äventyr is proud to be participating in the American Swedish Institute (ASI) Midsommar Handcraft Market on Saturday, June 15. Midsommar is our favorite time of year, and the ASI is one of our favorite places. In honor of Midsommar and the ASI, we have a few special blog posts this week.
What is behind a name? What is behind our name - äventyr? And what does äventyr mean anyhow?
The last question is the easiest one to answer. äventyr is the Swedish word for 'adventure'.
Answering the rest is a bit more of a story.
DeAnn during our photoshoot at the ASI May 2018
When Kurt and I moved to Minneapolis from San Francisco in 2006 we stumbled upon this little gem of an institution, The American Swedish Institute (ASI). The ASI quickly captured our hearts with all of its vibrant programming!
The day I met a Ingegerd Råman at the ASI.
In 2017, before äventyr was conceived, I (DeAnn) began volunteering at the ASI and spent many hours here that were vibrant on a personal level, and allowed space for new ideas to come in. As it turned out, a lot of äventyr would be born and nurtured at the ASI.
DeAnn during a volunteer shift at the ASI.
Through my time at the ASI we have made many friends (two of which we will be featuring this week in our special posts from ASI Staff Members ~ Ingrid and John!).
Although Kurt and I have always embraced our Nordic Heritage, it was not until I started volunteering at the ASI that 'Swedishness' for both of us started to come to the forefront.
Exploring my 'Swedishness' led to participating in Story Swap at the ASI. A program for recent young immigrants to Minneapolis to share their immigration stories, and for ASI volunteers to share their's.
During my volunteer shifts, visitors would ask me if I was Swedish, what my immigration story was, where in Sweden my relatives were from, etc. I began to get curious enough that I started to ask my Mom. My Mother's grandmother was a Swedish Immigrant who eventually landed in Cloquet, MN.
DeAnn's great grandmother Amelia who Immigrated to the US from Sweden.
What particularly struck me was learning that after becoming a single mother in Minnesota, my great grandmother Amelia (pictured above) owned a tailoring business that made what we would call today, bespoke suits (for the wealthy).
Learning the fortitude my great grandmother must have had to pack up at a young age, come to America, and eventually find herself on her own with young children (one of whom was my grandmother) was inspiring to me. And learning that Amelia had a career in a sewing-related business seemed quite fortuitous.
DeAnn and Kurt in Bohuslän Sweden 2008
Kurt and I have always enjoyed adventure. We have been lucky to travel to many places, including Sweden in 2008. I was aware of my Swedish heritage, but honestly was more interested in finding and riding bicycles all over Stockholm than digging back into my family heritage.
DeAnn and Kurt having a blast on a Skeppshult bicycle in Gamla Stan Stockholm
These two kids had no idea then what äventyr would be ahead of us.
So to answer the questions, we chose 'äventyr' for multiple reasons: our Nordic Heritage, our continual desire for adventure, a word that was attractive both aesthetically and makes one want to know more, a word that symbolizes what we believe in and can grown with our brand as it evolves, a reflection of 'The North' in which we live that embraces all things Nordic, and new connections with the past.
Thank you for joining us on the äventyr! ~DeAnn and Kurt