Glädje Designs began as a passion project.
As a kid growing up in a small town, I spent my allowance on gel pens at the supermarket. I would fill notebooks with words and names in every glittery color I could find. I was more of an admirer than a creator throughout college but always wanted to grow in my skills.
In early 2015 I did a calligraphy workshop with one of my friends and have been hooked ever since. We started using our lunch break at work for calligraphy practice and supported each other through the early learning stages. We often dreamed about ways we could do something more beyond our own sketchbooks.
Later that year, I traveled to Texas for Circles Conference with another friend. It gave me the encouraging push I needed to turn my passion into something real. I came home with an inspiration hangover—full of wisdom from great speakers, joy of meeting some of my favorite creatives, and a multitude of ideas discussed with friends. The very next day I started designing my logo!
Joy + travel + calligraphy = Glädje
Glädje /glad-yay/ is the Swedish word for joy. I am half Swedish and was fortunate to grow up in a home where our heritage was an important part of our lives. In college I had the opportunity to spend a summer in the beautiful city of Uppsala, Sweden and my love for the country grew even stronger. I wanted my brand name to capture my passions with a foreign flair. When I saw "glädje" in Google Translate, I knew it was the one.
My passion for travel began when I was in high school while watching episodes of Rick Steve's Europe and daydreaming with my mom. In college I traveled abroad for the first time to study in London, England. To say I fell in love with the city and traveling is an understatement. I went back to Europe the next summer to be in Sweden and was able to explore my great-great-grandfather's home and other important places in our family with my mom and brother. Next, I traveled to Budapest, Hungary where my boyfriend (now husband!) was born and raised.
I loved the dramatic differences in culture and atmosphere I was experiencing across each country. What's that saying? Oh yeah, I officially had the travel bug. Now I have been to over 10 countries in Europe and am constantly daydreaming and planning my next adventure.
By day, I am a user experience designer for a healthcare software company. Although my brand could be called a "side hustle," that perspective doesn't fully align with mine. I am passionate about my full-time job and also enjoy the creative freedom I have with Glädje.
I love this brand that I am creating and am excited to see where it might lead. For now, I'll keep creating new things for my shop! As with both traveling and life, it's about the journey, not the destination. I hope that you'll join with me in the adventure—I'll be bringing the inspiration!
Thank you for reading my story. I'd love to connect with you—please feel free to contact me!