Introduce yourselves and tell us a little about what you do.
We’re Valerie and Tim – The Nomads Family. We like to do many things to keep ourselves busy, but most things are driven by the essence of nomadism – a fluid, curious way of thinking. We gave ourselves the Nomad name before we even had kids. We started as Let’s Be Nomads. We sold everything we had and travelled around Europe and Central America. We decided that wherever we lived, we’d be nomads forever. It’s something in your heart; you’re always exploring and trying new things. Then we got two kids, changed our name and became The Nomads Family. The kids grew up in a home on wheels; an American school bus which we had converted into a hostel on wheels,, then a few years later in a camper, followed by a house in Åre. At the moment we are mostly working on our clothing brand, guest house and guiding company.
How did you end up in Åre?
We love Scandinavia, especially Norway and spent years going up and down this beautiful country in our school bus. But at some point our oldest daughter started to need a more stable place in life, as basecamp as you could call it, so it was time to find the perfect place to settle down in. We knew we wanted the beauty of Scandinavia, the open-minded people, the nature and open spaces. I was the ambassador for Eivy (an Åre-based skiing apparel brand) and wondered whether Åre – somewhere we had heard great things about — was the place. We did more research, asked some contacts, and there it was – Åre was it. We didn’t want to be off the grid but wanted the balance of social and nature, which you get in Åre.
What was the transition like? From constantly moving to setting down roots in Åre?
We like it here – we have lots to do. If you’re not active, then it might be more challenging.
We like the opposites and have done many seasons in the Alps, so we’re not newcomers to more extreme contrasts of seasons. In that respect, it wasn’t a huge adjustment.
Are you part of the community now?
We arrived with the camper, followed our gut feeling and found our footing quickly. That was two years ago. The kids were enrolled in school nice and quickly. They have their base and their friends. If you have kids, you automatically meet people. But up here, you also meet people through the sports we do and try to be social. If you work for it, Swedes are super welcoming.
Which season up there is your favourite?
We moved for the winter but discovered mountain biking during the summers - a fantastic experience. Snowboarding and skiing have always been the red thread through our lives. We actually met at an after-ski bar, and winter sports remain our primary focus. Autumn is beautiful as well, biking through the orange and red trees.
Let’s talk merch – how did your little merch journey begin?
Someone called Frida from Creator Studio sent us a message on Instagram and said, ‘You should do this.’ She said she’s been following our account for years and has a cabin up here, so it felt genuine. We had some experience from the Nomad Bus, so it’s not our first time doing merch, but it’s so easy to overstock. Right now, we have no budget to set something like this up, so this way is so much better; you don’t have to invest anything other than time.
Are there specific themes you’re exploring with your artwork?
Things we’re interested in, or ideas that push us. There’s meaning in the things we’re making, and we discuss the ideas for each design on the webstore.
Who does the designing?
We feed off each other. Valerie makes most of the women’s garments, and Tim does most of the men’s. We have separate projects, but we’re so used to working together that this was a fun project to collaborate on. We wanted to make the merch line unique, so we’ve been careful in the blanks and colourways we’re working with. We might drop a new collection for the winter, and the process and collaboration between us and Creator Studio has been great. We’ve always felt heard and are a part of the process. It’s been excellent.
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