“When I started, I didn’t even have a real camera, instead I used my mobile phone”, says Malin Fränberg. Establishing a platform as a content creator wasn’t easy and Malin took all sorts of jobs to get it going. But becoming her own employer isn’t something she regretted, it was all about following her heart. “I got to a point in life where I felt exhausted and needed to do something else. So I quit my job and decided to move to Australia.”
It was a welcoming change of lifestyle, and it was also in Australia that Malin discovered surfing. “I had tried some before but it was in Australia that I really learned how to surf. Right there and then, I decided that I would have a hundred surf days a year when I moved back to Sweden. And I’ve had that ever since then.”
Today, Malin runs a digital content company based in Stockholm together with her partner Philip Nordin. Malin is a trained chef, food creator and photographer. Philip is a filmmaker and photographer. “We work mostly with the outdoor industry and with food companies. We create visual experiences, films and photos, where we try to make stories that convey a good vibe”, says Philip.
Working as a content creator is more of a lifestyle. Work and leisure time mix together, for better or worse. But it also creates opportunities to do the things we want, says Malin. Like traveling and surfing. A dream job that she and Philip did together was a road trip to Lofoten last fall, a collaboration with KnowledgeCotton Apparel. “Here we had the opportunity to combine two of our great passions in life; surf and food. We went to one of the coolest places in the world where we surfed, cooked and hiked for two weeks.”
The plan was to go to Iceland but due to the Covid regulations it was Lofoten instead. The couple packed their RV with food, clothes, surfboards and their dog Bibi and set off on the 1,384 kilometer journey northbound from Stockholm to Lofoten in northern Norway. Malin had visited Lofoten before but for Philip it was the first time here.
“I thought it was insane, like entering another world. Breathtaking views wherever you looked. I just wanted to take everything in and fly my drone all the time”, Philip laughs.
“When we got there we had 20 degrees Celsius and sunshine. It’s really not common up there. We had two great summer days, then heavy rain, wind and hail”, says Malin.
“Up here, everything is very minimalist. You do not need to bring so much stuff with you. It is really the easy-life to travel here with a camper, you just stop and sleep over anywhere along the way. Wash yourself in the icy streams. Wherever you park your RV, it’s a perfect spot.”
With their footage from Lofoten, Malin and Philip wanted to convey the grandeur of the Nordic nature – that everything is so free and accessible, it’s just there waiting for you. It gives a sense of closeness to nature, they say.
The collaboration with KnowledgeCotton Apparel has been going for just over two years now. It has grown gradually and one reason why the relationship works so well is the great trust they are given as creators. “The Knowledge team is really easy to work with. They are open to new ideas and want to make fun stuff together. There is a lot of joy and creativity involved in the process, where we get the trust to shape our ideas.”
“It is a committed company that is at the forefront and they are well known for their sustainability profile. But it also feels like people think of them as a kind and authentic brand. They have a high credibility. Personally, I love Knowledge clothing, I wear the clothes all the time. Both because I think they look great but also because I know that they are responsibly made”, says Philip.
Malin and Philip believe it is important to take responsibility and think sustainably. It is something they try to make a part of their everyday life.
“We buy stuff second hand and choose organic whenever possible. But above all, we strive to consume less. Professionally, we work closely with companies that have a strong sustainability profile. Also when it comes to food, it’s almost exclusively about organic and vegetarian products. We would never work with a brand that does not take responsibility or doesn’t match our values.”
The couple say their biggest challenge is flying. If you want to surf, you have to get to different places. To minimize air travel, they stay mostly in Europe and when they travel, they stay away for a long time. The great freedom to work wherever you want and whenever you want is an important driving force. But also to have fun. “We both like our jobs a lot so we stay busy. We have had the privilege of almost only doing things that we enjoy. And that also shows in the result.”
When it comes to producing content, Malin and Philip always want it to be authentic and true. “We try to be as authentic as possible in what we do. When we use extras, it is not that perfect model we are looking for. It is often friends and people we know who make it true to life. It is also much easier for us to work with people who share our views and with whom we can easily communicate. Still, it is the authenticity that is the difficult thing to achieve. People often ask us how to act and pose, but we just tell them to hang out and be natural, and it will turn out just fine. You can tell right away when you do things ‘for real’, as in all the Knowledge movies we’ve done so far. It shows in the material.”
Before we part, Malin and Philip reveal that they have new exciting stuff going on with KnowledgeCotton Apparel. “Exactly what it will be we’ll have to tell you later, but the idea is a bit more summer profile, city and party people this time.”