Gabrielle Spang founder of on-line children’s boutique Scandi Mini lives with her husband Claes and their two children Wilhelm (8) and Cornelia (4) in Fulham south west London, UK. She’s passionate about good design and fashion, and with the birth of her children this love translated into a thriving business. Family Spang love living in London with it’s melting pot of cultures, people and vibes, they can always find something to do. So let’s find out more about what Gabrielle Spang and family get up to.
What are the core ingredients that make your house a family home? The different objects and art pieces we have gathered and bought from around the world. We also like more of a ‘worn’ homely look and you can tell our house is lived in, not an exhibition. If it’s too shiny, too ‘luxury’ or looks too new, it’s not for us.
Can you talk to us a little about your origin and passing on traditions/ heritage to your children ? We are Swedish by origin and speak Swedish at home. I ensure they understand what being Swedish means, mostly small things but we’re also trying to give them the ‘bigger picture’ about what being Swedish means. My husband and I share the housework and we’re really gender equal, so I hope we’re good roles models re Swedishness that way. I also try and let my children be kids. It’s hard here though because you start with homework so early, so we have to conform in one way or another to school life here. We also have tonnes of books in Swedish that I read as a kid that I now read to my children every evening.Plus I sing the same Swedish lullaby that my mum used to sing for me to my children when they are in bed, honestly my daughter couldn’t sleep without it.We eat Swedish food quite often. Celebrate Midsummers and Santa Lucia. Support the Swedish sports teams in the Olympics, football, you name it. Little things that all add up I hope!
A perfect way to spend the weekend together? Well it would most definitely start with a nice long breakfast then we’d do an activity together like go out biking, or visit a beach in the summer time. We love to cook so when back home we’d cook Mexican food (our children’s favourite) and watch a film together and maybe invite some friends over. We love active mixed with chilling!
A favourite family meal/recipe, please share? We eat a lot of wraps in our house, it’s a great way of ensuring our children eat vegetables too which unfortunately they don’t really like. I love cooking fish or chicken goujons from scratch, mash some potatoes with butter and milk, slice avocados, cucumbers, and tomatoes, add some corn and carrots, add everything to a tortilla, roll up and eat. Everyone in the family loves it.
What song gets the whole family up to dance? I listen to a lot of music and so do our children, they have no other choice, ha. My children’s favourite is Bruno Mars. So anything by him, really.
What are you grateful for? I remind myself to be grateful every single day: for my family, for my friends, for being able to do what I love, for being healthy and active, for being able to meet so many interesting people all the time. I have so much to be grateful for.
Name a talent for each family member?
Cornelia: She’s super sociable and everyone always loves her wherever she goes, adults as well as children. She goes to two drama classes each week and that suits her perfectly. She’s a little entertainer!
Wilhelm: Has a great sense of humour. And he has a great knack for ball sports too!
Claes: He’s an amazing skier (he used to teach black mogul skiing!). Actually he’s good at any sport!
Me: I sing. I grew up singing and sang in bands until I was 25, but I suffer from stage fright…like panic fear. So it’s very much a hidden talent nowadays.
An item you all treasure? Hmmm…our garden trampoline? Everyone enjoys it !
One piece of advice you have learnt ? Be brave.
Why children’s fashion ? Because it’s such a happy time in one’s life.
Can you tell us a little bit about Scandi Mini and how you started the on-line children’s fashion and interiors boutique ? I’ve always loved art, design and fashion so I wanted to find an outlet where I could showcase my newfound love for children’s fashion and decor. Scandi Mini started as an idea about 7 years ago, when my son was still a baby, and 6 years ago we launched. I had no experience of websites, retail or logistics.What a journey!
Your plans for the future? We’re relaunching our website in 5 week’s time. That’s going to be super exciting, a new looking website with a much improved shopping experience! I’m also planning, although I am not sure where to find the time, to share more of my lifestyle and I really need to up my Instagram game. I’ve been too busy lately and I’ve struggled with too much work. So maybe the most important plan for the future is to slow down, and find more time….my children are only young once and I do crave more time with them. So that’s my most important plan.
Thanks Gabrielle and Family Spang et al !
Photography by Philippa James