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Meet 'Tulipop' [INTERVIEW]: A day in the life of founder, Signý Kolbeinsdóttir

We chat with the co-founder & head designer of kids' lifestyle brand, Tulipop, to hear all about her design inspiration and how to have fun during those dark Icelandic nights...

Posted: 4 April 2016
by Catherine Hudson

Signý Kolbeinsdóttir, co-founder and head designer of Tulipop

Signý Kolbeinsdóttir, 37, is the co-founder and head designer of Tulipop. Signý lives in Reykjavik, Iceland with her husband, Heimir Snorrason, and their two children, Snorri, 11, and Svava, 7

What is your family’s morning routine?

When I go to my Hot Yoga classes, which is twice a week, I wake up at 6am, drink a cup of warm lemon water and go to class. After class, I head home to take a shower and have breakfast with my family. Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day, I love coffee and toast. My son and husband take turns in playing their favourite music really loud, there is never a dull moment at my house. I make lunch bags for the kids and drive my youngest (7-year-old daughter) to school on my way to work.

What is your office environment like?

Our office is in a great part of Reykjavík, in the old harbour area, which is being dubbed the fish market district, It’s an up and coming area in Reykjavík, really flourishing with new shops, yoga studios, restaurants and cafés. Our office is on two levels. On the lower level we have our showroom, kitchen, stockroom and meeting room. On the upper level we have our open space office with an amazing view over of the ocean and mountains.

Do you have such a thing as a ‘typical’ day?

On a typical day we’re all in the office around 9:00 am. Good coffee and our beloved espresso machine are an important part of the office and I usually get another cup of coffee when I arrive and catch up with the team. Our workplace is really diverse and there is always a lot going on. Most days I’m focusing on designing new items for our collection and working on developing new products and designs for the Tulipop world.

Did you always want to do what you do now, for a job?

Yes, I’m living the dream. Making my own design and illustrations and making a living of it: that is pretty great!

What was the first thing you wanted to be ‘when you grew up’?

A diver, an archaeologist and a surgeon.


Tulipop goodies...

What is the best thing about your job?

I feel very privileged. I’m the head designer. I decide what goes and what doesn't, which is awesome.

Are there any downsides to your job?

Yes it can be nerve wrecking starting and running a company.  Being the one that has to take the risks while staying calm and getting all the sh** done.

How do you come up with creative, original ideas?

It varies. Sometimes it’s really hard work and it takes ages to come out. It’s like, someone said, pulling a rabbit out of a hat. Sometimes it just flows out like a den that has been opened.


Tulipop interior decorations

How do you juggle family life with work life?

I’m at the office from 9 to 5. I try to finish my tasks during work hours so I have the opportunity to spend time with my kids and husband after work. Although, sometimes I need to answer emails in evening.

What do you do outside of work, with your family?

We try to spend as much time together as possible. Swimming is a popular pastime, hanging out at the pool and relaxing in the hot tubs (Icelandic swimming pools are the best!).

We also love going snowboarding on our Tulipop snowboards during the winter. The north of Iceland has the best ski resorts. In the summer we like to go hiking, camping and travelling. But our most treasured times are in our home, long dinners with family and friends are a good way to pass the time during long, dark, yet cosy, Reykjavík evenings.


Life is more colourful, with Tulipop!

What is coming up, work-wise, for you and your business? Any new ventures?

Yes, indeed! One of the projects I’m most excited about are Tulipop plush and vinyl figurines which are being developed by the brilliant US toy company Toynami. It will be launched at Comic Con in San Diego this summer. Can’t wait to visit the Comic Con myself this summer, which I believe is an absolute blast.

Would you want your children to follow in your footsteps?

I’d just want them to do what makes them happy. If they want to follow in my footsteps, then that is great, but if not, then that is also great.

If you had superhero skills, what would be your dream job?

I would erase war and hunger.

Shop Tulipop, online

Did you know, Tulipop was Shortlisted in The Junior Design Awards 2015?

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