9to9 Girls: meet Anette Founder of As We Are Now (AW:AN)
Meet Anette: the Entrepreneur, Mother and Founder behind As We Are Now, the Ecoluxe loungewear brand beautifully mixing Nordic design and sustainable performance fabrics. I met this powerhouse at a HER dinner last year and we immediately hit-off. We kept meeting over dumplings, on emails and at more events; sharing and exchanging progress as our respective brands were growing. I was also honored to take part in a super fun photoshoot for her brand (more to come!). Her experience and expertise in business and entrepreneurship have been invaluable. She is as fun as she is determined, ambitious and hard-working yet always available for advices. She stunningly oozes out sisterhood. And I am in awe of her ability to be completely invested and present in her founder life as in her family life - juggling without compromising on her dreams.
Her newly launched brand As We Are Now is the epitome of everything I love. Comfort without compromising on design. Sustainable yet extremely stylish. A real Founder- brand that is built beyond the hype with a clear mission and a passion for women. I am lucky to own one of Anette’s pieces - and it’s one of these rare breeds of garments that make you feel completely yourself and completely sexy at the same time.
I am very thankful for her time and the authentic and encouraging answers she chose to share with us. You will love this interview!
Where can we find you on Instagram?
We love side hustlers and entrepreneurs. Tell us a little bit about your business!
I´ve been an entrepreneur for more than 10 years, but went solo in 2018 to launch the new company and brand, As We Are Now (AW:AN).
The As We Are Now mission is to challenge outdated categorisations and traditional product categories for women by reimagining and designing new solutions for modern lifestyles. We launched last year with a new take on sleep and loungewear. Our collection of around the clock lounge dresses are elegantly chic, super comfortable, and produced in the most sustainable performance fabrics on the market today. Women need a better alternative to sweatpants to lounge around the house in!
How did it start and DEVELOPED from there?
I've always been obsessed with comfortable sleep & loungewear, and especially nightdresses, but have really struggled to find good options in the market. It is almost impossible to find modern sleep & loungewear that is feminine, stylish AND comfortable. And add sustainable to that “long” list of demands, and you might as well give up. I wanted to design better alternatives for women who want to be comfortable but also look stylish in their everyday lives, and not just when they are dressing up to go out.
Your ambition for the next 6 months?
I´m afraid to it say out loud, because I’m way too ambitions for my own good. But I am definitely hoping to make more women fall in love with As We Are Now, also beyond the Norwegian borders.
The most decisive career decision that shaped your life?
To give up my childhood dream to make a living from singing and making music to 100% invest in becoming an entrepreneur. I moved to London on my own when I was 18 with a dream to “make it” as a singer and spent 7 years pursuing this passion. In many ways trying to make it as an artist is excellent practice for becoming an entrepreneur. The energy, preservation, mental strength and sales strategies you need to master in both fields (in addition to talent) is quite similar.
What holds you back in life?
We are held back by our own fears and insecurities, and unwillingness to change. Some suffer from this more than others, but there are definitely areas in my life where I am holding myself back due to these “textbook” issues. I believe we are all our own worst enemy at times.
How do you handle setbacks or failures?
I let them sink in, analyse them, try to re-frame, learn and move on – hopefully a little wiser.
Do you stop and celebrate successes?
With a bottle of champagne with my boyfriend! Or by booking a trip! I love to travel.
What advice would you give your 23 year old self?
Don´t think you can do it all on your own. Open up for guidance and help, and be humble – as well as ambitious! Play the long game.
Does any type of 'spirituality' play a part in your life?
I try to always be connected with myself. And when my mind or body get out of sync due to stress I try to stop to “get back on track”. Try is the operative word, as a healthy spiritual life balance is probably the hardest thing for me to achieve right now, when life is so busy with my start up, in addition to having small kids.
We love positivity. What is the thing you love most about yourself?
My positivity, hahaha. Seriously, I am for the most part a very positive person who by default want to see the positive in other people and situations. It is more a personality trait than a conscious decision, but I do believe life is more fun and interesting if your approach is positive and open minded.
And what qualities do you appreciate the most in a woman?
The same as I appreciate in men. Open-Mindedness, curiosity, lightheartedness – coupled with good values and a sound belief system.
3 women who have marked your life
My mother – who´s positive attitude to life has always been an inspiration to me
Most of my close girlfriends, and especially my close friend Silvany Bricen who always sees the best in me and therefore encourage me to be better
Entrepreneur and investor Anniken Fjelberg and the other few women in the Norwegian start up community, who actively go out of their way to support female entrepreneurship.
What is women empowerment to you?
To break away from the traditional boundaries that limit women from reaching their potential. To not be afraid to talk openly about women and gender issues and to actively work towards equality.
Any podcasts you'd like to recommend?
The ones I listen to the most are:
I try to get into the habit of regular reading because I love it so much, but it’s not always easy to find the time with a start up business and small children. A couple of books that have affected me greatly in very different ways are:
One woman in the public eye who is nailing it right now?
Emily Weiss, the founder of Glossier!
The best trend in business right now?
Sustainability – as a mindset, daily practice and fully integrated in any business model.
What is always in your bag from 9 to 9?
I rarely travel light, and I am usually prepared for most scenarios when I leave the house in the morning.
I usually carry with me: Phone, wallet (stuffed with receipts and all types of cards), tissue paper (always a necessity with small kids), laptop, notebook, pen, maybe an energy bar, weather related accessories (sunglasses, umbrella or gloves). Sometimes even an extra pair of shoes!
And I always carry my Purelan “nipple” cream – the best lip balm ever.
Interview by Evodie x