So Tattletech was on an island, Fåglarö!, Sweden, over the Midsummer holiday. We found ourselves at a three day Midsummer party with 33 international guests all staying in the same summer house, cooking, talking and drinking. In the midst of former Canadian Hedge Fund managers, seriel entrepreneurs, non profit fundraisers for Doctors without Borders and some Swedish racing sailors, we found Tiina Parviainen who just started LiviaConcept. Tech addict, avid interior designer and tyro business woman. I give you, Tiina, a bit of fun with a Fin.
TattleTech: What gave you the idea to start LiviaConcept?
Tiina Parviainen: Livia Concept is a project that is under development and stands for my love for textiles, prints and interiors. Since quite young age I have been creating things – painting, sewing, crafting, later on decorating and hosting events, web design, renovating my home and programming. There was a long period of very theoretical engineering studies in my life, so since interior design is my biggest passions I owe it to myself to develop my skills in those areas.
TT: You are a programmer by trade, but how did you go from programming to creating an online interiors resource center, like Etsy?
TP: I don’t think it’s a great leap in any ways. I work with system development so I know what it takes to set up a an online marketplace like this. At the moment, I am busy with my interior design blog and I have just designed my first collection of pillows and am looking for producers, importers, etc. All of this is creative and technically challenging, but I also still have my day job as a programmer and in fact I’m just about to start in a new job as a project manager. There are 24 hours in a day after all, why not use them all!
TT: You are blond, highly intelligent and a technical genius — what do you feel are the biggest challenges you face as a female entrepreneur?
TP: I believe the biggest challenge is to believe in your “thing” and your skills. I have never experienced any real difficulties but because I grew up with self esteem. The only thing that I experience as negative and challenging is the fact that a young woman who is highly educated, skilled, straight forward and feminine is considered a threat by other women. That is sad. I tend to think that there is a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.
TT: You told me once that ‘creating’ is a lifestyle, can you expand on this and how it applies to LiviaConcept?
TP: Creating and creativity IS a lifestyle. Even if it’s hard for you to be creative you can never really shut down the creative brainwork, can you? It doesn’t really matter what type of creativity it is, for example a person can be extremely good at solving problems, that is creativity. Some people have it and other people don’t. The people who are creative are just that by nature and usually are so in many other aspects of their lives.