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Marie-Louise Valborg Petersen is a creative spirit who recently returned to Copenhagen after a year-long stint in Cyprus with her boyfriend and Benny, their newest (rescued!) family member. Currently working as a Project Manager at SKALL Studio Marie-Louise is far from idle. In every spare moment, she dedicates herself to the study of natural oils and plants and Oceania Copenhagen, her own brand focused on natural skincare and handmade products. In this light and airy home, Marie-Louise's FLOKK catches the eye and naturally envelopes the space creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere. As we delved into her experiences abroad and waxed poetic with her love for travel, Marie-Louise shared how Denmark always feels like home. Her minimalistic style in fashion and home decor resonates throughout, creating a harmonious blend of creativity, homecoming, and the sheer joy that Benny, the four-legged star, brings to their Copenhagen adventure.

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How has your time living abroad influenced your creative endeavors and lifestyle
choices back in Copenhagen?

Moving to a different country means that everyday life as you know it is turned upside down. It allows you to look at your life from a new perspective, and to reevaluate your life choices. And with that, I mean all your choices; from your job to the way to spend your Sunday morning. Although we are settled now, I still stop up and take breaks. That’s how I can keep up. I’ve also always been good at ‘self-dating’. I’ve always really enjoyed going to the beach by myself or going for a coffee alone. It’s a way of connecting with myself but it’s also a way of connecting with the world. I think it’s super important to say no to social events now and again and stay home and look after yourself.

You thrive entrepreneurially in the most pivotal stages of building a brand,
in your opinion, what constitutes a strong brand identity?

In my teen years, I suffered a lot from migraines. I would have attacks several times a week and I’d eat pills most days of the week although it wasn’t working. While I was living in Australia, my best friend introduced me to essential oils, and during one migraine attack, she rubbed my head with peppermint oil. And for the first time, I felt relief during an attack. It was so magical to experience the benefits of natural oils, and after that, I started studying natural oils and plants a lot. I believe that everything we need can be found in nature. Whatever you are looking for, you will find the answer in nature. This led me to skincare, which Oceania only focused on initially. My vision for the brand has always been clear – I've wanted people to be able to read what was in their skincare products and to understand why. I've focused on making natural products from the purest active ingredients while maximizing the amazingly natural benefits of oils and botanicals. As the business grew, I developed products with a ceramicist and a glass blower. And soon I'll
be launching a new product. Most importantly, all my products are handmade by women.

Benny, your rescue dog, stole our hearts during our visit. Can you share the story of how you and Benny found each other?

While we lived in Cyprus, we did quite a bit of rescue work in the local village. My partner was looking after the local shelter, and we ended up fostering 3 little pups until they were big enough to fly to the UK to their new families. Hence, we were very involved with dogs during our time there. One day, after we had said goodbye to the three pups, my partner met this dog in a parking lot. He was skin and bones, and very weak. He could barely walk – But he came up to my partner, which is very unusual for stray dogs. They are usually terrified of humans. He carried him down to his parents’ place, who were visiting at that time, and I think it’s safe to say that they all three fell in love with his gentle soul right away. They gave him water and food; Cypriot ham Lountza, which was the only thing they had in their fridge. And ever since then, we’ve called him Lountza. We took him to the local shelter where he grew strong and ended up thriving with the other rescue dogs. A few months later I got a job at SKALL in Copenhagen. We didn’t plan to go back, but we knew that if we did, we’d have to bring our sweetheart. So, we found a new apartment, where dogs were allowed, and then we flew him home. It’s been the toughest year, but certainly worth it all <3

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The Flokk sofa is a centrepiece in your home. What drew you to this particular piece?

I was drawn by the lightness of the sofa. It is very elegant yet comfortable. It was a requirement from my boyfriend to
find a sofa with a chaise longue, which I didn't want. Chaise longue sofas often become heavy and dominating -
but then we found this Flokk, which is spacious yet elegant in the room.

How would you describe 'the feeling of home', and how have you created a home around it yourself?

One thing that you learn from living abroad, is how important it is to have the feeling of home. I remember the feeling of seeing our apartment for the first time in Cyprus, and it was so far from my interior style. When we got back to Denmark, we moved into a newly built apartment, which we had sworn we’d never live in. And both times I thought that I’d never be able to truly settle. But then you fill it with your stuff. Findings from travels. Memories. Heirlooms.
And that creates the true feeling of home. No matter where you live.

Describe a perfect Sunday in Copenhagen

To me, Sundays are holy. Sundays are for getting up early with my dog and taking him to the park. Sundays are for getting back in bed. With heaps of coffee. Sundays are for reading the newspaper. For creative projects. For nourishing myself.
For cooking nourishing food. For eating dinner on the couch with my partner. For me, it doesn't matter where I am on a Sunday - It doesn't change a thing. Regardless of whether I live in Australia, Cyprus or Copenhagen
now, my Sunday needs to be a gentle way of ending the week.

Balancing work, creative projects and personal life can be challenging. What strategies do
you use to maintain this balance and keep a positive mindset?

Throughout the years I’ve learnt to embrace my feminine energy. Feminine energy means slowing down, taking care of yourself and allowing yourself to sit and do nothing. Previously, I’ve struggled to find my authentic self because I’ve always had a lot of masculine energy and I love to be in this dominant, performing energy. But I’ve learned that I need to nurture myself and embrace my feminine energy in order to be successful. I do believe that it is very true that creative
people need to sit down and do nothing. This is something that I am very aware of.

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