Saturday, 28 September 2013

People who inspire me: Tove from Varg

Tove, looking her usual gorgeous self in her Varg showrooms
Tove is someone I've known for years, right from the beginning of my magazine days and she has been helpful, patient and generally a brilliant PR this whole time. She is now the Director of Varg, a PR Agency in Bloomsbury London and has built the business up to be one of the top tier agencies we rely on for all our shoots, representing fab brands such as DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, Dagmar and Maria Nilsdotter. She also has fabulous Scandi taste in clothes and furniture, hailing originally from Sweden - my kinda girl!

Name: Tove Westling
You are originally from Sweden, when did you make the move over to London

In 2006. 

What enticed you over?
The prospect of working on a bigger, more international and exciting fashion scene without the limitations of a smaller market. And, as in most cases where someone moves country, love. My boyfriend at the time got a job in London and I saw it as a great opportunity to go with him.  

When did you set up your own company and what made you decide to take the leap?
In 2008, after two years as Inhouse PR Manager at DAY Birger et Mikkelsen - an amazing Danish label I still have the pleasure in working with. I identified a gap in the market for representation of Scandi labels, and took it from there. Even though we work with British and other nationalities of brands too, Scandinavia quickly became our niche which proved to be very successful. There is so much talent in Sweden and Denmark in particular, and I'm proud to be working with the very best! 

DAY Birger et Mikkelsen candle in the Varg offices

What clients do you represent?
BACK by Ann-Sofie back, DAY Birger et Mikkelsen, 2nd DAY, Dagmar, Gudrun Sjödén, Filippa K, Finsk shoes, Maria Nilsdotter, MBFW Stockholm, Swedish Hasbeens and Won Hundred. 

The beautiful Varg premises, London

What's the most rewarding part of your job?
Every single little breakthrough either of our clients make. It can be an amazing full pager main fashion, the perfect celeb dressed head-to-toe in one of the brands, a new stockist or amazing feedback from press or buyers. Anything that puts them on the map or brings them one step closer to the success the deserve and work towards, is like Christmas for us at Varg. True story, even though it sounds like PR-BS! ;-) 

Myself wearing Varg's brands, Swedish Hasbeens shoes and bag with Gudrun Sjoden tee
Tove's Swedish Hasbeens

Has there ever been another career you've been interested in, or was it always fashion?
It's always been fashion, next to animals. If I wasn't so squeamish I would have loved to have become a vet! Anyone who visited Varg during our first years in business would have met my amazing husky-cross Vargen - whom Varg (Swedish for wolf) was named after. And since two years back, my lovely staffie Bob is a crucial part of the Varg family. At some point in my life I will definitely open a (fashionable) shelter for homeless dogs. 

Bob, guarding a Mulberry bag during a Varg Press Day
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Ambitious, loyal, doglover.

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