Mai-Li Hammargren is the brainchild behind Mutewatch – touch screen time keepers that function as a clock, alarm and timer. Her entrepreneurial journey began with a competition at the Stockholm School of Economics and has so far taken her to Dubai, Hong Kong and Las Vegas to name just three destinations. Her Stockholm apartment is still her favourite place to be though, as she says,“it’s always good to be home for a couple days”. We caught up with her for the latest in our Q&A series.
1. When did fashion/a sense of personal style first become important to you?
It’s always been there but I guess it became more obvious how important it is when I started to travel with Mutewatch. We pre-sold the product before it existed in reality and your personal appearance is part of how your communicate about your brand.
2. Who is your style icon (living or dead)?
Swedish fashion blogger Elin Kling has a minimalistic yet feminine style that I totally agree with.
3. How would you describe London style?
I think of East London and of strong characters that could make anything look chic, e.g. the mixture of quality material, crazy prints and cool bargains from flea markets.
4. If you could live anywhere else in the world where would it be (and why)?
I feel alive every time I’m in New York. I love the energy of big cities.
5. Limited to just a suitcase, which items from your wardrobe would you have to take with you?
I’m addicted to the Swedish brand Rodebjer – the Haina Pants, The Top and Fuego Jacket from the last collection are all amazing. My favourite blouse is from Filippa K. We used to have our office next to the Acne outlet in Stockholm – a black dress with bare back has been a lifesaver many times. I never travel without my running clothes – my morning run is the key to escape jet lag.
6. What are your most used grooming/beauty products?
Dermalogica’s skin care series and mineral foundation from BareMinerals are both trusted partners in crime.
7. When and where did you look your best?
I hope I still have that time in front of me! I really felt on top of the world during the Mutewatch launch party at Voo store during Berlin fashion week 2011 though.
8. Which is your favourite season of the year (and why)?
Summer, because everything is so simple, beautiful and exciting during summer time.
9. Who in your own family most influenced your sense of style?
I guess my dad who tends to use the same quality pants and cardigans for 10 years straight – focusing on higher values than only your look.
10. If life was a movie, which film would you most like to live in?
Love Actually or maybe Amelie von Montmartre. My real life feels like a Nintendo game.
11. Which grooming or fashion mistakes most irk you in others?
Mutton dressed as lamb. I respect acceptance.
12. Cat or dog?
13. What lesson would you pass on to younger people following in your shoes?
Always listen, do not always obey.
14. What motivates you in your career?
To do some good and create change.
15. If you could trade looks with anyone who would that person be?
I was told to never compare myself with others as “this is the safest way to get unhappy” according to my Dad, so this question is a tricky one. If I have to say someone it’s Lady Gaga – her look is so liberatingly crazy.
16. What category of clothing are you most drawn to/are most likely to overspend on?
Black dresses. In most cases they are purchased on the way to the venue where they will be worn.
17.Which is your most treasured sense?
18.Name three elements of a perfect holiday
Sun, lovely people and mindfulness.
19. If you could change a single aspect of your appearance what would it be?
I’ve had problematic skin since I was 14. I guess it has to do with stress and lack of sleep.
20. Your ideal lunch venue and guest
Raw food with Adrian Greiner!