Life with a bit of fun and glitter

TEXT: LOUISE OLDER STEFFENSEN | PHOTOS © SUI AVA

In just a year and a half, the jewellery and accessory brand Sui Ava has taken Danish girls and women by storm. Taking inspiration from her two young girls, Sui and Ava, Sisse Bachmann Aaby launched Sui Ava in a bid to add a little bit of glitz and glamour to the everyday, at prices that anyone can afford. She struck gold, and today, Sui Ava products are available in department stores as far away as Paris and London.

“It was a big leap of faith to leave my job back in 2017,” Sisse says, “but I’m so happy that I did. I was responsible for two young daughters at the time and that was a big responsibility, but I believed in the concept and thought I had what it took.” Sisse has worked in retail her entire career, starting out as a retail assistant before making her way to online manager for Bahne. “It’s only really after launching Sui Ava that I’ve realised how much my background benefits me – I have a great network and I’m able to spot what will last and which trends will flop. Most of all, however, I truly love the service industry and seeing customers get excited.”

From polka dots to flower clips

Sui Ava began by selling products online and to retail stores in Denmark. Now, the recognisably bright products can be spotted all the way from Norway to Switzerland. In November 2018, Sui Ava opened its own shop on Kompagnistræde 17 in the centre of Copenhagen, making another of Sisse’s goals come true. Although she has a lot to do and employees to take care of, Sisse plans to be down at the shop regularly. “I’ve always loved being behind the till. There’s no better way to get feedback than being present when people actually see the products,” Sisse adds. “One of the best experiences I’ve had so far was a few weeks ago when three generations of the same family came in and each found a little thing that they loved – they came back to tell me how much they loved that the brand caters to everyone. I’m very proud that we have achieved that.”

Aside from their jewellery, Sui Ava is home to various ranges of hairclips, bags, hairbands and other accessories. Some varieties are pastel-coloured and flowery, some are bold and colourful, and others again are full of glitter and pizzazz. What connects the different ranges is their playfulness and optimism, and their delivery in a bright and sparkly, decadent box. “It’s the kind of thing that you can splurge on without feeling guilty or having to worry about your finances. We want Sui Ava’s products to bring a smile to people’s faces and to add a little ray of sunshine to their owners’ day. It’s difficult to adorn oneself with a bright pink glittery hairpiece called Kirsten and not be a little cheered up.”

The third child

The original Sui and Ava continue to add cheer and joy to their mother’s life too – both at home and at the office. “I’ve never been one of those mothers who make the perfect dinner every single day and devote themselves entirely to their children’s childcare,” she says. “I was quite worried at first about how busy I would be and whether they’d feel neglected. But actually, they’ve been very excited about it all and don’t mind hanging out at the office or grabbing an apple and a hot dog for dinner occasionally.”

It was actually the oldest, Sui, who at the tender age of five came up with the brand name. “Ava, who is only three and a half years old, is still a little bit baffled by it all, but Sui will already help me out with accounting and is turning into a proper little businesswoman,” Sisse laughs. “I can see that they’re learning the value of hard work and of trying to reach your dreams. It may be a slightly alternative lifestyle, but it actually gives us lots of quality time together, and that’s the loveliest unexpected perk of this job.”

The way things are going, perhaps Sisse should begin to expect the unexpected: when the shop launched, they predicted they’d break even after a month, but as it turned out, they crossed that line after just three days of sales. At the January fashion week in Copenhagen’s Bellacenter, Sui Ava was invited to exhibit alongside the big brands – less than two years after they were denied that same request. “It’s a lot of fun seeing how things develop and where it goes,” Sisse concludes. “Things meander, of course, and that’s part of the thrill and terror of entrepreneurship. I love it, though – in a way, Sui Ava has become my third child – and I have a responsibility to my colleagues and to my family to continue to make Sui Ava a success.”


suiava.com

Facebook: Sui Ava

Instagram: @suiava