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Postgraduate Showcase – Maija Nygren

Thursday 24 September 2020

Maija Nygren's work
Originally from Finland and now based in Edinburgh, Maija Nygren is a children’s clothing designer with sustainability at the heart of her work.

Her new business concept, Convertibles, involves modular garments which offer a platform for the child to become an active participant in the making of their own clothing. This helps promote traditional craft skills and an awareness of the art of clothes making processes, leading to a better understanding of the importance of keeping, repairing and re-using. 

Maija was one of 40 creatives from across Scotland who secured a place on Robert Gordon University’s Creative Entrepreneurship short course, which was launched earlier in the year to provide fully funded business development support. 

Her work will be highlighted in the Gray’s School of Art Postgraduate Showcase which goes live on Friday, September 25, and will be featured within the innovative graysdegree.show site, which was created by local agency, Design and Code, for the undergraduate Gray’s Virtual Degree Show in July.

“As a designer and a parent, it is very important to me that the things I design, have a positive impact on the future generations,” Maija commented. 

“I graduated as a knitwear designer and really didn't see the point of just churning out more clothing that we already are drowning in. Making is part of my DNA and I felt a necessity to continue this practice, but through sustainable means.”

After completing the Elevator Accelerator programme in Dundee, Maija was alerted to the Creative Entrepreneurship short course and knew that it would prove beneficial. 

“This course has hit the nail on the head for me. There is so much ambiguity in business jargon, in business models and structuring the foundation of your business. Not coming from a business background, I was in disillusioned that I needed to become something else, a ‘businessperson’, to be successful in business. This course showed me that I just needed to be myself, and really embrace the essence of me.’

“Through this course I realised that the business I am building is built on my experience, my vision and my values. I am now using the tools I familiarised myself on the course to shape my business model, rooted in my vision, values and experience rather than vice versa, which means that my business is built on the integrity and the essence of the real me. This way I am creating a foundation that I can solidly stand on and grow.”

Maija is now looking forward to the opportunity of showcasing her business at the Postgraduate Showcase. 

“I am thrilled to be part of the Postgraduate Showcase. I feel like we are currently so deprived from social activities and events, and although online events are not a true substitute to seeing people in real life, I fully embrace these digital platforms to do so. It will be great to be part of this vibrant and creative showcase with the pool of graduates, bounce ideas and gain feedback on my work.”

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