Our mini-interview with the Danish graphic design duo who puts their hearts into everything they do
It started with “BOOBIES”, an art print that Cecilie illustrated one day. She showed it to her fiancé Tobias, who urged her to share it on her Instagram along with a couple of other illustrations. The positive response, and the enthusiasm for more pieces, led the duo to dive into the entrepreneurial waters – and so Kongstad Studio was born. In time, Cecilie quit her marketing job to devote her full creative focus to the studio, located in Copenhagen, where she works as the designer and marketeer, with Tobias as the numbers guy. In other words, they’re partners in both life and business!
And beneath the “meet-cute” vibes of Kongstad Studio’s origin story, there’s a whole lot of heart. There’s thought put into everything, from environmentally-friendly and sustainable materials, to prioritizing giving back in their business model, to the message of every piece – to leave people feeling like a winner. We’ve long been fans of the beautiful prints here at Girls Are Awesome – especially because of the whimsical, elegant way all body types are celebrated! – so I reached out to Cecilie to hear more about the “why” behind the “wow”…
I’d love to know more about where you get the ideas for your collections. Within collections like “Play”, “You Are Good”, “Conversations”, there seems to be a focus on connection – with others and with one’s self. Is that what they’re trying to get folks to reflect on?
Most definitely. Our mission is to help you feel like a winner and our ‘leading star’ in everything we do and design is ‘winner mentality’. Everyone already possess a winner’s energy within, and our mission is to remind people of this fact, help bring it out, make it shine and strengthen it. The awareness of and connection to your own winner mentality is important for your well-being, both mentally and physically. And when you’re connected to that, and feeling like a winner, you’re able to pass that on to your loved ones and the world around you. Your winner mentality creates a ripple effect! This is where we always start when we brainstorm new ideas, concepts and designs.
I really admire the fact that part of the proceeds from your Moria print goes to Doctors Without Borders, who are helping with the refugee camp crisis. Why is it important for you as a brand to give back and raise awareness?
We are driven by the urge to make a difference. One of the ways we feel like we can make a difference is by bringing awareness to different topics, talking about taboos and highlighting subjects that are important.
Circling back to winner mentality, raising awareness and donating proceeds to important causes is one way to exercise that. It is the cornerstone of our mantra, ‘Because winners care’ – and how does that start? One way is by helping and appreciating doctors providing acute medical care to refugees. The beauty of winner mentality is that each person can have their own interpretation of it. In life, everyone can be a winner. And in our opinion, there are so many different ways of being one.
All of us in the office here at Girls Are Awesome were so happy to see the range of the bodies represented in their work – especially female. Why is normalizing different bodies a focal point for you? And what’s the response been to these pieces?
Our very first art print was the “BOOBIES” design, which quickly got attention. We received a lot of feedback, especially from women who recognized themselves and wanted to support the notion that “all boobies are good boobies”. This design actually came from a place of frustration. I was frustrated by how exclusive the general idea of “good- looking” is. Often, we don’t even realise the bias we’re living in and subjected to. Research shows that everyone, especially younger people, feel a lot of body shame and pressure to look a certain way. What if we changed the notion to “all bodies are good bodies”? Imagine what would happen. We imagine more compassionate, helpful and empathetic people and that is why it is important to us. One way to challenge the bias is by showing different types of bodies and promoting inclusivity. Because no one should feel inadequate or less because of the way they look.
Maybe it’s just us… But the reminder to take a moment to refocus on connecting with and helping others (while sending some much-needed compassion our own way as well!) is a welcome one. Especially these days. So for that, among other things, we’re happy Kongstad Studio is on the map.
Explore their beautiful webshop or Instagram to see more of their work, learn about the winner mentality, and get to know Cecilie and Tobias a bit better.