Erika Nilsson-Humphrey is the founder of online personal stylist company, Dappad.
Dappad is a capsule wardrobe service for men that builds amazing looking minimalist wardrobes for high performing men that desire simplicity in their lives.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I’m Erika Nilsson-Humphrey and I’m a mum, wife, conscious entrepreneur and vegan. I’m the founder of Dappad a capsule wardrobe service for men that builds amazing looking minimalist wardrobes for high performing men that desires simplicity in their lives.
I am also one part of the Big Questions Brighter Tomorrow a series of books speaking truthfully to children about their food choices, empowering them to know that the choices that they make make a difference and we can all be a super hero. The first book will be out in May 2019.
I’m Swedish born and I came to the UK in 2005 having spent 2 years in Paris before that. I studied economics at university and when I came to London in 2005 I first went in to the city and I worked in finance for 8 years. My heart was never really in it and when I got a chance for voluntary redundancy in 2014 I took it. I left to set up Dappad.
I’ve always had a passion for design and beauty in all aspects whether it’s clothes, interiors or art and so fashion was always a thing I dreamed of doing. However I wanted to do something entrepreneurial within fashion and so Dappad made sense. I was surrounded by high performing men that hated shopping but wanted to look and feel their best at the same time.
The big questions brighter tomorrow comes from our whole family going vegan a few years back including my daughter and I wanted something that she could connect with and understand why we eat differently from others. It is also a tool to reach more people and help children do their own food choices which I believe we don’t give them a chance to do most often. Veganism and the ethical treatment of animals and our planet is for me is the most important topic facing us a a society.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
The short answer No. As a child growing up in a little village close to the polar circle far from the bright lights of London or Paris I always knew I wanted to leave and see some of the big wide world. I knew education would be a ticket to this and so I studied hard got good grades and from then on life sort of guided me to different things.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
The question should be – How many? A ton of challenges. Being an entrepreneur starting something from scratch is filled with challenges. You have way more challenges than progress at the beginning, but you just put one foot forward at a time. You don’t need to see the whole stair case just the next step.
Briefly after leaving my job in the City in early 2014 I found out I was pregnant and so I started working on Dappad at the same time and had my daughter and when she was 8 months I found out I had an aggressive form of breast cancer. All these events happening in one go was a lot to take on, I felt desperate at times but things don’t happen to you, they happen for you and all the lessons and all the personal work that all these events made me do have made me a farm more happy and peaceful person. So I’m grateful for these turbulent year.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
I think doing all the personal work that I have done over hauling my life in a fundamental way and be happy about it. Im a huge fan of Eckhardt Tolle – that says every moment is exactly they way it’s supposed to be and with all mindfulness work that I have done I’m starting to come to terms of this.
Throughout cancer I stayed positive, I changed my diet, my life and I kept Dappad going. I’m also so happy to have authored these children’s book even though they aren’t out yet.
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
Grit and perseverance. You have to keep going even though many times you want to give up. I also believe self care and minfdullness.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I have never mentored anyone but I have a few mentors and they are so valuable. To have somebody believe in you and guide you is worth a lot.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?
6 hour work days and parental leave. In Sweden where Im from the work place is the most equal in the whole world and that’s because we have parental leave and flexible working hours.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
Relax it will be ok. But also trust your self – go inside you and you will know what to do.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
No more new challenges for a while please. Just growing Dappad and getting our vegan message out to the world!