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success starts with her[self]

  

her[self] is our initiative to celebrate and inspire women to believe in themselves. Through this initiative we want to redefine the meaning of ‘success’ to make it something personal. Something that tells a story about you.

  

This spring Bik Bok is launching the initiative in partnership with some truly inspirational women. Through a series of short films, they all share their own personal stories on success. And even though their experiences and lives are different, they have all inspired us in their own special way. 

 

#bikbokxherself

 

 

 

 

 

[ella]

 

 

Ella (19) describes herself as a time optimistic, happy person who finds joy through creative outlets. She is an actress and had her break-through with the hit Netflix-series, Quicksand. For her future, she dreams about working as an architect.



− It is great to say “yes” but can feel equally good to say “no”

- Ella Rappich

success starts with herself

 

 

 

 

"Success is when you find what makes you happy, and just go with that. The journey truly is the destination. I feel happy if I can just live here and now and enjoy every second."

 

 

- Ella Rappich

 

 

 

 

 

[elnaz & mahtab]

 

 

Sisters, cohabitants and colleagues. With common background from textile and fashion design studies in Tehran and the Oslo National Academy of the Arts, Elnaz (26) and Mahtab (28) have contributed to various fashion assignments. They also work for Bik Bok.

 

The sisters were born in Finland, but grew up in Holmestrand, Norway. With their teenage years in Iran, Elnaz and Mahtab use the different cultures to their advantage.They also derive strength from common dreams for the future, mutual support and the close relationship found in people who end each other's sentences.

 

 

Elnaz and Mahtab have worked with artists such as Arif, Astrid S, Amanda Delara, Linni, Lemaitre and Myra.

They sign their joint work the Gargari sisters.

 

E: We are our true selves, while at the same time challenging ourselves and not locking ourselves inside a fixed frame.  

 

E: We are constantly on a journey and grasp the opportunities we are given.

M: That's what has built us up.

 

E: It's easy to get the feeling that you don't have much value in a tough industry as this one. It’s easy to question our own value – to ask yourself, is this what I'm worth?

M: I'm proud because I haven't given up. Look at us now, we are in Bik Bok and learn so much every day. It has helped us to think even bigger. This is exactly what we want. Work and learn.

  

M: When I need to boost my self-confidence, I tell myself: “Okay, this is a step towards what I really want. I can do this. You know you're getting something I return for it”. I know that I always have strength inside.

M: We have failed many times. But the more you work, the more confident you become. The more you work, the better you know yourself.

 

 

 

"We have experienced different cultures and have the ability to see life from several angles. It makes us open for anything new."

 

- Elnaz Gargari

 

"We carry that with us as we work towards our goals."

 

 

- Mahtab Gargari

 

 

 

 

 

 

[sini]

 

 

Sini (31) has inspiration as a part of her job-description. Through her work with content production and Instagram she takes her followers all over the world. She believes travelling enriches life, but true gold is found at home – with her boyfriend and two dogs. Sini has travelled all her life; from the moment she got her first passport at the age of six weeks – and her family moved from Finland to The Unites States. Now she is based back in Helsinki – in the most beautiful country she knows.  

 

 

 

 

 

− I was a big city girl that grew up in the States and then we moved to Finland, Helsinki – and it’s such a small place. I think travelling makes you grow and that seeing different cultures gives you a better understanding of other people and other ways of life. 

 

− Setting realistic goals for yourself, for the next month or even a year and achieving them, that is success.

 

 

 

 

"What really is successful to me is that I have built a life where I feel like I have the right people around me and where I can just me happy being at home and feel content with what I have." 

 

- Sini Savolainen

 

 

 

  

  

 

[siri]

 

 

Siri (18) is in her senior year at high school. She also has an international career as a model – and she was “born in the wrong body”. But most of all she is “just” Siri. Siri faces the world with curiosity, eager and a unique presence. She refers to herself as “Betty Spaghetti” and her life consists of everything from catwalks and photoshoots to watching tv in her sweats with friends. 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Success starts with herself

 

 

 

 

 

I hope we reach a point where just "being yourself" comes naturally, and it doesn’t have to be such a big deal. I don’t need applause to be Siri – who else would I be?

 

 

- Siri Lehland

 

 

 

  

[alexia]

 

 

Downhill you can choose to give up, or work extra hard to get back up, says Alexia (28). After being seriously ill with anorexia and bulimia for several years, the mother of two today works as a Store Manager for Bik Bok and finds strength and joy in inspiring others. 

 

− I used to take in all the pressure around me and had been seriously ill with anorexia and bulimia when I became pregnant against all odds. It got me started working on how I see myself. If I don't love myself, how can I love others? If I hate myself and my body, my children will believe that they will do the same. Now I find strength in teaching my children to love themselves for who they are.  

 

− I'm proud of myself because I've dared to tell my story. I can help others who are not comfortable with themselves. Downhill you can choose to give up or work extra hard to get back up. I get self-confidence and good self-esteem from the fact that I have built myself up and that I dare to stand strong in who I am. 

success starts with herself

 

 

 

 

"Success for me is that I have realized that I am good just the way I am. No one else can control how I am supposed to feel about myself. Only I can decide what I can and cannot do, and how beautiful I am." 

 

- Alexia Mäntylä

 

 

 

  

 

[sunniva & leila]

 

 

Sunniva (20) works as a model, but she wants to study game design. Sunniva is also Leila’s girlfriend and she fell in love with her when they became roommates. She dreams about a farmer’s life, in Switzerland. With sheep, maybe some chickens too…

 

"New possibilities lie beyond your fears"

- Sunniva Lia

 

Leila (25) is the co-owner and manager at the bar, Pöbel. She is Sunniva’s girlfriend and they have a cat together, called Samvis. Leila has parachuted and she speaks German – which she learnt from watching children’s television. She truly appreciates the freedom to be herself.

 Sunniva and Leila met when they became roommates

 

S: It all started backwards, but it ended up bringing us closer together…

 

L: We didn’t really have a choice. If we disagreed on something, we had to talk it out straight away – because we were living together

 

S: I used to see relationships as something that was built up by levels and that was also how I practiced them. First level – buy her flowers. Second level – ask her to be my girlfriend.

 

L: The fact that we have been living together before we even became a couple has sent all your logics out of the window, because it all happened backwards – and maybe it even made you more open?

 

S: Definitely. I have never communicated with anyone like I do with you. I have evolved so much. I talk a lot more now and I suddenly love to meet new people – which I used to really dislike…

 

L: We have talked about everything from the very beginning. You have made it comfortable for me to move in my own pace and take it one step at a time. You made the process with me coming out of the closet not just about the emotions, but also about putting everything into words…

 

S: I feel like we have similar values as well…

 

L: After I met Sunniva I feel like I can be more of who I am. I didn’t scare her off if I was doing something weird. Sometimes I can worry about making a fool of myself, and feel a certain shame about that… But I realised that this girl wasn’t going anywhere, so I could just carry on with being myself.

 

 

  

 

"It is often the things you fear the most that really opens doors…"

 

- Sunniva Lia

 

 

 

 " …And it might be that to dare a challenge is actually the biggest challenge of all – if that makes sense?"

 

- Leila Gashi

 

 

 

 

 

[imane]

 

 

Imane (25) works part time as an economist and has a big heart for fashion. Through @fashionwithfaith, she inspires over 150,000 followers with what she describes as modest fashion with a Scandinavian approach. She also takes on assignments as a stylist and fashion consultant. Imane is the winner of Look of The Year at the ELLE Gala 2020.

 

− I've never been the one who do things just to fit in. I find strength within myself. I am my own person and no one can tell me how to fit inside some given frames. Everything I do has to feel right and be done on my terms. I see no sense in creating the same individuals over and over.

 

 

 

− If I had listened to others and done what was expected of me, I would not have been where I am today, or felt so good about who I am today. Listening to myself has helped me develop my I-don't-care-mentality. And made me able to live my life a little unaffected.

 

− There are times I feel like I zone out. Where the pressure is too big because I am a public person. Then I can find strength in the fellowship with others who know what I going through. We support each other through the vulnerability and instead of drowning ourselves in it, we gain strength from it. In times like that the vulnerability can make me a stronger individual and help define who I am..

 

 

 

 

"Successful to me means to dare to make myself visible in rooms I've been terrified of. To face my fear. I think that's the key to success." 

 

 

- Imane Asry