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In Oslo, a fashionable family balances personal and professional relationships.

A healthy work-life balance is something most of us aspire to, and Susanne Holzweiler is no exception. Striking that balance is often easier said than done, however. The co-founder of Holzweiler, an Oslo-based label known for luxurious scarves and ready-to-wear collections, has recruited the rest of her family into the fashion house she established with her brother in 2012. Here, she shares what it’s like to mix business with pleasure on a daily basis.

Working with your brother must further blur the lines between your personal and professional lives. How did Holzweiler become a family business?
My brother, Andreas, and I started out as an agency for different brands. Six years later, we launched Holzweiler. Our first employee was our father, who handled logistics. Then we hired our mother, whose background was in interiors, to take care of production. When we agreed to do ready-to-wear collections, my sister-in-law, Maria, came on board as head of design. Several cousins work with us, as well. Of course, there are a lot of other employees, but even they feel like family. Some of them call themselves Holzweiler!

Is finding time to disconnect difficult when you run a business?
It’s late in the evening, and I’m still at my desk! I’m not always working—I also take care of myself. Like tomorrow, I’ll do yoga in the morning, which feels like a luxury. But this isn’t a normal job. I love my work, and it’s a big part of my lifestyle.

What’s the best part about working with people you know so intimately?
We have a strong foundation and trust each other. Good or bad, we give honest feedback. Arguments happen, but we’re back to being friends five minutes later.

  • Words:
    MacKenzie Lewis Kassab
  • Photography:
    Lasse Fløde

Do existing relationships create any workplace obstacles?
The biggest problem isn’t at work—it’s at home. If we have dinner together, we try to make a point of leaving business talk at the studio. I suppose the reverse is also true. If I’m at my desk and my father comes in asking how the kids are, I have to say, “Ok, Dad. It’s nice you’re asking, but I’m working.” When we’re at work, we’re at work. When we’re at home, we’re at home.

Did your parents instill the importance of the arts in you and your brother while you were growing up?
Not really. We were a very normal family, to be honest. It’s cliché, but love was the biggest influence in my childhood. The family has always been really close. Even now, my parents are divorced but still collaborate on the business. The relationship we all share is something special.

This story originally appeared on Skandiastyle.com.

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