Say hi to Mathilda Wibom Westerberg! The woman who in 2019 started Juniper, a brand that designs and sells luxury home essentials. Today she lives in New York with her husband and 2 kids where she juggles everyday life with running her company together with her team in Sweden.
Hi Mathilda, you live on the Upper West side in New York, run your own company Juniper, you’re the mother of 2 beautiful daughters and you love running in Central Park in your spare time. Did we forget something?
I think you’ve managed to summarize me pretty well! I could possibly add that I'm a huge potato crisp fan and I love to spend time with my friends and family that’s too far away at the moment. But In a few days my mom will come to visit which i'm really looking forward to!
Is there something you think people don’t know about you?
I think a lot of people who are not close to me and only follow me on social media would think I'm a really calm and collected person who always has everything under control.
But I'm a really emotional person who's really affected by the highs and the lows of Juniper and other things that might affect my everyday life.
How do you spend your days?
I spend a lot of time with my 3 kids - Juni, Juniper and Pomeline! When I've dropped the girls off at school by Columbus Circle, I either go to my husband's office by Bryant park or I just work from home, dedicating my hours to Juniper before I go pick up my daughters again.
Since the Juniper team, Alex and our two interns Emma and Louise, are all in Stockholm, my mornings usually consist of a lot of meetings. I love to check in with Alex to talk about product development, logistics and discuss different branding-activities. Then spend time with Louise and Emma to focus on CRM and SoMe.
Something I just have to do, no matter how stressful the day is, is to have a run before I go pick up the girls. I usually do shorter runs on the weekdays and longer ones on the weekends.
How’s your relationship with nature today compared to before?
When I grew up I spent the majority of my summer in the archipelago. I can still remember the move from the city out to our summer place where 8 weeks felt like forever and all the fun we had there. We played loads of games with our cousins, we went sailing and explored all the small islands nearby while wearing that classic orange lifewest.
I also really love to go skiing, one of the absolute first things I got from my husband was an avalanche rescue backpack and a spade so that we would be safe on our adventures in the alps.
How did it feel leaving Sweden, the peace and quiet, nature and your family and friends for the big city life in a city that never sleeps?
You would think that New York is just concrete and tall buildings - but I would say it's actually a city that actually has a great urban planning, they've preserved beautiful parks and there's loads of amazing walking paths along the Hudson River.
We live in a really kid friendly neighborhood - from the windows in our apartment we can see at least 2 parks and we have Central Park on one side and Hudson River on the other. Which is really nice.
But of course, I miss my family and friends back home and the family summer house in the archipelago.
What’s the best and worst thing about living in New York?
The absolute worst thing is that New York is the most expensive city in the world. Simple as that.
The best thing about New York is that it's an incredibly warm and welcoming place. You can start a conversation with strangers and you don't have to worry about fitting in. That mentality reflects on my children - Juni recently told a person on the street ‘’I love your outfit’’ and got the answer ‘’Oh thank you, you’re a little fashionista yourself, have a wonderful day!’’
And Pomeline loves to wave to people from her stroller because she's so used to people waving back.
How do you find ways to connect with nature in a big city like New York?
I love central park! It’s absolutely perfect for running and I love the contrast of the big green park and the tall buildings in the background. On Sundays I usually run between 18-24 km and I can find new paths to run every single time.
On Saturdays we have ‘’family days’’ and that usually means spending hours in Central park. You almost forget you're in a big city, unless you look above the treetops.
Have you had any turning point/points in your life that has affected you in a big way?
I’m a really emotional person and I sometimes find it difficult not to care what other people think of me but moving to New York has definitely made me stronger as a person and I feel like I can fully be myself here.
Another important turning point was when I started Juniper - Just one week in as an entrepreneur I felt like if I wouldn't succeed with Juniper I could apply for pretty much any other job I wanted because I'd learnt so much in that short amount of time when it came to personal development and running a business.
How do you like your Minna Wool Fleece?
I love my Minna Fleece, the design is so well thought out. I love that it's cozy and looks great at the same time, perfect for an afternoon in Central Park.
Mathilda in Minna Wool Fleece Jacket, size S
What do you dream about at the moment?
I dream that Juniper will grow, that we will be a team of around 10 people, and that the company will be really profitable. I want to continue to be inspired and learn from the team.
I also dream about one day having my own place in the Alps. A getaway for me, my friends and my big family to have easy access to great skiing!
5 Quick questions:
Best park in New York?
Definitely Central Park.
Best experience in nature?
Offpist skiing with Jacob in Verbier, winter 2020.
Best place to go running in New York?
Central Parks wins again - but to mention something else, it’s really beautiful running south from our apartment alongside the Hudson River until you get down to the statue of liberty - preferably during sunset!
Best activity to do in nature during summer in Sweden?
Sail in Stockholm archipelago, or just some classic hanging out on a deck in the sunshine somewhere.
Best place for skiing in Europe?
Verbier and Cervinia/Zermatt.
Thank you so much for chatting with us Mathilda and for giving us insight into your exciting life in New York! Follow Mathilda on Instagram and if you feel like reading something similar we recommend this one.