Christine is a cool woman working with concept development and communication in an animation studio. She is a gorgeous woman with great humor, living in Copenhagen with her entrepreneur boyfriend Eschel in their beautiful home filled with timeless danish classics that last beyond decades.
Mindful shopping and Secondhand
Christine is a woman who, together with her boyfriend Eschel, has created a home filled with secondhand interior and thoughtful purchases. As an opposite to fast fashion and constantly changing interior trends, Christine and Eschel spends a lot of time choosing the right furnitures for their home, that can last for many, many years.
5 questions about Christine:
Where are you from: I grew up in Køge a suburban middle-sized city - about a 40-minute train ride from Copenhagen. Ever since I realised there was a world outside of the suburban housing area I grew up in, I longed to go to the big city. So that’s what I did the minute I turned 18.
Favourite breakfast: I love bread! But I try not to eat too much of it, because it rarely leaves a good feeling afterwards. But if I really want to spoil myself, I’ll eat a slice of white bread with a Danish cheese. YUM! With it I’ll have a homemade salty caramel latte - I make the best in the world. At least that’s what my boyfriend says. I’ve been refining this latte for a while now and I think I’m very close to making a perfect one. In general I think there’s something very satisfying about gradually refining and reworking something till you hit perfection.
Favourite garment in your wardrobe: I have a sweater from COS made from a scuba-like fabric that I always wear when I don’t have anything else or just feel like wearing something comfortable.
Favourite travel destination: Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. I love Paris for its fashion and the food. Barcelona for its people, the weather and nightlife. And Amsterdam for its people, the streets and amazing vintage markets.
A sustainable life
''Instead of buying a lot all the time, I buy long-lasting products of a higher quality. It might be more expensive but the garments and products last longer, and I don’t mind paying a little extra to keep the things I love for a longer time. Sustainability in my mind is all about buying longlasting products that you can keep and love for many years to come. For me it’s all about contributing however you can without being fanatic. I’m very against lecturing others on how to live their lives.
It may seem like a simple thing to change our habits but we’re forgetting how people in other countries need to go through the same development as we do.
It’s important to promote sustainability as something that doesn't necessarily mean giving up on all the fun things in life. It’s about adapting our habits to fit the world we live in. I’m not a saint. Sometimes I’m convinced that my life will change for the better if I just buy that pair of shoes that I so desperately want but can’t afford. Point is, it never does. Happiness comes from within. I love buying stuff that makes me happy in the moment, but I’m aware that these thrills are short and fleeting.
I try to buy less but better. This applies to all aspects of my life, both with fashion but also with food. I eat meat but I try to minimise how often I eat it. When I do, I buy organic and as little as possible. Good conscience makes the food taste so much better.
Also I feel our generation has an obligation towards the next generation. At some point in my life I want children, and how can you want that, without feeling an obligation towards the environment that they’re going to grow up in? '' Christine Burmeister.
Any quote or wise words you want to share regarding sustainability?
Consume responsibly. Not just in terms of sustainability and the environment but also in terms of our health for example. Eat responsibly. Just like they have a culture in Japan that says only eat until you’re full, we should adopt this attitude in many more aspects of our lives and really consider, how much of this do I need to be happy?
Tell us about yourself and your work background?
Work is a huge part of my life and has been ever since reality hit me in a classroom at CBS one day. I have a masters degree from CBS in marketing and branding and CBS has a competitive environment. I have nothing bad to say about CBS but you need to be able to cope with the pressure to not only do good in class and at exams but also creating a career for yourself next to your studies. This is balance that can be difficult to achieve.
At one point during my masters, I worked three jobs while still managing school, group work and the exams. For the last two years of my education I didn't have a single day of summer vacation. I spent my summers at summer school together with mostly exchange students. This enabled me to only do half a curriculum the following semester - meaning more time to work. For a lot of people, studying means a certain degree of freedom, but now that I reflect on this time in my life, I have much more freedom now than I ever had during my time in school.
I tend to put a lot of weight on things in my life that in the end doesn’t deserve as much attention as I sometimes give them. I try to sit down when feelings like these hit me and think, is this going to matter to me, when I’m 80? What will in fact matter to me when I’m 80? But it’s very easy to get caught up in the small things. People tell me that I always over-perform, no matter what I throw myself into. I very quickly think I have an obligation towards the people I work with to deliver the best possible result.
Also to pass on a good advice - It’s extremely important to remember to praise yourself for your achievements, because you can’t necessarily expect others to do it. I’m working on that myself.
What was your dream profession as a child?
Uh, tough question, I’m not really sure if I even have an answer to that. Since I was a child I’ve been putting myself in others shoes. When choosing which way I wanted to go with my education it was a question of combining my interest in people and psychology with a business aspect. For a brief period of time, I thought psychology was my calling, but I really need to get my hands dirty and business is a good way of doing this. At CBS you work with real cases, companies and the challenges they face at this moment. This was very intriguing to me. Also marketing is all about psychology so you get the best of both worlds. Moreover advertising has always been a fascinating field of work for me. Commercial breaks never bothered me, and I think that says something.
How did you begin your career with concept development and communication in an animation studio?
The agency I work for needed someone to help them grow their business. I had a chat with them and I guess they thought I was a good match. When leaving the interview I was convinced that they wouldn’t hire me, but I was pleasantly surprised when I received the positive phone call from them a few days later. I was given a lot of responsibility but also a a lot of freedom to shape the job and position the way I wanted to. For some people this kind of freedom is a bad thing, and it will mean that they’re less inclined to succeed. They need more rules and someone telling them what to do. For me it’s the exact opposite. I work best when I can manage my own time and responsibilities. Also this makes me want to work even harder and to prove that I can make a difference and deliver positive results.
I just recently said yes to a new job offer which means I’ll be leaving the animation studio very soon. I’m very excited about all the new challenges and responsibilities I’ll be facing. I’m very proud of the things I’ve achieved in my current job and I’ll appreciate my time there for many years.
What aspects of concept development and communication do you love the most?
I love working with the client, doing everything in my power to make sure that they get the best and most meaningful piece of advertising, film etc. When developing ideas for a job or a client, there are a lot of things to consider. It’s not just about being as crazy creative as you can - at least not for me - but about finding the best solution at that exact moment considering everything from the clients’ competitive situation to the budget and time scope of the project. Having all of this go up in a unity is very pleasing to me. I love the collaboration between me and the client.
We sometimes have completely different attitudes towards what works and what doesn’t but I think it’s in this process, we really get down to the core.
I’ve listened to a podcast called Animalators where they interview different people from the advertising world and more specifically animators and illustrators. The guests are always asked the same few questions in the end of each interview, one of them being, what’s the perfect project / client you can imagine, and almost all of them give the same answer to this question. For them the perfect client would be one that has a lot of money and no interest in getting involved in the creative proces, turning up only in the end to praise the work and pay the money. I don’t find this appealing at all. For me it’s the collaboration between me and the client that makes all parties deliver the best possible result. As long as the collaboration is build on mutual respect. The client always knows more about their clients than you can possibly know. This doesn’t mean that they necessarily know how to best communicate to their clients, and this is where the agency comes into the picture. The agency is able to see other important aspects than the client.
You work in a small animation studio in Copenhagen with only men. Have you encountered any gender specific challenges or obstacles in your career?
I’m very comfortable working with men. It’s very easy-going. I have a lot of guy friends as well so it’s not really a big deal to me. I will say this though, men can be just as touchy and sensitive as we women sometimes get blamed for, both privately and in professional settings. One thing’s for sure - I think it’s important to have some female energy in an office otherwise filled with guys and the same goes for the other way around. Both genders tend to be their best self when the other sex is present. We pull ourselves together more.
I can’t really think of any gender specific challenges. Overall I think women are expected to perform more than men are. We work harder than most men do, probably because we feel as if we need to prove more. In professional settings I sometimes think men can get away with working less without anyone noticing, whereas women constantly need to prove themselves worthy. But in the end, good things come to those who work their asses off.
Your boyfriend Eschel is an entrepreneur and has started his own interior design
company. How do you support each other in each of your careers?
Eschel is always such a huge support to me. He makes sure there’s at least one steady thing in my life - him and his support of everything I do. Eschel is the most talented person I know. I love how he’s so thorough in everything he does. He never takes the easy way around anything. This is very inspiring to me.
I sometimes wish more people would appreciate the work that he does, because he really deserves it. In some cases Eschel knows me better than I know myself. I’m not sure this goes the other way, he keeps surprising me. Also Eschel is a great inspiration when it comes to mindful consumption. He would much rather save the money to buy something expensive and of high quality than waste money on the second-best thing. This was one of the things that made me fall for him in the first place. Together with his confidence. He does not care what other people think and that’s so cool! We talk about work a lot at home. I tend to put too much emphasis on small stupid things, and he always helps me by putting things into perspective. Whereas I put a lot of emotion in everything I do, Eschel is much more rational in his dealings. The challenges he’s facing are often much more related to growing a business, creating the products and selling them. I try to be as supportive as I can and I have a dream of helping him more than I can at the moment.
When did you start consuming mindfully?
I think I grew up in a family that consumes mindfully so it’s a part of my DNA. I have become more and more aware of the climate issues we’re facing and this has made me change some habits in terms of meat consumption for example.
Your home is wonderful and very minimalistic. How do you keep living minimalistic in a world so focused on overconsumption?
Thank you so much! Funny how one’s own perception of things doesn’t necessarily match others assumption of the same thing. I sometimes feel as if we have way to much stuff and I find myself apologising to guests about the mess in our apartment, but I dont think other people perceive it the same way.
Me and Eschel both have a very minimalistic style and we both know what we like and what we don’t like. We often have a very clear idea in our heads on how we want a new couch to look like for example, and then we wait .. and wait .. and wait some more, until it suddenly shows up one day. That one piece of furniture we have been looking for. We don’t mind waiting for the right things. As an example I lived for a year without a table. I had a board but no legs for it. I knew Eschel at the time even though it was in a previous apartment and together we found some old moving boxes that we stacked underneath the tabletop. We would much rather live without a table for four years and save the money to buy the one that we’re dreaming of, instead of buying some cheap alternative. For the first time in years I think we’re actually about to have acquired the things we need for our apartment, and this is a great feeling. You have to be able to accept that it takes a while to put together your dream home and I have bad days sometimes, where I wish we could just buy some IKEA furniture and get it over with. But I get over it fairly quickly. Instead I try to buy fresh flowers as often as I can, since this is a great and easy way to bring some personality and “hygge” into your home.
Do you ever get tempted by fast fashion and trends and how do you deal with it?
I get tempted a lot but as a rule of thumb I don’t think you should buy anything the first time you see or look at it. Your mind should gradually get used to the look of that item. This is the only way you know it’s right for you. Of course it happens that I break my own role, but when I do, I often regret it later on. Sometimes it happens that I wait a little too long though. This winter I had my eyes on a pair of pants but I waited too long and now it’s impossible for me to get my hands on. Eschel always helps me put on these online search agents for things I really want, so we both get all these updates when an item I really want, but was too slow to buy, becomes available somewhere. Eschel knows how much it means to me, and how happy I become when I finally get my hands on something I’ve been searching for.
What is your favourite, timeless purchase in your home?
Uh I have many. We just recently bought new Thonet chairs for our living room. There’s a guy just down the street from us who restores and sells classic furniture pieces and we came by his place one day and immediately fell in love with the chairs. We made a deal with him so he took our old Børge Mogensen shaker chairs in return of the new ones together with some extra money. There’s still a lot of work to be done in our apartment. One example is in fact the living room that we still need to have painted. It’s taking forever.. and this is not one of the things we’re waiting with because we need to find the right paint or something. No this is solely a question of having the time to do the work properly. Hopefully very soon. I’ll invite you over for a celebration when we do :)
What is your best tip regarding slow living and mindful consuming?
Whenever you feel the urge to impulse buy something, whatever it may be, stop for a minute and really think if you need that item. Well-thought-out decision are always the best decisions. I think if you adopt this philosophy you’ll automatically consume much more responsibly and mindfully.
We are grateful for the little sneak peak we got into the life of Christine Burmeister.
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