Good Sunday my dear readers and welcome to a new cycle of posts on my blog, “Sunday cafe”! I’ve been living in Finland for almost 9 years and thought this time I have met many wonderful, inspiring individuals and creatives whom have impressed me with their personalities, work, etc. I wanted to start something new on the blog, so since I see L’art of fashion as a place where I like to inspire, share and bring always something beautiful to an “ordinary”. I thought that a sit down chat with a likeminded individuals would be something that would interest you too…
Here comes a gorgeous woman, Kathrin whom I’ve met couple of months ago and got in love with her sweet personality and wonderful work as an entrepreneur very quickly! She’s also a fellow blogger and you can check out her blog HERE and make sure to check out her latest post which I took couple of snaps for HERE .
Here’s our sit down chat over a nice cup of coffee and tea at a super cute cafe KUUMA.
What’s your name and the story behind it?
Hello! Kathrin is my name! I believe it has greek roots and means “pure”, but my parents chose it because it is simple to pronounce for many! They have travelled a lot, with and without me, and they figured that a name that has a version in a bunch of other languages could be helpful. They weren’t wrong, however I think there could have been better options too 😉
How old are you?
I’m a good year ‘89, so on this very day it makes me a whopping 27 years old. And going strong!
Where do you come from?
I was born and raised in Luxembourg, to German parents, so I am German-Luxembourgish. I only lived in Germany when I studied for 2 years on-off, so apart from my family there and my native language being German, I don’t feel connected to that country at all. Luxembourg is where my roots are, and that is a country I love and I consider it my home and where I’m from. The longer I’ve been away (almost ten years!), the more I learned to value what I had there. Still, I believe that Luxembourg is one of the best countries to grow up in: it’s one of the most multicultural, multilingual and safest countries, and that makes it a very unique place. In Luxembourg you can sit on a bus and hear 15 different languages around you. It’s a cultural melting pot of Europe and the world, and a prime example of successful integration and happily living together in a functioning society.
How long have have you been living in Finland, and where?
I moved to Finland in 2010. It was for an exchange program for my tourism studies at Haaga-Helia, which was supposed to last for one year, but well – here we are! I extended my stay a little bit 😉 Since then, I moved pretty much all over the place, from Töölö to Kamppi, to Kannelmäki to Töölö, and now I live in Ruoholahti. It’s a great neighbourhood, despite the lack of elegant charm that I loved so much about Töölö.
What’s your knowledge of Finnish?
That depends on how much sparkling wine you give me! I’ve been taking classes all along the way, starting from very basic exchange student courses, to conversation classes, summer university courses – but now I’m currently taking a class specifically for foreign entrepreneurs in Finland, and that is really great. It’s an EU initiative to support language integration in the work environment, so I’m in the class with like-minded people, we are only very few and we are free to choose topics that are relevant to our interest and work life.
I understand most of what I need to, and I see how my knowledge improves little by little, every day. My aim for the future is to improve my listening and understanding skills so I can follow work meetings without a translator and a headache.
What is your daytime job?
I’m self-employed and started working for myself two years ago, in 2014. I work in Campaign Management, as well as in consulting, all for mainly Digital Media. In normal language it means that I run initiatives, programs and events for my clients, who want to connect with influencers, such as bloggers and social media personalities. Mainly I work with trade fairs and tourism boards, but also brands who are trying to establish a more striking online presence and increase visibility through individuals, on channels that are relevant and with content that is meaningful. I have professional background in travel and tourism background, so working with Destination Marketing is also something I love and that I get to integrate in my work.
I also still do quite a bit of writing for different websites, blogs and apps. I’m also a freelance tour guide! So you see, pretty hard to define all my work things.
What are you hobbies and passions?
Foremost, Helsinki and Finland, I would say. My love for my chosen home has brought me a long way and I’m so happy I managed to make my hobby part of my work as well. Exploring new areas, being out with my bike and discovering sights, neighbourhoods and hidden gems of where I live is one of my favourite things to do! It all has its good sides, making your hobby part of your work also means that your work is somehow also present when you’re having a day off with your hobby. So I was actually thinking, that I need a new hobby!
What are the best and worst sides of Finland?
The best: the lifestyle here, the proximity to nature, the climate. Yes, I’m not kidding! The mostly dry Finnish climate is very healthy for me, and I’m not good with heat. I’d choose -30°C over +30°C any day! I love that I only have to bike for 10 minutes and I can be out in pure nature. I enjoy that I can walk home alone and not worry. I have also learned that ignorance is bliss. Whereas I would probably mention the language issues as one of the bad sides, it’s actually quite relaxing to not be able to understand everything around you, unless you consciously decide to do so. There is too much sh*t going on around in the world and sometimes it can be wonderful to being able to very selectively choose what you want to confront yourself with.
The worst: yes, I still have to mention the language, even though I love it too. It can be an obstacle, even if your level of Finnish is pretty good. Otherwise, some cultural limitations come along with it too, I miss going to see plays for example. I also sometimes wish that life would be a bit less expensive, and especially in self-employment this requires a proper strategy. But for me: the worst part is the nonexisting spring, from March-May. For Finns, spring means “it’s light again outside”. For me it means “bright green, flowers, spring smell, the world comes alive”. Here, those months are muddy, bare and meh. Then I need to take a break from you, Finland!
List three things you would take to a deserted island
My swiss army knife that has every tool (including a tiny lamp) that you might need.
A water filter (is that weird?) and a hammock (can be repurposed so easily). I assume that things like “another person” is considered cheating! I’d also love to list any music device, but I guess when you’re actually on a deserted island you might have other priorities.
Your favourite trip by now and why?
Aah. So hard. One of the most memorable ones was a cruise with my parents to Antarctica. Even though I was very young, I remember it so vividly, simply because it was so different from anything else I had seen before. Of my personal, and somewhat recent trips, it would be a trip to Scotland and the Isle of Skye with one of my best friends a few years ago. Incredible landscapes, so much fun and the perfect feeling of freedom. Then again, being on an ice-breaker in Kemi was incredible too.
What is your life motto? Explain!
“Think positive!” This is something I really try to go by. I strongly believe that a positive attitude in general will affect your perception of life so much, and also how people think of you. A negative view on things will get you nowhere and makes you miserable. I don’t think it makes you naive or disappointed, as some might argue. It just makes your life more enjoyable. Of course we all have bad days and I can totally immerse myself into that too – but to completely destroy my positivity it takes a lot!
Recommend a book and a movie
I’m honestly super bad with both! I read too much in my work life that I often have trouble getting myself to read, even if it’s for pleasure. I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed the Wallander series by Henning Mankell, but I couldn’t possible name of them now.
Movies, oh dear! Lately, the Fundamentals of Caring stuck with me. So sweet, witty and meaningful. Then again, I’m really a series person. I could name you all the shows to watch, but for movies I’d probably refer you to a friend.
What is your favourite song?
Anathema, Untouchable, Part 1 & 2. Luckily the song comes in two parts, so I don’t actually have to choose one of them.