Laura Lohiniva-Hart – Maija’s World children’s picture books are for kids growing up with different languages and cultures

We are always super happy to find interesting European people from different professions to feature at our website. This time you’ll meet Laura Lohiniva-Hart. She currently lives in Seattle, USA with her German husband and two kids. She has written a multi-cultural children’s book with her friend Katrin. Not surprisingly, the main character is Finnish Maija who lives in Australia. Read more about her life and the book below in Laura’s own words.

I am a mother of two, born in Lapland Finland, but lived and worked already over 10 years abroad in Sweden, France, Switzerland, Australia and since last year in Seattle US.

I got interested in children’s literature when my kids were born in Australia. Growing up myself in Northern Finland, my childhood was quite different from the international settings where my kids were growing up in Australia not to mention the climate and how it influences the daily life.

I could find very few Finnish children’s books written for Finnish children abroad, which inspired me to write a story about a girl called Maija with many cultural backgrounds living in a cultural diverse Australia. I was lucky to find a like-minded mother, friend and talented artist Katrin Klinger to do the illustrations.

Maija’s World – Possums and Reindeer is a children’s picture book and we have published it in Finnish, German and English as these are the languages used in both of our families. Even though Maija book reflects Finnish, German and Australian cultures and the way of living, we hope this book will be useful and cherished for any family living with different cultures at home or abroad.

You can order our book here and we donate all the sales royalties to Malala FundMalala Fund that is supporting underprivileged girls to get an education. .

You can as well visit us on

We hope many more children will love and enjoy this book as much as our children do.

Kiitos! Thank you!

This book is published in Finnish, German and English

From Ukraine to the United States: how I became an entrepreneur [Company Folders]

As many of you know we are always looking to share stories with you – and because I am surrounded by entrepreneurial people I love to feature European entrepreneurs. I asked Vladimir Gendelman to tell his story and finally he agreed.  Anyone who has been an entrepreneur or would like to be one will really love reading his story. The image above is from Detroit – streetart.

Growing up in Ukraine

As a child, I enjoyed big city life in Kharkov, Ukraine—which has a population of 1.5 million people. I loved spending time outside. We walked everywhere we went, like local theaters, museums, and the year-round farmers market down the street. My life was very social because everything was built so close together.

The cool thing to do with my friends was to play on a hospital construction site that wasn’t fenced in. We climbed to the top of the walls and ran along them; where there was a space for a door, we leapt fearlessly across the gap. As the buildings grew taller, we had to climb up stairs with no walls or rails to get to the top. I loved the thrill of chasing my friends along the walls many stories in the air.

While I enjoyed many aspects of my childhood, I was often frustrated. Ukraine was part of the Soviet Union at the time, so there were no private businesses. That also meant no entrepreneurs, no innovation, and no options. Products looked and cost the same wherever we went. From furniture to forks to food, everyone had the same stuff. The only time I stood out was when my mom knitted hats and scarves for me that no one else had.

I remember thinking that I wanted options. I wanted to walk into a store and see twenty shirts instead of three. I wanted to see price tags with different numbers and to wear different clothes than my friends.

Moving to the U.S.

Then my parents decided to move our family to the United States. I was excited about the idea of living in an even bigger city. When I thought of the U.S., I imagined nothing but skyscrapers—like one giant New York City skyline from coast to coast. I pictured 100-story buildings with no trees. As for people, I thought the average American was a fat guy with his feet on his desk. (That idea came from the black market Disney cartoons my parents bought me, because we only had three TV channels.)

My parents knew someone in southeast Michigan, near Detroit. We stayed with that family for a week while we found an apartment. They helped us with basics like finding a grocery store, and we connected with Jewish Family Services to get help with things like translation and getting social security cards and drivers’ licenses.

The town we moved to was nothing like the big city I’d imagined. There weren’t any tall buildings, just houses and schools and small buildings that looked boring. No one walked anywhere because every place they had to go was too far from home; looking back, I guess it shouldn’t have surprised me that in a place called “the Motor City,” people drove cars everywhere. I would have had to drive a long distance to find the type of entertainment that had been within walking distance from our home in Kharkov—but since I couldn’t afford to go out, I didn’t have to worry about that.

Only one thing turned out to be better than I imagined: the options. No matter what I wanted to buy, I could find multiple products that all cost different amounts. I was very excited to finally have the choices I’d craved.

Starting my business

As time went by, I learned to appreciate the convenience of my new home. I realized how nice it was to drive and get to my destination quickly, or to put groceries in the trunk of the car instead of carrying them for twenty minutes while I walked home.

I opened a computer repair business in the early 2000s. One day, a customer struck up a conversation. He said he wanted “company folders” for his business but couldn’t find anything. I was shocked. I thought choices defined America—and now one of my clients was telling me that he didn’t have a choice.

Then I realized this unmet need stretched beyond my client: there had to be thousands of business owners struggling to find branded presentation folders. That inspired me to start my own business, so I could provide others with the options my client lacked.

In 2003, I founded a printing company that specializes in presentation folders; I called it Company Folders, Inc. in honor of my original client. From the start, Company Folders has offered more options for custom die-cut folders than any other printer. We carry dozens of unique designs, like our serpentine folder, contoured pocket folder, and gatefold folder.

I wanted my customers to have more than just a cool shape for their folder, so I began exploring other options. Company Folders now offers a wide variety of imprint methods and more than 50 paper stocks, so clients can create designs that embody their brand identity.

The more I learned about the industry, the more I developed a passion for printing and design. I frequented trade shows and industry events to learn more, and I couldn’t keep that knowledge to myself. I wanted to share it with my clients—who are mostly graphic designers—to help them create amazing visual designs for their brands. I started a blog to provide helpful design tips, plus a folder design gallery to showcase free templates and cool client designs.

Completing the puzzle

Company Folders continued to expand with the release of our free resources, which were wildly popular with our clients and helped establish us as a thought leader in the printing industry. We even ranked on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America twice, in 2015 and 2016.

The business was doing well, but I still felt something was missing. I wanted to have that city life again; I wanted my team to walk to lunch together and pass tall buildings on the way.

This year, that dream will come true. I purchased a beautiful, 100-year-old building in the heart of historic Pontiac. It’s nestled at the center of an urban setting that’s entering a boom period; the rapidly-growing downtown features restaurants, shops, and even a theater.

Moving to Pontiac will take my company to the next level and bring me full circle, back to the city environment I enjoy. I’m grateful for this chance to invest in my new city and the community I’ve come to love. Most of all, I’m blessed and proud to call myself an American.

Connect with Vladmir 

LinkedIn | Google+ | Twitter

Company Folders, Inc.
3297 Orchard Lake Road, Suite 203, Keego Harbor, MI 48320
Main:  (248) 738-7600 | Fax: (248) 883-8880

Nordlife – a New Scandinavian Kids & Homeware Boutique Opens in Australia

Nordlife is a new Australian online boutique that focuses on Scandinavian brands and designers – Nordlife is currently selling 12 designers’ products from Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. All of the products are imported from Scandinavia and they range from kids items, homeware, bedding, clothing, tableware to gifts and accessories.

Nordlife was founded by two Estonian women – Jane and Elina, who just, as fate would have it, happened to reconnect on the wonderful island of Tasmania, just south of Australian mainland. Although the women have lived in Australia for years, they both still admire the clean lines and functional designs that are synonymous with Nordic craftsmanship. But it wasn’t until they began sourcing decor for their own homes that inspiration struck and Nordlife was born.

At some point their regular Thursday night hangouts turned from discussing trivial everyday events to planning and starting a business. Within a few weeks they had chosen a name, registered the business and were already lining up suppliers. All of the goods Nordlife sells have been carefully selected specifically for the Australian market and also it’s large Scandinavian expat community, which Nordlife is a great supporter of. The product selection is constantly expanding and they are always on the lookout for more brands and designers to introduce to Australia.

Besides being an online retailer, Nordlife will aim to be a hub for all things Scandinavian.

On their website you can find stories of Nordic traditions, DIY projects, recipes, discover new trends and read about brands and designers that Nordlife represents.

Jane and Elina are always delighted to work with other European expats in Australia.
To learn more about their business, suggest new suppliers or to discuss collaboration opportunities, please do get in touch via

You can visit the site and check out their social media here:

Note: we are trying to convince Jane and Elina to provide us some more articles about Australia – one of the best countries to visit. Of course during the Fall 2017 Sherry Kumar is organizing a trip to Australia and New Zealand for other EuroCircle members.

Which country dominates Europe’s brewing Scene?

Latest figures from The Brewers of Europe have revealed the UK to be leading the way in terms of active breweries.

As of 2015, there were 1,880 breweries in UK. Maybe surprisingly to most of us Germany in second place with 1,388. The French are more famous for their wine production but they made up the top three with a respectable 793. Is that really surprising, no. France is a huge country and they like good food.

Infographic: The UK dominates Europe's brewing Scene | Statista You will find more statistics at Statista

5 Struggles of Living in Barcelona No One Talks About

“A Bulgarian-Born nomad, Dayana has traveled since she was 16-years-old, discovering the world one culture at a time. She is based in Barcelona, where she eats copious amounts of jamoón ibérico and plans her next move. You can read more of her work here.”

For many, the idea of living in Barcelona is as close to paradise as it gets – fantastic weather, delicious food, cheap rent, fiesta all day and night. Barcelona is arguably Europe’s most fun city with a chill and larger-than-life attitude. This is my second time living here and all my friends from around the world blow up my phone to either visit me or ask for advice on moving here. As someone who’s experienced the good, bad and ugly of this city, I’ll tell you the 5 struggles of living in Barcelona no one talks about.

  1. The party vortex

In Catalonia we’ve got more holidays than I can count – I’m talking celebrations of different saints, the three-day Sant Joan festival, the Three Kings, fiesta de Gràcia – the list goes on. Couple that with Sonar, Brunch Electronic and Primavera Sound among the many music festivals that rage all summer, and you’ll forget what sleep is. The attitude towards life here is that it should be fully enjoyed and we try to do so to the best of our abilities. Having lived in the US for 7 years prior to settling in Barcelona, I could have never imagined clubbing with my coworkers and boss till 5am, bar hopping all night and greeting the sunrise half-asleep at at the fountain at Placa Reial. While this is all fun and games, at some point it becomes a way of life.

I had never seen so many 26-35 year olds mooching off of friends while working as party promoters to support their party habits, as I have here. In North America, you’re supposed to have your life together by 30, one hundred per cent. In Barcelona, it’s totally possible to stumble from one afterhour to another non-stop for 6 years without a care in the world. If you let yourself get sucked into the party vortex, you’ll lose all purpose. This happened to me for a summer and to my roommate for a few years. I know people who are still trapped in this cycle and love their lives just as they are. Barcelona has room for both 6-am risers and party bohemians who don’t see daylight for weeks at a time. Life here is what you make it.

  1. Expats are prime victims for scammers

As if the world of real estate wasn’t difficult enough to navigate already, there are people who come to the city with the sole purpose of stealing expat money. It happened to me twice. In one of the cases, I girl who lived in my flatshare for a little while asked me to join in on this new place with her through Tecnocasa and even took me to the agency for a tour of the apartment. That’s how elaborate scams can be, involving legitimate institutions and agents. She ended up disappearing right after I sent her my deposit.

The other case was even more bizarre. I used Spotahome to book a room for the summer, trusting that as a respectable European agency they knew what they were doing. Turns out, the landlord they had worked with and deemed as “one of the best,” was using a fake name and at the end of August ran away with the deposits of more than 90 tenants valued at around 60,000 euro. Worst of all was that Spotahome left me pretty much alone to deal with the owner of the apartment who after weeks of me being extremely insistent and refusing to drop the case, gave me my deposit back. That being said, Barcelona is indeed a lot more affordable than Boston or London and you can have a very good quality of life here. Just make sure to document every financial move and research everyone you do business with.

  1. Finding a job is hell

I forgot to mention that while the party vortex and landlord scams were happening, I was also actively job hunting. It took me just about 3 months to find a decent job. The crazy thing is that everyone says: “oh, you’re American-educated and speak fluent Spanish, you’ll literally find a job in a day.” Not true. I tried everything – went around stores with CV in hand, applied online, searched job boards and used apps like Cornerjob to get interviews. None of that worked.
The most I was able to find before securing a stable gig was working as a part-time sales girl at a boutique for 2 weeks and making juice at a local fruiterie for another week.

I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel when I got a call from a recruitment agency I had sent my CV in about two months after I had first contacted them. The recruiter guided me through the hiring process and I finally got my steady paycheck. Though Catalonia is said to have recovered from the economic crisis more or less, finding a job is still tough. If you want to make it in Barcelona, you have to come with some savings and be super active with your search. When you do manage to get a job, life can be very nice as you’ll never have to worry about your next paycheck and you can go and splurge on all the delicacies the city’s restaurants have to offer as well as easily travel around the country.

  1. It’s hard to integrate in Catalan groups

Although you may speak fluent Spanish, your Castellano won’t get you very far in this city. Though locals are friendly and open to conversations, they admit that speaking Catalan is huge when it comes to accepting someone in a friend group. I don’t speak Catalan yet and my interactions with locals go as far as grabbing a few beers after work with my coworkers at 100 Montaditos, lots of who are Catalan. In order to get an “in” with the locals, you should be well-versed in local politics as the push for independence is stronger than ever and express an interest in their language and traditions. Most importantly, give it some time.



Image by author

  1. Tourism drives us nuts

When you’ve got a city with 1.6 million residents and almost 9 million tourists, problems naturally arise. Yes, Barcelona is gorgeous – from Gaudí’s quirky architecture to the luscious Parc de la CIutadella, Montjuïc’s hiking trails, natural parks and simple, delicious recipes, everyone wants a piece of us. That’s the problem. As much as we’re willing to share our city with visitors, we attract the wrong kind of crowd. One euro beers and clubs that don’t shut until 6am are a breeding ground for party tourism, i.e. drunk dudes screaming and pissing on the streets shirtless while you’re trying to get to work. I woke up to two guys passed out on my doorstep one morning and was kept awake all summer by the 7-am party crowd outside of the Moog in the city center. Lots of tourists fail to see the entire perspective on Barcelona.

We’ve got peaceful, relaxing Montjuïc just 40min away from Plaça de Catalunya. The jaw-dropping views of Montserrat are just an hour out via train. We’ve got Poblenou’s small restaurants and cervecerias, as well as fabulous modern and contemporary art museums. Our food scene is a total melting pot between Ferran Adrià’s revolutionary dishes to Thai, Vietnamese, Ethiopian, Greek and local Catalan cuisine. Sadly, a huge number of visitors fails to take advantage of all this because they’re passed out on at the overcrowded Barceloneta all day and waste crazy money on vodka Red Bull at Opium all night. My advice for you when it comes to dealing with tourism is to accept it for what it is and if you live in the center like I do because of the cheap rent, practice meditation and take side streets between June and September until the swarm of visitors scatters around.

This is my Barcelona experience so far. It’s been a huge struggle at times, but living in this vibrant Mediterranean hub is absolutely worth it for me. If you’re considering a move here, make sure to think about both sides of the picture and have a plan in place. Happy travels!

Connect with Dayana:

You can read more about our Bulgarian-Born nomad  Dayana’s Travel Blogger work here










Using Skype for helping Expats as a Psychologist and Psychotherapist

Being a Finn and marrying a foreigner, a Dane, I have experienced expat life first hand for almost thirty years.  I live in Finland, Denmark and Turkey – for work, love and fun.

I am a clinical psychologist, psychotherapist and organizational consultant, fluent in Finnish, English, Danish and Swedish. I have worked in many European countries, Australia and China. Currently I also specialize in working with individual clients internationally using Skype.

Skype Psychotherapy

In response to my Facebook advertisement, Skype Therapy For Expats, I am often asked, “Are expats more healthy and more balanced than others – or the opposite?”

It is a difficult question. We live in a mobile world, situations differ: some people move from something and some leave for something, some perhaps both. We are all vulnerable, and also strong, which leads me to think:

Who can succeed and live happily as an expat:

  • One who knows who he/she is
  • Dares to take risks and tolerates uncertainty
  • Is curious, willing to learn, face reality and integrate
  • Keeps contact with loved ones: in the beginning with those who they left behind but later also includes new acquaintances and friends

In a nutshell: strong sense of identity, willingness to change and eagerness to learn!

Who is searching for my help?

Often people who are self-aware and have the courage to be open enough to talk with a professional person, a neutral outsider, who might have a different perspective to offer, when they are dealing with difficult life issues.

Who should not be treated in Skype? For example, a person suffering from a serious mental illness needing constant,  face-to-face medical and psychological treatment.

When do people contact me?

When dealing with all sorts of changes in life, whether the  changes come from expat life, leaving their country and network – or just going through a normal life crisis such as starting or ending a relationship, a new work situation, stress, bullying, co-dependency/independence, depression, sorrow etc.  Things that affect most people at different points in their lives.

What do I believe in?

Life is a risky, sometimes painful, sometimes wonderful adventure. My purpose is to help people search for and keep the joy of life, where ever they are.

Pirkko Hurme

Skype ID: pirkkohurme

Karsten Aichholz – A pro-gamer turned tech entrepreneur in Thailand

Most of us spend our lives in one country and travel just for fun or work.
Karsten is the youngest of three sons to a British mom and a German dad who met in a sing-along bar in Canada.

At the start of his career in airline management he worked in India, Dubai, Austria and Germany. He gave up this more traditional corporate career out of a profound fear of missing out. So what does an entrepreneurial young man (23 years old) like Karsten do? Well, he negotiated an investment promotion with the Royal Thai Government to leverage a Bangkok-based video game company from zero to a million USD in revenue within five years.

Karsten provides advice to and invests in fellow tech entrepreneurs. He gives talks at events and universities, checks nutrition labels for carbohydrates, and gets into trouble with tuk-tuk touts. His fluency in Thai has really been put in use. Karsten also blogs about living and working in Bangkok at

Since I work myself in digital marketing I was interested in hearing more about Karsten whose skills encompass anything from search engine optimization to affiliate marketing and monetization. All of that in addition to his vast experience with online gaming industry – and he also works in domain registrations and online dating.

I learned Karsten has given guest lectures on entrepreneurship at a number of universities in Germany and Thailand. To him working with students is pleasure so if you are looking for a speaker, you should definitely get in touch with him. Given his background it is easy to guess that he is lucky enough to speak German and English fluently. Some of us speak strange languages like Finnish that does take you very far in any country.

And having worked in multiple countries tells us this guy likes to travel. His sense of adventure had lead him to 60+ different countries such as Armenia, Iceland, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Rwanda, Timor Leste, Turkmenistan, Uganda and Zimbabwe among others.

What do you think is the most difficult issues for foreigners to adjust in Thailand (cultural ddaptability?)

There are a few things expats aren’t inherently aware of that are second nature to Thais – e.g. mixing personal and work life. That goes both ways: People use Facebook at work, but also don’t mind helping out with something work related outside of normal office hours and days. Many people try to impose their style of working on local staff. While that can work – though it not often does – it’s usually much easier to see what the local mode of operation is and go with that. I’ve put together a guide on cross cultural management that shows what I learned in regards to this as an entrepreneur myself.

Why do you want to live in Thailand instead of for example Silicon Valley or UK as an entrepreneur?

I think for many people it’s not just the quality of life: The cost of talent, infrastructure and pretty much everything else is significantly lower. That gives companies a much better cost basis than those located in more central regions of the tech world. There are also a lot more opportunities in the local market whereas in the US or Europe the market is more mature and opportunities are a bit more rare.

After living so in some many countries do you feel there is any one country or culture that is better for an entrepreneur and why?

A great many country make an excellent base for a business. Of course it depends on the individual business which country is the best location. Thailand tends to be a great choice because it unites available infrastructure, a talented pool of labor and easy of doing business with personal quality of life and lower cost of bootstrapping. However, there’s also something to be said for starting a business in your home country: It’s where you have the strongest network, the least uncertainty and the most in-depth know-how. Having your operational base elsewhere might bring advantages, but it adds a lot of complexities that can quickly add up. Nowadays a lot of countries in Eastern Europe are worth looking into – e.g Bulgaria or Georgia.

Who are the people you follow or admire as entrepreneurs – and why?

It depends on the specific issue. The majority of people I admire and follow tend to be people I know a little better in person: From them I not only get to see the show they put on stage, but also have an insight into what’s going on backstage. There is no shortage of gurus and celebrity entrepreneurs who cultivated an image that they now also need to protect. The most authentic insights tend to come to me from people closer to home who also know me a little better. One such example is Seppo Puusa – he runs the website I really admire the ethical approach and diligence he brings to content creation.

If I can grant you the life you want you want for the rest of your life, what would it be like?

Pretty close to what I have now I’d say. Maybe I’d get to fly more business class ;-).

Contact Karsten

Life, Work and Doing Business in Thailand
Thailand Company Incorporation Dos and Don’ts
Expat life in Thailand (Abroad Podcast)

Playing Serious: Gaming meets Entrepreneurship
Das Leben in Bangkok, Bloggen und Computerspielsuch (Humor is Art) – in German

Attention is Money: How to be a More Productive Entrepreneur
What do Entrepreneurs do All Day? (


Population: 65,002,000
Capital: Bangkok – 6,604,000 (almost 10 million in metro area)
Area: 513,115 square kilometers (198,115 square miles)
Language: Thai, English, ethnic and regional dialects
Religion: Buddhist, Muslim
Currency: Baht
Life Expectancy: 71
GDP per Capita: U.S. $7,000
Literacy Percent: 96

Industry: Tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement
Exports: Computers, transistors, seafood, clothing, rice
Agriculture: Rice, cassava (tapioca), rubber, corn


Fay Lundin – A Swedish Girl Creates a New Life with a Family Real Estate Firm in Fort Lauderdale

Florida is a super popular location for many Scandinavians for an obvious reason – the weather! Let’s find out why our Swedish friend Fay (Fanny) is living in Fort Lauderdale.


My name is Fay Lundin. I am 22 years old and I live in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.  I am originally from Sweden, but I moved to the US about three years ago. I started my journey in Miami to study English, but a year later my family decided it was time to expand our Swedish company and try something new, and that’s how I ended up managing 12 vacation rental units in the heart of Fort Lauderdale. My family has since 17 years back worked with hotels and real estate in Sweden, and me and my sister actually grew up at one of our hotels. For that reason, this has always been a business that’s close to my heart and that I feel very comfortable working with.

I love Fort Lauderdale for many reasons. I love the fact that it’s a big city, but it feels very small after a while. It has more personality than, for an example, Miami. The worst part about Fort Lauderdale would be the distance to everything. I spend a lot of time in my car…

My schedule is never the same. So explaining what a “normal day” looks like is extremely hard for me. Some days are full of glamorous events, such as meetings about upcoming things, different fun interactions and beautiful locations. And others are less glamorous; cleaning, fixing broken toilets, garden work, etc. But when you mix all of those different things, you find a good balance.


I find the lifestyle here in Florida a lot more relaxing than in Sweden.
People are more spontaneous here. But of course that can be both good and bad.
For example, working with Americans can be more difficult than Swedes. Time is not valued as much as in Sweden, in my opinion. If you schedule something for a certain time, you, as a Swedish person, show up at that time. But that’s not  always the case here in the US. I feel like it’s a lot more “Mañana, Mañana” over here.

When I get guests from Europe, I do my best to make them feel at home.
Fort Lauderdale is a wonderful place to visit. We have so much to offer.
I usually try to find a balance between the luxury side and the soft “beach hang” that Fort Lauderdale has. That way you never get bored.


The thing that I miss the most about Sweden and Europe in general is the food.
Everything has a stronger taste back home. The vegetables are larger here, yes, but they taste 100 times better in Sweden. You don’t have to think as much about what you are putting down in your grocery cart because we have a very healthy lifestyle in Sweden. I think that’s what I miss the most; being able to buy healthy food that really is good for you.

What I miss the least is the lack of social events. Sweden is not as spontaneous as America. If you have plans, they have been planed weeks in advance. That’s what I love about Florida. People can call you up the day before a big event and ask if you want to join.

When I think back to before I moved to the US, I remember thinking that this place would be a goldmine for opportunities.

And to be honest, it really is. Of course it all depends on your personality, but if you have an open mind, and take care of the contacts you make, like a garden; you nourish them, pay attention and get rid of the weeds, then you will soon see that the garden is growing and flourishing. And no, you won’t be able to act on every single offer that is presented to you. Making sure you take care of your “social garden” is the best way to secure a future with great contacts.


Being a few years into this adventure, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t do a single thing differently. Every bad decision and good outcome has brought me here and it has sculptured my mind. It’s not always easy. And especially not when you are in another country, but making mistakes is just a way of learning.

To people who want to visit Fort Lauderdale, I would say “do it.” There are a lot of great spots here.

I would highly recommend:

  • Loui Bossis
  • Rhythm and Vine
  • Boatyard
  • Yolo
  • Rocos Tacos and
  • Casablanca

What I hope for in my future life is security.

I want to still have my family around me and still be as close as we are today, but I would like to expand the company. More collaborations and more opportunities in order to grow. I do not see myself moving back to Sweden – at least not fulltime. I would love to spend a few months there during the summer, and I will always stay connected to my home country. I believe roots are the foundation to build on.


The reason we started our business in Fort Lauderdale, FL is because of our love for this city. My parents have been in the hotel-and real estate business in Sweden for many years, and when I finally joined the company on fulltime, we figured it was the right time to expand our company globally. My parents have always worked towards the goal of one day ending up here in the USA.

I think success is different for everybody. Some might say it is being recognized for something you’ve done, others may say it’s the number on your bank account, but I’m not so sure. I do agree with the above, that’s what motivates me, but I believe that when I can be happy for other people’s success without feeling bad about myself, that’s when I know I’m on my way to success. At least that’s how I feel for now. I feel very comfortable in my life and myself. And what I’ve noticed is that it’s a lot easier to be happy for others when you are happy with yourself.


The best skill that I posses is the fact that I make people feel relaxed and, again, comfortable around me. I think that’s very important if you want to build long lasting connections. No one wants to hang around a person that scares them, or makes them feel bad about themselves. I actually learned that from a very successful friend that I have here in the US. He always brings people up. He makes everyone around him feel so important and special.

My top challenge is staying focused. Ever since I was very young I have never been able to stay focused on one task for very long. I get very involved in the beginning, but then I lose interest and I want to move on the next project. I think that’s my biggest weakness. But as I am trying to take on more responsibility, I have to work on focusing on the things that I get involved in.


My most important role models are my parents. They have both such amazing qualities and they balance each other so well. My father is the bloodhound. He is always finding new projects or businesses that he believes in. He´s an amazing businessman because he sees what other don´t, and I hope to learn a lot more from him.  And then my mom.  She´s a real superwoman. She steps in after my dad finds a project, and somehow she just makes it all work. She is juggling several companies and a crazy family all at the same time. To me, she´s the ideal woman. I hope to be like her.

The most important lesson that I have learned in this industry, is that even though the customer isn’t always right, you have to act as if their problems are the most important issues of the day. Their happiness equals success for you.


My advice to women who want to do the same thing as I do is:

“If you haven’t got it, fake it. If you look confident enough, you can pull anything off.”

Bayview Crowns is still a relatively new company, so I hope that within the next few years, we will have a stable foundation and a good circle of costumers.

I would like Bayview Crowns to be a vacation rental that brings customers back every year for their annual holiday, sort of like a second home.

How to connect with me.

Website :
Instagram : FayLundin
Email :

Connect with our company:

Instagram: BayviewCrowns

What Is You Actual Los Angeles IQ? [QUIZ]

We all think we know so much about the cities we live in.

LA was founded on September 4, 1781 and it has grown into a dynamic metropolis. The city’s leadership has its eye on the future, while they seem to be eagerly preserving its extraordinary cultural heritage.

LA is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, making it a truly global city. Did you know that LA is home to 211 sites that are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, the Bradbury Building, Watts Towers and the Ennis House?

LA is considered the entertainment capital of the world. It might be home to more creative residents than any other city with its long history with film, TV, music and literature.
From the world class LA Philharmonic to the Walt Disney Concert Hall, J. Paul Getty Museum and LACMA, LA’s cultural legacy continues to grow.

Foodies across the world recognize LA as the birthplace of the Cobb Salad and French Dip, and a major influence on California and ethnic cuisines.

Let’s see what is YOUR actual Los Angeles IQ?

Gemma Karlsen – Actress, Model, Traveller, Blogger, Spirituality Freak and World Explorer

We love introducing fearless Europeans no matter what they do and where they are. This time we are featuring an interesting Danish young lady who loves to explore the world.

Please introduce yourself.

My name is Gemma Karlsen, I am an actress and I do modelling. I am from Denmark (a small town called Espergaerde 20 min from Copenhagen).
I am in Sydney Australia right now just to see Sydney.
I always wanted to come here.  I have some close friends that I stay with in a very nice area of Sydney called Double Bay.

I am a world traveler at heart.  I always wanted to live in Los Angeles.  I am working on my 01 artist visa so I can work in the US. I have travelled a lot and in Los Angeles I have a lot of friends, I love to network when I am in L.A.

I grew up in Denmark, but when I was 17 I went to London to study acting. I have done many commercials and short films in Denmark and London.

How did you end up in Sydney of all places?

Sydney is amazing! But I miss Los Angeles and Denmark. I was just in Los Angeles and in Vancouver Canada, I had part in a feature in film in Canada.

What is the best and worst about your current city for you…what is a typical day and weekend??

I am going talk about Los Angeles since that’s where I compare every country to haha… I love Los Angeles so much so I would say the traffic is the worst part of the city and the best is the people, the opportunities and the nature/the beach.

How do you find the lifestyle in LA  compared to your hometown in Denmark?

Los Angeles is so dynamic, vibrant and has the most amazing cafes and restaurants that are very healthy. Denmark is soo cold but when there is the least bit of sunshine everyone sits outside at cafes and sip their coffee, Denmark also have the best sushi place called sticks and sushi.

How do you make your living now – and how would you like to develop that career?

I do commercials and print work and I would like to continue to doing that along with movies and Tv.

Do you see the differences between nationalities easily – yours vs. Americans vs. other Europeans?

There is a difference in the way that people interact with each other, in Los Angeles they chat to each other at the grocery shop, cafes and are just in general more open and into chatting with new people.
But the Danes are good at keeping a commitment and sticking to their word.

What is the essence of LA to you?

The nature and the social life.

What do you  miss from your country?

I miss my family, friends and just a casual stroll in Hellerup and Copenhagen.

What do you miss the most – and the least from your own country?

The weather and something called janteloven, it’s a mentality that people should not think they are too good at something or have too much confidence.

I think that being able to love and like yourself is the most important thing because when we love ourselves we are able to really set an example to our kids. They should approve and love themselves. When you love yourself you are more capable of loving and supporting others.

Workwise – how do you see Los Angeles being different from Denmark . What stands out in your chosen profession?

Denmark is not as good for acting and modelling as Los Angeles is. The entertainment industry is not that big in Denmark. Danish films tend to be a bit more dark and depressing. Where American movie are more glamorous.

When you think about your expectations about life in LA before you moved there – was it correct?

I actually always thought that Los Angeles would be amazing and it is.

What should everyone know and understand about your country and its culture – or USA?

Denmark is a lovely country – I love coming back.  It’s a great and safe country.

What cafes or restaurants do you recommend to tourists to go to in Copenhagen?

Sticks and sushi in Copenhagen.

What would be your ideal life – with no monetary issues to make it happen!

Me living in Malibu and have a house in Hollywood hills. Acting in movies and TV. I want to work with Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Christopher Nolan, James Cameron and Nancy Mayers, Just to name a few. Yes I know I have big dreams …

Would you move back to Denmark fulltime – yes or no (why and why not)?

No I would not move to Denmark for good. I have a traveler’s mentality, I love being on the road and in America.

How to connect with you:
Facebook: Gemma Karlsen