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ISSUE 19
 
RACHEL LA CHENARDIÈRE
 
Mama, Copywriter, Founder of Merde Vintage
+
Edith 7, Ava 1.5
 
 
Sweden

 

Tell us about your family...

I live on Södermalm in Stockholm with my partner and our two daughters, Edith who is 7 and Ava who is 1.5!

 

You have recently started your own business, Merde, which curates vintage homeware. What inspired you to start the business?

I grew up in my parents’ antique store so old things have always been a part of my
life. My dad was a real antique pro as well as a brilliant carpenter but when I was 10 he moved back to France where he is from and I never got a chance to take in all that knowledge.

I guess I have always been drawn to old objects and Merde is the perfect way for me to surround myself with them. Sadly my dad died just before I decided to start the shop, but I think he would have been proud knowing I pass on the hoarding of old pieces. 

 

 

 

What are your top tips when choosing vintage pieces?

Vintage pieces are unique in the sense that you can’t copy-paste them. But you can still try to pinpoint your inspiration, even if you can’t find the exact same object, try to look for shapes and materials that give you the right feeling.Maybe that’s what makes some people hesitant to buying vintage – that you have to trust your own taste..

“I think that's the beauty of it, each piece tells it's own story" 

 

Do you shop new & vintage when it comes to your own interiors? 

Looking around our apartment we have mainly vintage or pre-owned objects
with a few exceptions. I do occasionally fall for new things that are mindfully designed, but mostly I just don’t see the point of paying a lot for something factory-made that has a negative impact on the environment, when there are so many great and unique pieces out there. 

 

Where do you draw creative inspiration from? 

Working within advertising I’ve learned you need creative input for your mind to be
creative – it’s so important to take part in pop culture, movies, books, ar
t. For Merde, I mostly get inspired just by seeing beautiful objects. It can be something in a photo from the 50’s, but still it gets my mind going. Some days I feel completely stuck and question everything I do (maybe that’s an inevitable part of creativity though…). Looking through inspiration on Pinterest or old interior magazines gives me so much energy.

 

What does a typical day look like for you?

6.30 am - Get out of bed (I never set the alarm since my kids wake me up early anyway!)
6.45 am -7.45am - General chaos trying to get everyone ready
9.00 am - Start my workday at my “real job” which is working as a copywriter at an advertising agency.
5.00 pm - Fry meatballs, play, build lego and just focus on the kids
8.00 pm - Put kids to bed
9.00 pm - Work with Merde or doing the laundry or watching an episode of Succession
11.00 pm Scroll Instagram and sleep!

 

 


How are you finding juggling being a mama & running a business?

It’s a puzzle I am yet to solve. I often feel like I want to clone myself, feeling guilty for leaving work to pick up kids, feeling guilty for working from the couch at night, and not finding enough time for self-care. I know a simple solution would be working less hours, but it’s such a shame that so many women put their own passions aside. I think the key is to be present in the moment and manage expectations.

 

"I love my job, I love my side business and I love spending time with family and friends and I don’t really want to give up on anything."

 

Favourite part of motherhood?

To be honest, with my first child it was more of a life changer than I could ever have imagined and the first year was quite hard. This second time around, I was more ready and I cherish every moment with them. It’s also so heartwarming to see them together as sisters!

...& the most challenging?

Sometimes you want to be left alone and have a quiet moment, but you always have to put your kids needs before your own..like very time I really want to watch a TV-episode, that’s when they decide to not fall asleep in the evening!

 

 

Top tired mama tip?

It’s not always an option I know but just I like to take one hour alone and create a little home SPA - wash my hair, do a face mask and listen to a podcast. It’s how I love to take care of myself and get myself back on track.

 

Beauty of baby product you swear by?

Moisture! I can’t use enough oils and serums on my tired face and I usually pour a
little baby oil when I bathe the kids (in a bucket since we don’t have a bathtub.) Also, the fatty cream you buy at the pharmacy for dry babies’ butts is also great as a lip balm, haha.

 

Has anything about motherhood surprised you?

Following the birth of my second child I was more ready and able to embrace motherhood. The first time was so much about learning how to live a new kind of life. With Ava it was also a struggle to become pregnant so she was so long awaited...'

 

 

'...the love I’ve felt since the second I saw her is immense and nothing about motherhood or having an aching body has disrupted that.'

 

Is there anything you wish you had known before becoming a mama?

Everything changes...and nothing changes. Meaning; your life will be turned upside down but you will still be you and have the same interests and dreams as before kids. You will just have to juggle a bit more with your time and attention.

 

 

And finally please share with us your top BINI picks!

The Toast Snuggler! We often move ours around, from the couch to the stroller. It’s so soft and I could just use it as an interior detail it's so beautiful.

The Snuggle Vest! It’s so cute and perfect for the Swedish weather which can shift
really quickly during the day.

And of course the Mama Booties -  I am all about comfort.

 

 

 

 

TOAST MERINO SHEEPSKIN PRAM LINER

Follow Rachel on Instagram @rachelemilia & shop her curated vintage selection www.merde-selection.com / @merde.selection