It has been the dream for several years to bring the family together for a joint project. It has turned into a newly started design company that will sell the daughter's bowls, candlesticks and mirrors.
Little Ella, eight months old, smiles. She is happy because both mother and grandmother Pia are more than ready to give lots of care and attention.
However, it is not only little Ella who has claimed love and a great deal of time. Mother and daughter have been working for many months on a large project to establish a company that will sell Thea's candlesticks, bowls and vases. The company's name is Stences, and the first stage is to establish a webshop and spread awareness of the products.
"It is a dream for me that we can work together. We have a very close relationship in the family and we complement each other well. I am not in the least afraid that we cannot work together in the family. I am the creative one. Mother is super good at structure and administration," says 27-year-old Thea Christence Bækkelund.
She lives in Halgård with her husband Mikkel, while her parents live in Tvis – 100 meters from the newly started company based at Kirkevænget 5, where Actona, TTH Holstebro and the clothing company Creme Fraiche have previously had their homes.
There are no misgivings about close collaboration in the parents' generation either. "We absolutely cannot stop doing something together as a family. For us, there is no such thing as 8-16. We know that it will be hard in the next few years. It has not been an issue at all whether we could work together. Free time goes 100 percent with this," says Pia Christence Rasmussen, who runs a consulting and coaching company.
"The advantage of this is that I can adapt the two jobs to each other, even if it means some long days. It just gives me some extra energy to work with the family", says Pia Christence Rasmussen.
Father is also there
It is not just mother and daughter who have toiled for months renovating the premises at Kirkevænget. "My father has also spent a very large part of his free time helping with the start-up. He has a great deal of knowledge about financing and marketing, and he cannot help but contribute," says Thea about father Peter Bækkelund Rasmussen, who is department director at Sparekassen Thy in Herning and known as a speaker at a number of events in Holstebro.
The idea to found the company arose during the great corona shutdown in 2020. The parents had previously quit their jobs to run a ski hotel in Austria in 2018/19, and that break had certainly not removed the desire to be part of a new project, where you are challenged.
"The corona has not only brought bad things with it. We had plenty of time to talk about ideas and the future in 2020. Fortunately, my parents are also very adventurous, so they have supported and been involved from the very beginning. I have probably always wanted to become independent, but it has come a little earlier than I had expected", says Thea Christence Bækkelund, who is trained as a graphic designer and has always been creative.
"I've always had a creative gene in me. As a child I collected candles and used popsicle sticks and made collages. I also tried my hand at self-employment with a poster project before I started studying"
"Is there even time to be creative when you have a small daughter and a start-up company?".
"It's gone much better than I expected. I've realized how easy it is, even though I've become a mother. I enter the bubble of creativity faster when she's asleep. But the help from the family couldn't impossible", says the entrepreneur.
Her husband Mikkel is not involved in the company. He works as a teacher. Little brother Tobias is not there either, as he works at the defense in Holstebro. But they know most of what is going on and have also helped in several cases.
Name from the family
Mother Pia is tempted to say - even when it comes to Mikkel and Tobias. "It is of course entirely their choice, but it is a dream to be able to bring the whole family together about the project and the company sometime in the future. But it will in no way come by itself. We must have ice in our stomachs and be prepared that it requires time and hard work", says Pia Christence Rasmussen, who also has to manage patience. "I could of course hope that more orders would have come in by now, but it takes time to get started", she says.
The company name, Stences, is also related to the family. It is an abbreviation of the family name Christence on Pia's side. "If we hope to sell the products abroad one day, it is too difficult with Chistence. Stences is much easier in English and other languages. That is why we have chosen to shorten it", says Thea Christence Bækkelund.
The young entrepreneur does not hide his dream for the start-up company. But it is also mixed with a large dose of realism. "The dream is that we can make a living from it and have a good life. The goal is first and foremost to get out into retail stores and webshops in Denmark and Europe – and preferably even further afield at a later stage", says Thea Christence Bækkelund.
There is, however, a decision to keep the start-up company alive. Desire must be the focal point.
"I would lose the spark 100 percent if I had to sell other people's products. I love the creative process, even if it can take a year from sketch to finished product", says the designer, who is delighted that the first many cardboard boxes with candlesticks and ceramic bowls have ended up on Kirkevænget.