"Lykke Wullf, named after designer Jemma Swatek’s mother, means “lucky wolf” in Danish. Jemma was born in England, grew up in Denmark and now lives in California where her LA-based line is designed and sewn. Her designs reflect a synergy between these cultures, combining effortless California cool, Scandinavian minimalism and a European appreciation for eccentric, unconventional beauty. Classic yet original, utilitarian yet fabulous, androgynous but also wildly sexy, Lykke Wullf offers a uniform that every woman can make her own. Lykke Wullf has already drawn a passionate following of free spirits, artists, and women of all ages and backgrounds who resonate with Jemma’s authentic, inspired vision."
BE - Let's start from the beginning! Where did the idea of Lykke Wullf come from? And please tell us how you got the name!? We love it!... Jemma - Well I have been sewing and designing since I learned in Elementary School but I always thought I would become a scientist, my childhood hero was Jane Goodall. Somehow I went from Environmental Studies Sustainable Agriculture to fine art to knitwear design in College Ha. I ended up graduating from Academy of Art University in SF and moved to LA and became a merchandizer for Urban outfitters and began making things on the weekends. Actually I had started Designing a small collection of Pendleton fabric outerwear in SF, but it really came together once I moved to LA. It was sort of a weekend hobby in the beginning but just kept growing. The brand name is my mother's maiden name she's Danish and it means "Lucky Wolf" I just always liked her name so it was easy to choose it! Plus it helped me convince her to loan me money when I was broke and trying to buy fabric ;)
If it feels right and you love what you do, work hard and keep going even if it means eating ramen for a couple years.
BE - You're not originally from Los Angeles, tell us a little bit how the transition was, not only did you pick up and move to LA, but you immediately started your own business! Did you lose your mind at all? Jemma - have been moving around my whole life, England to Las Vegas to Germany to North Carolina to SF. So I guess I am used to moving but LA was a lot different I guess it was the most alone I ever felt at first, it was hard to find my niche because it's just such a giant spread out city. But in the end I think that's also what gave me the time to focus on my line and get that going. Through that I have found my place and met so many amazing people so it all worked out!
BE - Did you have a moment where you realized that Lykke Wullf was going to be a success? Jemma - You know it has been a slow but uphill battle and there have been so many moments that I thought wow this is it but then theres always a new level and I just keep pushing myself. I am most certainly my worst critic so sometimes I just have to stop take a breath and tell myself hey this time last year or three years ago if you saw where you are at you'd be proud so be happy!
BE - How's it feel to be a designer? Did you see yourself doing this so young? Jemma - To be honest sometimes I feel like I should have been a scientist hahah no but generally I love it ! My customers are the best and my mind is constantly designing so I think I made the right choice.
BE - How important is jewelry as a form of expression when you style Lykke Wullf shoots? What were your favorite designers today that we shot with? Jemma - We love jewelry! I keep a lot of my designs somewhat simple so accessories are always important! I loved it all but my two favorites were Foundrae gimme please and Alison Lou!
BE - Last question! Any words of wisdom for other artists out there aspiring to open their own business? Jemma - This might sound cheesy but just keep at it, if it feels right and you love what you do work hard and keep going even if it means eating ramen for a couple years ;)
Jemma was shot at her home in Silver Lake, Los Angeles by Amber Chavez. To keep up with Lykke Wullf visit her at her shop!