I find on flea markets or to mix styles.
We noticed that you don’t have that many flowers or plants at home? :)
When I had the shop I had a ton of plants at home. But then it felt like bringing work back home, watering and replanting and whatnot. So I gave them all away to my friends.
What would be a dream assignment?
Maybe working with Ruby Barber in Berlin. I’m her biggest fan, and I’m in love with Berlin too.
Any plans for the autumn or beyond?
Right now the plan is to find a house and move to the countryside, growing my own flowers and vegetables. The goal would be to become self-sufficient when it comes to flowers. That’s been a dream of mine ever since I took that gardener degree.