Malin Jefferies Founder of Malin Darlin talks to ESK about balancing motherhood and work, sustainability and the challenges she has faced with her business to date.
What led you to launch malin-darlin, a cashmere only brand?
I could really see a gap in the market and was really bored with what was on offer. Having always loved cashmere and I having studied fashion and knitwear design, it felt like the natural route for me.
How did your previous modelling experience influence your brand and creative direction?
You learn surprisingly a lot being at the other side of the camera, especially about style, visuals art direction and how to make things pop.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced with your brand to date, and how did you meet that challenge(s)? What did it teach you?
I do a lot myself, I guess I’m a little bit of a control freak when it comes to my business and not that good at delegating. I should probably have more people to help me so I can focus more on the design process which is where my passion lies.
Browse Malin Darlin
Who or what would you say most inspires you in your life and work?
I get inspired by travel – being in lockdown was very difficult for my creativity.
How do you balance being a mother and a business owner?
It’s tough, sometimes I feel like I need to clone myself, but I think sometimes we just have to cut ourselves some slack and realise that we can’t do everything at once.
What’s your proudest moment to date (work related or not)?
My proudest moments always relate to my children and their achievements, I’m proud of my business but I find it a bit hard to be proud of myself.
"Sometimes I feel like I need to clone myself, but I think sometimes we just have to cut ourselves some slack and realise that we can’t do everything at once
— Malin Jefferies
Do you have a favourite quote or phrase or belief that serves as a personal motto?
Positive mind - positive life
Where do you take inspiration for your collections from?
Mostly from travel, art, furniture, and nature, growing up in Sweden, I love retro things and style.
Your cashmere is sustainability sourced from inner Mongolia; how do you decide which suppliers to work with?
Our yarn suppliers are certified by the international cooperation committee of animal welfare to ensure we follow the most ethical practices and use the highest quality fibre. The designs are knitted in an ethical family-run factory in the hills of Nepal. The factory operates a charitable foundation to support local farmers and women in textiles through training and new business opportunities. By growing local commerce and improving livelihoods, the project aims to build self-sustaining villages across the country.
Can you describe malin-darlin in three words?
Playful, colourful, luxurious
"I’m proud of my business but I find it a bit hard to be proud of myself."
— Malin Jefferies
Oumnia means her ‘Wish’ in Arabic, what inspired you to name your brand this?
I always wanted to have my own store, displaying my collection, Oumnia is a shop where all colours coexist, a cornucopia of where Art meets Fashion.
.Quick Fire Questions:
How do you start your day?
Getting the kids ready for school
What’s your coffee (or tea) order?
Single shot cappuccino
If we had a look in your bag, what would we find?
My phone, sanitiser, hairbrush lip gloss and a whole lot of receipts.
What’s your favourite hobby?
Socialising – is that a hobby? ;-)
Your style icon?
What’s the last book you read?
Where the Crawdads Live
If you didn’t live in London, where would you live?
I can’t really see myself living anywhere else right now, but I have always dreamt of living somewhere a bit warmer... LA perhaps.
The most unforgettable place you have travelled to is?
Cuba, it’s a very special place in so many ways and I have been lucky enough to have seen it at different stages.