Digging into photos of the past year made me realize how much reason I got to be grateful! 2018 was the first true year of INGA-LENA.

Launching and building the brand was a life changing experience in every sense. It became an opportunity to connect and create with like-minded talents, meet and listen to the heart-warming stories of other women who each had their own narratives to share. And that in a year that was certainly marked by pioneering change of female recon. Yet above all, it transformed my own approach and shaped me as a person.

Telling my own story and reflecting my upbringing and human values in the context of today was a humbling process.

I had been blessed all my life, being given everything I ever wanted. But in a moment of unexpected change, I realized that many of my wants were irrelevant. Building the brand made my heart beat stronger and realize a feeling of fundamental fulfillment that I had not known before.

It was no longer about me but rather about the people I could share myself with. Dressing other women and contributing to see them smile and feel good was all I ever lived and worked for since bringing my first sketches to paper at age 14.

Today I am thankful for having found my calling and for being able to practice that passion on a daily basis.

I wouldn’t be able to do it without the support I found. And while I will never deny nor forget the hardship it has meant, there wasn’t a single moment I couldn’t count on the unconditional love of my family and ever so available, out of control laughter with my closest.

In each of my interviews I ask for general advice to share to live a successful, balanced life. Well, my own response to that question, I found throughout the past year also. Life is a trade, it is an exchange with others. As much as we can cherish solitude, we still can not exist on our own.

Happiness is the only thing that doubles when shared. I was fighting myself to be fully independent and in absolute control of my path. But what we will never be able to control, is our sentiments that are anchored in ourselves since we are little. We will always be yearning for the warm feeling we associate with our childhood. This fearless, foolish and even irresponsible boldness that made us take our first steps, speak our first words and learn to become a person. We didn’t have to do that on our own. And we don’t have to do it on our own today.

My advice is to accept help when it is offered. I had to abandon my almost self-destructive pride and in fact had to ask people, even strangers for help over and over again during the past year. It was one of the most difficult things for me to do. And, admitted, there WAS a lot of disappointed. But you learn to disregard the dead-ends and shift your focus towards progress and optimism. I encourage you to take YOUR first steps again and always choose the road that brings you closer to the person you really want to be.

by our Founder, Inga

The Pontus Jumpsuit (shop:  here )

The Pontus Jumpsuit (shop: here)

Inga-Lena Rüttgers