Meet Moji & Malii, The Folks Of Scandinavian Loft

Meet Moji & Malii, The Folks Of Scandinavian Loft

 

Mainyard Studios Roll Call

This is an introduction to the creative people that inhabit all of the Mainyard spaces across London.

Coworking East London

Roll Call This Week

We are pleased to introduce Rachel Lasebikan (aka Moji) and Martin Malii-Karlsson founders of the Scandinavian Loft, a company specialising clever design solutions that ultimately improve your home and make the most of your space; more space to live, sleep, work, play and store.

Coworking East London

Scandinavian Loft

Martin and Rachel have been residents at Mainyard Studios in contributing to the coworking East London spaces for a few years, and every interaction with them enlightens us more.
I asked Martin to dig into their story a bit as well as uncover some of the projects they are working on alongside designing and delivering intelligent living, sleeping, playing and storage solutions across the globe.

Coworking East London

Can you explain a bit more about the projects and companies you give your time and energy to at the moment?

BLaO

BLaO is the structure and mother ship for my creative business mind. I spend a lot of time reading up about things and research and test business ideas and figuring out who is who in the startup landscape. After 20 years as an entrepreneur, things start to make sense, and I have a vast, trusted network. I can see with ease how to create and put forward stronger opportunities through the potential in connections.
More recently Swedish startups, often with Founders that I’ve known for decades realize that I’m in England (after been here for 13 years=) and they start to ask for things. I help them with introductions, user testing, deal-making, product/market fit and insight into how things work here. I have an active interest in a couple of startups that I have helped build over a few years now. I’m also a mentor for a bunch of accelerator programmes.

Coworking East London

Rachel is leading the efforts for BLaO who is the marketing partner for the We in Social Tech a programme, delivered by NWES and funded by Deutsche Banks arm Made for Good. WiST is an accelerator programme to boost Women in Technology with a focus on social tech. Close to two hundred Female Founders in social tech has applied to the programme. Twenty are selected per cohort with a total of three cohorts over two years. The participants get support over six months. Benefits include free coworking space, two industry mentors, peer learning groups, becoming ready for investment and financing. Also, no equity is taken. Rachel and I have been mentors for a couple of companies in the programme.

Coworking East London

Cycle Training:
As a side project, I have for over ten years now trained around 5000 children and 700 adults, from beginners who want to learn how to ride a bike, to the experienced cyclist who wants to be more confident on the road etc. We set one Guinness World record, some years ago, when we took over 2,000 children around the Borough of Hackney in something called a bike bus. Cycle training is fun and very rewarding. It also allows me to eat extra cake and cycle it off👍

Why you do what you do?

Rachel and I have recognised that there is a need for better liveable space in cities. We understand that people are living differently in the 21st century; in new builds that are often small and in older buildings that can be improved to suit people’s modern lifestyles. People want more from their homes, and often a multi-functional, adaptable space – more space to live, work, sleep and play – can be achieved with some thought. Scandinavian Loft can improve people’s homes and utilise every square meter in a creative, personalised and fun way. We love that!

 

“WE ARE CARVING OUT A NICHE FOR OURSELVES”

With Scandinavian Loft we are carving out a niche for ourselves in “compact living”. For a while now we have been testing out a range of bespoke space-saving solutions, getting valuable feedback from customers, makers, architects and builders. During this process, we have learned an enormous amount.

Rachel and I are just scratching the surface and we see a huge opportunity to live differently. In doing so, we are making the leap from traditional ways of designing and building, looking into the future and rethinking how space, furniture and new homes can adapt to us, rather than the other way around.
We enjoy it when our designs have a positive impact on people’s lives.

What is the biggest challenge you have overcome? 

Not going completely MAD and run out into the bushes! Bootstrapping a business takes a lot of courage and consistently challenging how you work can feel a bit bonkers.
The biggest of many big challenges has been self-belief. Continuing to do what we do and do it well, and bring a diverse group of people together to trust the process. We have come to a point where I believe we can be a challenger. That is rewarding progress. Now we need to take this to the next level.

How have you succeeded because of your failures eg: experiences or situations that brought you to where you are now?

Listening to our customers and receiving significant input from our collaborators and network has been vital. We refine as we go along. It ‘s easy to get stuck in traditional thinking and one way of working, doing what everyone else is doing etc.
Rachel has a design and innovation background, and I have an economics and business background. Neither of us was in the building business until six years ago, so this has probably helped us see things from a different perspective.
To succeed, you need to have built up confidence in your skills, your gut feeling, your business and yourself.

What do you need/want right now that will help you progress in your business and life?

We need to run fast with our vision now. To go from bootstrapping (which is slow) to a sustainable business with a powerful team.
We are currently searching for an experienced CEO who can help us drive the vision forward. Currently, we are also fundraising to speed things up regarding developing our first shippable product range using modern methods of manufacturing and technologies that will enable our customers to adapt our range to their unique needs.
All of this needs to be balanced – we need quality time to think, refine, look after our family and ourselves.

What brings you joy?

  • Silly conversations.
  • Collaborating with likeminded people on new ideas and ways to solve a problem.
  • To start and finish a project.
  • Time off the grid to recharge, connect to nature, the sea, the stars.
  • Watching our daughter grow.
  • Helping others.
  • Fika (cups of coffee and cinnamon buns), on the beach.

If you could get a message out to humanity, would it be? 

Open your mind, get involved and give more hugs!

How can people contact you and find you online/social channels

www.scandinavianloft.com

Scandinavian Loft on facebook and pinterest

 



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