Caroline & Steven create from their love for family, friends and each other
We got to know them about four months ago, but we've been a fan of the brand itself for a long time. Caroline and Steven have a lot of passion and an inexhaustible enthusiasm. Their drive and ideas are infectious, and Hvid's vision fits in seamlessly with that of De Gele Flamingo.
For example, everything at Hvid is produced in Belgium. A collaboration between De Gele Flamingo and Hvid was therefore inevitable. We recently sat down with them to give you a glimpse into their world and the stories behind their woolen creations.
Curious? Then grab a cup of coffee or tea and read on!
For those who don't know you yet, let's start with Hvid and the faces behind the label. Who are you?
Caroline: “For me, Hvid is the continuation of my passion: knitting. I think it's fantastic to see how you can go from a few balls of wool, to a few loops, to a nice item.
At the age of 30, after studying textile design, I decided to follow the additional training Executive Master in Knitting in Brussels. For my internship I am going to Denmark for three months. That is where the idea for Hvid originated, which means white in Danish and stands for the pure and natural.”
“It took further shape during my sister's pregnancy, for whom I made a blanket in merino wool. Since then I haven't stopped designing and knitting for babies."
Steven: “In the meantime, Caroline is about seven years further with Hvid and I have joined. “With knowledge of the sector, a desire to do business, and a lot of love for Caroline and Hvid. Because we each have a different background, we complement each other well.
The only thing we haven't managed to do yet is to keep work and private life separate. This is partly because we work from home, but mainly because Hvid is in fact 'our baby' and, like any parent, we don't like to let it go."
Where do you get inspiration for your collections?
Steven: “I find other entrepreneurs fascinating and inspiring. It is often a story of trial and error, and that gives courage and ideas to grow further. I am also a huge animal lover. In the evening after a long walk, for example, it sometimes goes from counting sheep to dreaming of your own wool production. Who knows… Anyway, enough ideas for the next seven years of Hvid.”
Caroline: “I feel inspired by colors and abstract art, and by our family. They provide an endless source of inspiration and form a critical sounding board. For example, I regularly heard my sister talk about the socks that keep falling off, so we made them that stay in place all day long.
We also always have plenty of ideas for the names of our creations thanks to them. For example, our teddy bear 'Teddy Tokki' is named after my nephew's imaginary play friend. Our teddy bear is therefore a friend for everyone”.
Do you have a favorite item in your collection?
Caroline & Steven: “That is without a doubt our cocoon. This one is unique and we get a lot of warm reactions to it. Recently we received a message from a mother to thank us. Her baby was born a few weeks early and thanks to our cocoon, her baby is still somewhat protected. This is because the design of our cocoon mimics a womb in which a baby sits safely.”
Caroline: “Like our other items, the cocoon is made of 100% merino wool. Thanks to merino wool, a baby has a constant temperature, because they cannot regulate it themselves yet. In addition, this wool also 'breathes' more than cotton and other synthetic materials, and it calms the body so that your baby sleeps faster and more deeply.”
Steven: “Another advantage is that merino wool is completely biodegradable. Suppose you bury a ball of merino wool, it will be completely broken down after some time. Sustainability is therefore important in all phases of our production process.”
How does that sustainability aspect still come to the fore?
Caroline: “Just like with De Gele Flamingo, sustainability is woven into Hvid. You cannot see both separately. In that respect, the collaboration with De Gele Flamingo is very logical, because we attach importance to sustainability throughout the entire life cycle of our items.”
“In addition, we design timeless pieces and therefore choose to bring one collection per year instead of four or more. As a result, we can respond better to customer demand and we have fewer surpluses. We already have fewer surpluses anyway, because all items are made in one piece, so they no longer have to be sewn together afterwards.”
“Actually, we really like to go 'back to the basics'.
“Actually, we really like to go 'back to the basics'. For example, we live in the countryside, we work from home and we love to work with friends and acquaintances. For our production we work together with my former knitting teacher, and our care labels are sewn in by a tailor-made company.”
Steven: “We also notice that people are increasingly looking for this. Towards real brands, local production, personal contact, transparency… These are all things that Hvid stands for.”
What are your further ambitions with Hvid?
Caroline & Steven: “We would like to continue to grow Hvid in a healthy, sustainable way. Step-by-step. The collaboration with De Gele Flamingo plays an important role in this. Thanks to them, a lot of people get to know Hvid, which is really nice.”
"There are also new colors and creations on the way, our mouths will remain closed for the time being, but be sure to keep your eyes open."
Curious about the new collection, or would you like to know what the Teddy Tokki and other items look like, take a look here.
Discover the full collection of Hvid online at De Gele Flamingo here.