Scandinavian simplicity at Christmas - Nordic Designs

Inside her garage in rural Victoria, Cecilia Holden spends the majority of the year preparing her business for the Christmas rush. All manner of specialty Scandinavian home wares and gift wares are spread across her immaculately curated workbench.

Nordic Designs is predominantly an importer and wholesaler, which means Cecilia has spent a good deal of her time showing stock at trade fairs to find out what will become popular for the season.

“It’s about buying wisely… I don’t really invest too much in stock until I have been through a trade fair or two to see if this is a product range or a particular product that is going to go.”

With her Christmas products on the table behind her Cecilia gave us her top tips for running a small business from home:

  • You can start your business from anywhere.
    An online business means you can work from anywhere in the country, including your home like Cecilia. Along with access to a local Post Office and street posting boxes, you have the tools you need for your own business.
  • Work hard and be prepared.
    Cecilia starts working on her Christmas plans from as early as April that year so she’s prepared for the Christmas rush.
  • Find a pre-made online store.
    Cecilia uses Shopify for hers, not one built from scratch. She finds it cheaper and easier to manage as well as having the ability to get products live quicker.
  • Make sure your online store has great product images and descriptions.
    Customers don’t have the ability to pick the items up to take a closer look, so make sure you use great photography and be descriptive to compensate.
  • Buy wisely – Order samples before investing in large amounts of stock.
    Cecilia gets her samples and decides which of those will be the most popular before she invests in larger amounts.

This isn’t Cecilia’s first time in business and she jokingly says she’s made all the mistakes already. For her, Nordic Designs had to be a simple business and one she could self-manage from her home.

Cecilia’s passion for Nordic Designs is as evident as her products are adorable but she’s also extremely pragmatic.

“My advice is if you want to start your own business is that you’ve got to be prepared to work really hard. And I’m not just saying work hard because everyone thinks they do that. But you’ve got to be prepared to live, breathe, sleep and eat with your business 24/7.”

For beautiful Scandinavian gifts and home wares, visit

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