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WHO ARE YOU? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF?

My name is Juli Böhler. I am the founder and designer of hjärtslag home textiles. I am mother of a one year old boy and live with my boyfriend in Hamburg Sternschanze, Germany.

WHAT DO YOU MAKE?

I make hand knitted home textiles like heavy knitted blankets, decorative pillows and hamper bins. 

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED AS A MAKER?

After I studied fashion and worked several years in fashion industry, I found myself in need for new creative input and output. So, I started with my best skills: knitting and sewing! First, I came up with an Etsy shop (which I still run successfully). Then I found some retailers to sell my products and I opened my own online shop. The business is still growing and I'm looking forward to what will happen in the future.

WHAT MAKES YOUR PRODUCTS THE BEST?

All hjärtslag products are hand knit by myself and two older ladies here in Hamburg. Only high quality wool and Merino yarns from a local yarn mill are used for our super soft and cozy blankets and cushions. The main focus of my production lays in local manufacturing and material sourcing. I always try to make unique knit designs you can't find anywhere else.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR WORKSPACE.

As a mom of a one year old baby, I have my workspace integrated in our apartment. One room in our flat is all for myself and my work next to the nursery. At the moment this is the best possible way to be both mother and small business owner.

In a shelf I store yarns and knits I current work on and some magazines. Everything is visible for inspiration. I believe that inspiration comes from things that surround me. So, I keep them in sight. My sewing machine is an old, very old, Singer that I use for everything. It's the best sewing machine I've ever had!

TELL US ABOUT WHERE PEOPLE CAN FIND YOUR PRODUCTS.

International customers can find my products on www.hjartslag.etsy.com. All the german speaking people are also able to shop at www.hjartslag.de. We are currently working on an update with english translation for our german website, so please keep visiting us!

WHERE ARE YOU FROM?

I was born in southern Germany. The city is called Freiburg and is located close to the French and Swiss border. Parts of the city center were built in the 13th century, with narrow houses and small alleys. We have mountains and the Black Forest. The weather is warm with lots of sun in the summer and snow in the wintertime. After I finished school, I moved to Berlin to study fashion technology. I really love Berlin and can imagine moving back some day. I've been in Hamburg for 10 years already. The quarter Sternschanze, is absolutely fantastic with lots of restaurants, bars, cool stores and in a very nice neighborhood. 

WHAT HAS BEEN MAKING YOU EXCITED LATELY?

I feel excited by so many makers and small business owners who are motivating and empowering others. In the beginning of being self employed I often felt dismissed by the fact that I do everything on my own. My work was often minimized as a hobby. Today, this has changed absolutely. More and more people as for local products and handmade things.

IF YOU COULD LEARN A NEW SKILL, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

Crochet! It's the next thing I'm going to teach myself. Soon, I will have crochet items in my shop.

COFFEE OR TEA?

Coffee! Decaf! 

ARE YOU A MORNING PERSON OR A NIGHT OWL?

I like to stay in bed long, which disqualifies me to be an early bird, I think. I attempt to work in the evening and night time, because I can enjoy working when the baby's in bed. 

WHAT DO YOU WATCH OR LISTEN TO IN THE BACKGROUND WHILE YOU ARE MAKING?

I like to watch series like Friends or Big Bang Theory, anything that is easy to follow while concentrating on work. Sometimes I listen to the radio or podcasts as well. 

SHARE 5 FUN FACTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

- I like to watch Star Trek while knitting.

- I have freckles even in the winter.

- Since I have a baby, I love taking naps.

- I love to rummage through thrift shops for clothing, I rarely buy something new.

- When my boyfriend asks me to watch a movie, I always say "yeah!" Five minutes later, I'm asleep.