On the scents of Scandinavia.
Ann Ringstrand spent over two decades working in fashion, as co-founder of the ready-to-wear label Hope. When the fast pace started to exhaust rather than excite, she decided to quit the industry for good. Her love of designing wasn’t as easy to leave behind, however. Ringstrand coupled a newfound devotion to mindfulness with a distinctly Scandinavian aesthetic to launch her own collection of ceramics, fragrances, jewelry and studio wear. She shares her experience creating Ann Ringstrand.
Why did you make the transition from fashion design to ceramics and fragrances?
Designing is my passion. I’ve always told my two children that my fashion brand was my third baby. But a few years ago, we showed at Paris Fashion Week. Everything was like a dream and, still, something was missing. I realized I had trouble being present in my life. It was actually my daughter who recognized it. She said, “You look at me, but you don’t hear me.” That really bothered me.
How did you address those feelings?
I bought a book on mindfulness and began to practice staying present, while brushing my teeth or going to the gym.
What role do the senses play in mindfulness?
I started really tasting and smelling as part of that practice. No matter which city I was in, I would search for places to buy essential oils and things like that. But it was hard because I didn’t like the packaging or the aesthetics.
How did that frustration lead to the collection?
I realized there must be other people longing for something modern—every oil burner seemed to have a lotus flower on it. I worked with a small porcelain factory outside of Stockholm to create a collection of ceramics, including an oil burner, and I designed a modern mala, the beaded necklace used in meditation, inspired by Swedish designs from the ’60s.