At home with Sofia Sköld from Vild – House of Little
Cityguide, LIFESTYLE, Motherhood, People, TRAVEL, To do
Today we are meeting London based mum, artist and co-owner of Vild - House of Little, Sofia Sköld. Together with her husband Carsten and their two children, Alfons and Nelson, the family lives in the neighbourhood of Hackney.
Born in Sweden, from Swedish and American parents, Sofia moved first to London in 2003, where she later graduated from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. Since then Sofia has lived and worked as an artist, illustrator, and designer in London, Stockholm and Malmö, Sweden.
Sofia is a real whirlwind of creativity and you can find her works in various disciplines including painting, drawing, mixed media, writing and now also in textiles and prints for children.
You may wonder how one person can step in so many roles and be so genius in all of them. You will find out below, whilst reading the recap of the inspiring talk we had with this energising woman.
But before, we want to pause a little and talk more about Vild – House of Little – a children’s wear brand that Sofia and her business partner, Allison Mitchell, founded in 2015 and drive together.
‘Vild’ is Swedish for ‘wild’. Defined by the dictionary as uncivilised, savage and untamed. The word can be used to describe furry creatures darting across overgrown fields, certain kinds of strawberries and, as many new parents can attest, a fresh human bursting into the world. The creative duo set off to design a luxury t-shirt that not only could cope with frenzies of a small beast but also, once the small beast is less small, would be able to be passed down to a future sibling or friend. Minimalist high-quality basics and printed pieces catering to untamed beings from 0 to 6 years old.
Carsten and Sofia bought their Hackney home back in 2013. And it is a light and airy sanctuary for spinning city brains and crazy kids. Leaving room for change and inviting all family members to decorate with objects. Treasures the boys found in the park, paintings in progress, creations from school and nursery, or plants picked up at Columbia Road flower market. And the small garden outside brings pears, figs, and black grapes, what a little sanctuary in the big city.
In fact, the family already has plans for next home projects. One is to create a living green wall, and the next a bespoke bunk bed and a loft conversion that they hope to finish next year.
On another note, Sofia has just installed her own artist studio in the same area. A new space for even bigger ideas and projects!
Lunamag.com: What is your favourite thing to do in London?
Sofia: Sit down with a simple coffee to live piano music in the extraordinary tea rooms of the V&A Museum. For example.
You bought a house in Hackney – what do you love about your neighbourhood?
The people. All the thinkers and doers. Our neighbours, the children’s friends, the random meetings and natural openness.
Sofia’s favourite Hackney spots:
Dalston Mill Fabrics on Ridley Road Market
For beautiful wool, fun fabrics and haberdashery. My son and I go there to shop for creative weekend sessions like the various costume or party projects. And I have made most of my winter scarves from their fabrics.
Little Duck – The Picklery on Dalston Lane
For a candlelight sharing dinner on a school night. This cosy neighbourhood restaurant has an open kitchen and makes all their pickles, ferments, and drinking kids of vinegar on site.
Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington
For a peaceful breather, or a walk-and-talk. The greenery is taking over, and the overgrown gravestones and monuments hold interesting stories and history from the area.
The Sylvanian Family Shop near Stoke Newington
For a childhood throwback. A tiny, charming shop holding thousands of Sylvanian animal figurines and accessories. I sometimes go there to get lost in the miniature world.
Dark Arts Coffee near Homerton
For the best brunch, introduced to me by a special friend. Dark coffee and best vegan Sunday comfort food.
Healthy Stuff on Dalston Lane
For kind and conscious local grocery shopping. I pop over the road to get my fresh autumn apples, sourdough bread or immune system boost remedies here! The friendly staff also serve fresh juices, coffees and healthy meals in the small cafe.
Retrouve Vintage on Wilton Way
For second-hand treasures like eye-catching glam pieces from the seventies, rare vintage items from YSL or Mary Quant and unsigned unique pieces like a kimono or a fabulous brocade coat. Ginnie who owns and runs the place, and her lovely staff members are always there to help, and they recently opened a second fab store on Broadway Market.
Victoria Miro Gallery near Hoxton
For mind-blowing installations and emerging artists, plus the most beautiful small waterside garden.
Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick
For a bottle of their own kombucha or beer on the canal.
In 2015 you launched Vild – House of Little. How was the idea born?
Allison and I recognised a lack of perfect basics for babies and children. We had worked together before and decided to create children’s clothes in fine fabrics, based on the Scandinavian idea of form and function in equilibrium.
And how did you meet your co-founder, Allison?
We met in London when Allison worked as Marketing Director in the spirits industry and I worked as Art Director on the agency side. We worked together on various projects, and when we both had our first children roughly during the same time, we left the world of vodka to improve the children’s wear market.
Please tell us a little about how Vild is doing now, 3 years later, and what are your plans for 2019?
Great, every day holds a new opportunity or surprise. Allison and I work with product innovation and sustainable solution hunting. And during the next year, we will bring out several styles made from innovative fibres, and upcycled fabrics. All products caring for children and the environment in equal measures. To do things better, and find new solutions is the drive.
Looking at Vild – is there something you would do differently if you could go back to the start?
No, it’s been a ride, and the learning curve is part of it!
How would you describe your personal style and what was the best piece you got for yourself in the last weeks?
Functional Flamboyance? I am an unapologetic fan of pink.
My best recent piece is a vintage 1950’s dusty pink wool dress with a turtleneck that I got last week from the new (second) Retrouve shop on Broadway Market…
And my studio archive furniture that I bought from Celine when they closed down their London offices.
And beauty? Which product can’t you live without?
Hair oil. I immerse myself in all oily and caring products from Moroccan Oil or Davines. Anti-frizz products are always relevant on my bathroom shelf.
The famous combination of being a wife, woman, mum and entrepreneur – how do you manage it?
I don’t believe in magic – I believe in nature. I spend at least a month every year in the remote forests of Sweden, where I spent many childhood summers. I have also recently fallen in love with East Sussex, the perfect weekend escape for Londoners, winding roads and old oaks. To spend a day on Hampstead Heath and let the children (and myself) roam free works very well too. Only in nature do I find true energy.
Tip: Recognise where you get energy from and work it into your schedule.
What do you wish for Christmas?
A better world and snow.
Thank you Sofia!