In It Together: Interview With Small Business Owner, Elana Degnbol of Gooselings During COVID-19 Crisis

Gooselings

Elana and Jonathan started Gooselings because they yearned for a sense of calm amongst the stressful, exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) journey that is parenthood. Gooselings is more than an ordinary blanket. It’s a lifestyle. A community. A way of life. For your baby. For you, too.

While creating their collection they were inspired by “hygge”. Hygge describes a Scandinavian lifestyle. It means creating an atmosphere full of things that make one content. So you can enjoy all simple (and cozy) moments that life has to offer. The warm glow of a candlelit corner is hygge. A hot chocolate with a mountain of marshmallows is hygge. Snuggling up next to a loved one to watch a movie is hygge. It’s hand-knit gloves and a home-cooked meal. Their hope is that their products express this Scandinavian way of life—that you and your baby feel warm, calm, happy and healthy while in the presence of Gooselings.

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We’re seeing a seismic shift in the way corporations conduct business due to COVID-19. In an effort to protect their employees and help avoid the spread of the virus, companies have quickly enacted new policies. As a small business how has this shift affected your business?

As we continue to monitor the Coronavirus, the safety of our employees is our top priority, especially when it comes to the delivery force and warehouse staff. All of our employees in the corporate office work from home, for which we feel really lucky; that our corporate company can thrive from their living rooms. Meanwhile, we’re ensuring that our warehouse facility is taking all the precautions they can to keep everyone safe—with deep cleaning measures to ensure the safest possible work environment. The delivery companies are really our big heroes at this moment. They are a BIG reason that SMALL businesses can keep going.

The biggest adjustment or challenge has been working from home while tending and caring for our children since school and daycare are now closed or have moved to a digital platform. This takes a lot of coordination and, honestly, all rules are off the table. Nothing is going to be perfect and we are just reminding ourselves that this is a just a moment in time. The sun will come out tomorrow!

I feel like a lot of businesses are adapting and realizing that, with the advantages of technology and online marketing, working remotely will help reshape the work-world during this pandemic. We can all still work together and easily dispense emails and get creative with influencers at home. Do you think that, eventually, a rhythm will come into place that will inspire small businesses like Gooselings?

Absolutely! Embracing technology is key, and being really saavy has always been in our DNA since we are a direct-to-consumer-focused brand. Using applications like Zoom has allowed us to work with our factories in Denmark and Portugal efficiently. There is so much talent worldwide, so it really opens up your access to amazing resources beyond your network. We used the online marketplace for freelancers, and Fivver to find a graphic designer to build our website and logo.

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Gooselings talks about Hygge, which describes a Scandinavian lifestyle. Can you explain a bit more about this concept?

During these anxiety-riddled days, we find comfort in Hygge. We love referencing “The Hygge Manifesto” from The Little Book of Hygge written by Meik Wiking. It is a ten-point Hygge action plan to achieving everyday happiness—and it can be done in the comfort of your own home. Bringing hygge into your home will truly help you get through these tough moments—and come out with so much more gratitude. Here’s “The Hygge Manifesto”:

1. Atmosphere—Turn down those electric lights and break out the candles.

2. Presence—Be here now.

3. Pleasure—Chocolate, cookies, cakes, and candy.

4. Equality—Create a safe space. Practice “we over me”.

5. Gratitude—Take stock of what you’ve got.

6. Harmony—It’s not a competition.

7. Comfort—Take a break. It’s about relaxation.

8. Truce—Put your differences and grievances aside and enjoy your time together.

9. Togetherness—Talk about your shared memories, “do you remember the time we…?”

10. Shelter—This is your space and your time. Relish the sense of peace and security.

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Tell us why Hygge is so important during this pandemic?

Hygge is best enjoyed at home and being in the moment. This period won’t last forever, but Hygge is a reminder to be present and to embrace the coziness of your home.

Working from home enables people to care for their children and avoid stressful commutes. With less plane travel, more people working at home and not commuting, pollution will be reduced and the environment and air quality will improve.The virus outbreak has forced businesses to rethink better, more efficient ways to run. How do you feel overall with everything happening around the globe? Do you feel we can turn this into something positive?

This is an eye-opening situation, and I hope that we will see improvements in society when we come out of it; that our one little task to stay home could have a bigger impact on society. Hopefully, there will be a ripple effect of doing better, of taking care of each other—and the planet. I believe there will be more awareness and consideration in our everyday lives.

Lastly, who is your Mother Muse?

Women and mothers on the front lines who are fighting COVID-19 and risking their lives while having a family waiting for them to come home.

Explore Gooselings Here

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