Meet the Maker - Maria Gustavsson

For our June edition of meet the maker,  Swedish designer and founder of Swedish Ninja talks about her future collaboration plans, products with heart and inspiring cities. 

Grey Darling Wallpaper.jpg

Little Darling table lamp, multiple colours

Intro - name, discipline, where are you based ...?

Maria Gustavsson, Founder of Swedish Ninja. We are based in Malmö, Sweden and Vejle Denmark.

What's your Pelican Story - what inspired you to start making?

After being in the furniture industry as a freelance designer for 10 years I felt a desire for a more experimental Scandinavian style both in colour, style and material. I have also always dreamed of starting my own brand and I love challenges and to learn new things!  

As a maker, do you have any questions you ask yourself before making a new piece or launching a new line?

Yes, if the product has a heart! I want Swedish Ninja products to last a lifetime. For that to happen we need to make sure we make brave and functional designs that one feels proud of owning and gets attached to.

Which direction do you see yourself going in the future?

I want to create a multinational Ninja world collaborating with designers from around the world and experiment with style, materials and cultures.  

What are the ingredients for great design and what's really exciting you at the moment in design?

Great design stays in your mind and you start to reflect on the piece and how you would like to use it. Also, I love it if the piece can be used in many different environments and is multifunctional.

I get excited when I can see that many artists have started their own production which is fantastic

Who inspires you creatively outside of homewares and design?

Everyday people and travelling

If you weren't a maker, what would you be doing?

I would have loved to work as a  gardener

Favourite cities, places or people for inspiration?

Cities - Malmö, Copenhagen, London, Melbourne, San Fransisco.

Place -  the farm where I grew up. I love going to my parents and always finds it so peaceful.

People - I find my friends to be very inspiring but also I truly enjoy sitting at a café and just watch people who are passing by.

Can’t live without….

My kids

Should live without…….


Any final words?

Looking forward to seeing you in September in London