This week we interviewed Cassandra Rhodin, founder of popular Scandinavian children’s wear brand Mini Rodini for all kids 0 – 11 years old. Every season she brings us quirky, colourful and sustainable clothes. This is a company that My Baba loves, and we hope you enjoy this piece.
We’re dying to hear about the new collection by Mini Rodini – can you tell us a bit about it, and the inspiration behind the new designs?
My biggest inspiration undoubtedly comes from hanging out with my two kids. Their imagination is unbelievable, however the SS15 collection has been inspired by the ocean – we’ve named it ‘See You Later Alligator.’ This season, mermaids, merman, whales, dolphins, sea birds and crocodiles all play a big part in the swimwear collection. The colours are inspired by life under the aquatic surface, we’ve used lots of sea weed green, ocean blue, sandy yellow, sunset pink and Florida orange!
The clothes are made from the finest weave, recycled using PET bottles and other plastic waste. This is the very same waste that floats around polluting our oceans, (marine mammals often eat these pieces of debris and die). I’m very proud of the fact that Mini Rodini places an importance on sustainability, as well as great style!
Why did you decide to set up a children’s wear brand, and is it true ‘Mini’ Rodini’ was named after your great grandfather who was in the circus?
I started Mini Rodini 9 years ago, after having my first son. I tried to find organic clothes that were produced in a fair and ethical way and realised that there was very little out there. I had previously worked as a fashion illustrator and felt ambivalent towards the whole fashion industry. And yes, my great grandfather called himself Rodini when he was a young man travelling with the circus. He performed with gypsies in the late 1890s before he started his own circus.
Mini Rodini is one of Scandinavia’s fastest growing children’s wear brands, how does it feel to head up such a successful business, and what do you think is the key to your success?
I’m incredibly proud of the brand I’ve built and believe that the reason we’re so popular is because we make good clothes, which are stylish, sustainable and high quality.
You’re a recognised Swedish illustrator. Tell us a bit about your artistic background and how this has influenced you in business.
Growing up, my family occupied a world of creative jobs. There was everything from actors to painters, directors to circus-artists, acrobats, ballet dancers and illusionists. It was where it all started for me. I didn’t have many toys as a child, so instead I sat and painted. As a girl I used to draw and dream of becoming an author or an illustrator.
After high school, I travelled to London to work but as time passed jobs didn’t stick. It was only really when I became pregnant that the idea of Mini Rodini took off. I had terrible pains during my pregnancy so all I could do was sit and draw, having said this, I did have this incredible energy. I became engrossed in drawing and designing clothes for the child inside me. When my son was born, I took him under one arm with my portfolio under the other, and went around to show off my hard work. I still draw everything by hand, and I actually think that the aesthetic of children’s clothing suits me really well. It’s much more fun!
You have big plans in London for Mini Rodini in 2015 – what’s in the pipeline for the brand?
Yes! We have super exciting plans in the pipeline with lots of big steps happening both here in London and across the rest of the UK. All I can say right now is watch this space.
What’s family life like in Stockholm, and where are your ultimate family- friendly places to go for food, fun and days out?
I love visiting the vintage shops, cafes, restaurants and bars around Nytorget, at the heart of SÃ¶dermalm. It’s where I grew up and where our first Mini Rodini store opened eight years ago. You can easily spend a whole day in Nytorget. Urban Deli is a good food hall where you can buy coffee, cheese and fruit to take to one of the many nearby parks. Next to Urban Deli is Goodstore; everything is organic and vegetarian and they have everything from food to skin care – I love that! SÃ¶dermalm is now one of hippest places in Stockholm. Vogue recently listed it as the third coolest place in the world.
Share with us your favourite family recipe.
Something we do a lot at home that never goes wrong is a super, delicious King Crab Salad, which is quick and easy to make.
Cassandra Rhodin’s King Crab Salad starter for four or main for two:
- 500 g of cooked King Crab
- 2 ripe Avocado
- 2 lime
- 1 fresh red chili (we like it spicy and use habanero)
- 1 bunch of coriander leaves
- 2 tbsp. of crÃ¨me fraiche
- Black pepper
Start by picking the crab meat from the shell, chop it roughly and put it in a bowl with chunks of diced avocado. Then finely slice the chili, chop the coriander, squeeze the lime juice and mix all ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper and serve with gem lettuce on toasted bread.
What are your top tips for juggling such a busy career with motherhood and family life?
With so much going on in my life it’s important to prioritise I try to do as little as I can of the things I find most boring, (I don´t think I will regret that I didn´t clean more on my deathbed!).
What’s the one baby product you couldn’t have lived without?
Organic peanut oil, both for me and my baby.
How would you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Sorry, I´m too complicated 🙂