Crafts, Nature On Display At Online Retailer Nordic WondersJanuary 29, 2018
One of Lauren May’s joys is knowing the items she sells are cherished by their owners.
One time when her store, Nordic Wonders, was participating in a Swedish Christmas Fair in Torrance, Calif., a woman spotted the store’s vintage Swedish floral clay wall paintings and immediately was drawn to them. She told May that her mother used to have a painting hanging in her home just like the ones from Nordic Wonders.
“She walked away but soon came back and said a clay wall painting was the only item she wanted at the fair,” recalled May. “She asked me which color I liked better and purchased my recommendation, walking away with a big smile on her face.”
Nordic Wonders is a gateway to Swedish Lapland featuring the more craft and nature oriented aspects of the area. Primary themes in the online store focus on Scandinavian nature, folklore and history.
“We want to bring the beauty of Lapland to people’s everyday lives in their homes and to give them the option to feel connected to Scandinavia,” May said.
May, co-owner of Nordic Wonders, launched the online store in April 2017 after living in Swedish Lapland for a year. She was drawn to the beautiful crafts, artwork and vintage pieces that showcased rural life in Lapland and Scandinavia as a whole.
May, who was born and raised near Palm Springs, Calif., had never seen these Scandinavian items in the United States, so she decided to share them with Americans.
“Additionally, I wanted to develop a family business and build an active connection between Sweden and America, so the store offered a great opportunity to do that,” May said.
Even though the store is solely online, it does occasionally set up shop at events throughout Southern California such as fall markets and Scandinavian Christmas markets.
Its logo features reindeer antlers because “reindeer are an important wild animal in Lapland that roam in the forests all year and are an important part of the local economy, whether it’s reindeer meat, reindeer pelts or antlers,” May said, adding that the symbol in the middle of the antlers is a depiction of Viking runes that can be found on rocks throughout Scandinavia.
The store’s website features a wide variety of items including some that spotlight Scandinavian wildlife, everything from reindeer to birds as well as natural wonders such as flowers, berries and landscapes.
The store also has unique boutique items from Scandinavian companies such as dishware, home decorations and souvenirs produced in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
The artistry of Swedish jewelry designer and silversmith Pernilla Linnér, who grew up near Malmö, currently is being featured on the store’s site.
“She was influenced by her father who made table parts out of recycled scrap metal in Sweden,” May said. “Her handmade sterling silver jewelry is pristine and rustic and has been featured in modeling shoots and magazines. We are very excited to have her items available for sale at Nordic Wonders.”
May is in the process of making connections with other Scandinavian designers and expects to announce new products soon.
Since opening, May has found it challenging to develop a customer base because of the store’s niche focus. But she said she is chipping “away at sharing our store with others online and in person to gradually build awareness of our name and unique items.”
The connections she has developed with artists throughout Scandinavia have been rewarding.
“We love meeting people, seeing their crafts and helping them have a place to showcase their work,” May said. “We also love learning about the Scandinavian culture and sharing what we learn with others, which makes the whole project much more personal and touching.”