MARIA GUSTAVSSON

 

Founder and Design Director of Swedish Ninja

What inspired you to start making?

After being in the furniture industry as a freelance designer for 10 years I felt a desire for a more experimental Scandinavian style both in color, style and material. I have also always dreamed of starting my own brand and I love the challenge of learning new things!

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line?

Yes, if the product has a heart! I want Swedish Ninja products to last a lifetime. For that to happen we need to make sure we make brave and functional designs that one feels proud of owning and gets attached to. 

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

I want to create a multinational Ninja world collaborating with designers from around the world and experiment with style, materials and cultures.  

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

Great design stays in your mind and you start to reflect on the piece and how you would like to use it. Also, I love it if the piece can be used in many different environments and is multi functional. I get excited when I can see that many artists have started their own production which is fantastic.

Who inspires you creatively outside of home wares and design?

Everyday people and travelling. The farm where I grew up. I love going to my parents and always finds it so peaceful.

 

 

The story behind the product:

Little Darling was the first product that Swedish Ninja started producing in 2016. I wanted to create a simple and stylish table lamp and found a lot of inspiration form my family at the time. I made sofa tables that had "socks and too short pants" from seeing my son constantly grow out of his clothes - and I made Little Darling that was inspired by the striking height difference between me and my husband.

The first series of the product had a green marble foot, but now it comes in all metal. Marble is an amazing material, but really difficult to work with when it needs to have complex geometries for cables and fasteners. It is also a material that needs to be shipped in from Portugal, which is not sustainable. We prefer to use materials that can be recycled and sourced locally.