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interview

Online Wool Blanket Shop: MOST

In this project, I am interviewing freelancers and entrepreneurs met in the Netherlands.

Interview with Sofia Morozova

1. Please tell me about the services you provide and the work.

I have had my own webshop “MOST” since 2013 in the Netherlands.

It is specialized in wool blankets, plaids and throws. At the moment, we have different kinds of wool, such as merino wool, cashmere, even Mongolian camel and yak wool. We have one of the biggest collections in the Netherlands.

Recent trend is green

2. Why did you start your business? / Why did you become a zzp?

When I moved from Ukraine to the Netherlands, I couldn’t continue my career as a university teacher because of big differences in university education systems. Besides, I didn’t speak Dutch. I had 10 years of university career in Ukraine behind me, which was very interesting but also very intense and demanding. So I decided to do something different in my life.

Product Packaging

This idea came to me by chance, as it usually happens. When you start to live so far from your home country, you are always missing something, like little things you are used to. I am used to being really warm inside. In the Netherlands, I found houses quite chilly, as Dutch usually keep the heating to the minimum. Besides, I was used to having wool plaids at home. They are very popular in my country, every household has a couple.

100% wool blanket

However, when I attempted to buy one here, I soon found out that they were expensive and there wasn’t much to choose from. This is how I got the idea to import them and sell online.

4. What is the good point of your products?

Wool blankets are a product of centuries-old tradition. It feels good to know that I’m contributing to its preservation.

Moreover, it is a natural, sustainable and ethical product. Wool is cut or combed from living healthy animals. It is rapidly renewable, biodegradable, recyclable.  and can also be produced organically. It has lots of health benefits too. Wool absorbs moisture better that any other fabric, has antiseptic qualities and stimulates blood circulation. It is also antistatic and breathable. [Here is a short post we have written about the benefits of wool.]

We have never sold fur or hide (sheepskin) and prefer products that come from the regions, where thanks to law regulation, (like in New Zealand) or ancient traditions, (like in Mongolia) people take good care of the well-being of their animals. I am getting involved with organizations like World Animal Protection and avoid regions, where animals are treated badly. 

I have personally met most of our suppliers and visited their productions. It is a really nice experience in itself. They are usually small local businesses, who put their heart and soul into the product.

Camel wool knitted throw

3. What is important to you in your work and life?

In my current job I love two things: freedom and lots of space for creativity. Ofcourse, my freedom is limited by responsibilities, but those are the responsibilities that I decide to take up on myself.

I also love doing what I do because it enables me to support this centuries-old craft as well as maintain the connection to nature that we have almost lost in the modern world. I like that people can still feel the special natural warmth of a wool blanket and that they value it.

5. Please tell me briefly about your daily schedule.

My business is seasonal. Around 50% of sales take place between October and December, so that the workload isn’t spread equally throughout the year. For me, this is a positive fact.

Jacquard dekens

The business isn’t big, so I can handle it myself for the most part. My irreplaceable assistant is my dog MacKenzie, a westie (West Highland White Terrier). When we have to process a lot of orders, which is usually on Mondays because the orders accumulate throughout the weekend, we go to the office early, around 09:00. By 16:30 – the time when the packages are picked up by the post, I try to finish everything. However, we can always find time for a little walk. Next to our building, there is a great nature area.

Of course, during our busiest time around Christmas, I do need some extra help. All hands on deck, so to speak. Luckily, members of the family are always ready to help me. Rest of the time I spend at home with the family. In spring and summer, half of a working day is enough to handle all orders after my intense Christmas ‘practice’. I usually do organizational tasks from home. During the most quiet period in the summer, I mainly focus on working at the website, from my garden usually. 

6. What is your approach to work, family time and personal time?

Luckily, for me my job is my hobby. It is not a problem for me to go for a photoshoot during the weekend or work at a new order for a supplier in the evening. However, I try to stick to working hours, which in the Netherlands is usually 5 days a week 6-8 hours a day. Of course, I have a special luxury of being able to lay out my working papers on the dining table, grab my laptop and spend the first half of the day working in the comfort of my own home.

Family is the most important thing to me and fortunately, my husband shares my enthusiasm for this business. It would have been much harder for me without his kind support and involvement.

Currently, the business is growing and as a means of reaching out to international audiences, we have taken it to Instagram and Facebook. We are also working on the English version of our website. I think we have a lot to offer in terms of promoting sustainability and providing lifestyle and home decor inspiration.

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