Blix chat to Charlotte Ågren, the Founder of LondonSwedes.com – the largest website for the Swedish and Scandinavian community in London and the UK. With a background in Business and Management from London’s Regent University, Charlotte is now a full time business owner, event host and a fellow London lover.
Photo Credit: Time Out
Can you tell our readers a little bit about yourself?
I’m a Swede living in London, I’ve been here 8 years in August and have no plans to go back to Stockholm – my hometown yet! I moved here with my ex-boyfriend and ended up staying when he was ready to go home. I felt I wasn’t done with London and now I’m so glad I stayed as it is one of my favourite cities in the world. I’m planning to stay here but who knows what will happen.
What was the inspiration behind launching LondonSwedes?
When I arrived here in 2009, I felt there was definitely a need for a platform for Swedes as there are so many of us living in London and there was not enough information. The same questions kept on coming up, so I took over an already existing platform, Londonsvenskar.se and made it into Londonswedes.com with both an online and offline presence. I hosted my first crayfish party in 2012 with a capacity of 120. We hosted it at Dalston Roof Park. It was an amazing night – we even had a live band that flew in from Stockholm.
Do you have to be Swedish to attend LondonSwedes event?
Absolutely not. We had a good ratio of 50% Swedes, 50% other nationalities on all our events last year, and that’s the whole point of these events, if you know what I mean. We appeal to anyone who’s interested in Swedish traditions, as they are fun and we always tend to wear something on our heads; flower wreath on midsummer, crayfish hats during the crayfish season and candles on Lucia 🙂
Swedish Lucia Nights, Dec 2016.
Sounds awesome. What’s next in the calendar?
We organize Midsummer, Crayfish festivals and an event around Christmas every year. So, our next event would be Midsummer now, however we might organise something around Valborg aswell (Walpurgis in the UK) which is a celebration to welcome the spring in Sweden. It involves having big bonfires so it might be a bit difficult to host it in London, but we’ll get there..
Lovely! Can you tell us a bit about your hobbies and interests?
I love to work out and try to go to the gym everyday. If I can’t make it to gym I go for a run. I live very close to Holland Park, so it’s perfect for a morning run.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I wake up around 8ish and always try to go to the gym. I often don’t sit down in front of the computer until 10am. I often work longer days instead. I don’t do much on weekdays but will try to change that this spring. I got the energy and excitement back of trying new restaurants and being a bit more cultural etc.
When you are not busy working, what do you like to do to unwind and relax?
Hang out with friends, laugh and just eat. I also love to spend time alone. I absolutely love my home so I spend a lot of time at home doing nothing. I wish I was relaxed enough to read more, but I find it hard to concentrate. This is something I need to work on this year.
Do you have a favourite quote?
Everything happens for a reason.
This quote helps me go through hardship.
Thank you for your time and good luck for the busy weeks ahead!