‘When life gives you lemons, make lemonade’ is an expression Elin Hellgren and her mother, Ann-Christine Hellgren, took literally when Elin’s rheumatic illness interfered with many of her dreams. “In the hospital bed, I didn’t have energy to do anything but draw,” she explains. Today, her drawings are featured on some truly beautiful interior design products.


During an extended hospitalisation, Elin developed an interest in drawing. What started out as doodles soon turned into creative, mesmerising Mandala patterns – and after creating a tray with the pattern as a Christmas gift to a family member, people in her circle started to get in touch as they were so impressed with her work. “My mum started to look into production and founded the company so that I could pursue my dream of having my own web shop,” says Elin.

Elin’s chronic illness is constantly present, but with the start of Gavle Design, the mother and daughter had something new and exciting to talk about. “Everything has to take its time as I can’t work that much, but this new focus helps me so much,” says Elin.

Gavle Design: Therapeutic patterns on beautiful design

Fascinating pattern

All products by Gavle Design feature prints hand-drawn by Elin. The Mandala patterns she creates, which make the products so unique, are in and of themselves therapeutic – both to draw and to look at. “To many, it is extremely fascinating – the way you follow a line that seems to never end,” explains Ann-Christine. “Most people can’t believe that Elin has actually drawn these patterns herself!”

Print of traditional Christmas symbol

One print from Gavle Design that is current right now is that of Gävlebocken, the Gävle goat. What is basically a giant version of the traditional Swedish Christmas straw goat has become a global Christmas symbol attracting many curious Swedish and international tourists every year. “As we live in Gävle, we found it natural to create a print of the goat,” says Elin. The print can be found on tea towels, dish cloths, trays, postcards and posters in Gavle Design’s web shop.

For international purchase requests, you can email:


Web: www.gavledesign.se

Facebook: gavledesign

Instagram: @gavledesign

Gavle Design: Therapeutic patterns on beautiful design

Ann-Christine and Elin Hellgren.

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