Vail Daily Bizwatch: Couple brings ‘Hygge Life’ concept to the Vail Valley
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Business name: Hygge Life.
Location: 41149 U.S. Highway 6, Avon (Eagle-Vail, old Vail Lights location).
Date opened: August 2017.
Owners: Alexandra Gove and Koen van Renswoude (partners and newlyweds).
Contact information: info@ hyggelife.com, http://www.hyggelife.com or 303-725-0431.
What goods or services do you provide? Hygge Life is a newly opened home goods store with a collection of cozy home decor, accessories and gifts inspired by the Danish concept of hygge. Hygge (hoo-ga) is the Danish art of creating joy and coziness in life’s everyday moments. We carry many European and American brands that have a Scandinavian alpine aesthetic, including textiles, natural sheepskins, candles, pillows and home decor. Our collection is also available online at http://www.hyggelife.com. Besides the shop, we also host hygge events, such as our Hygge Dinner Series, to create actual hygge experiences. Additionally, we are working on opening a coffee bar in the shop — stay tuned.
What’s new or exciting at your place? Hygge has become a major trend in the U.S. and around the world. More than 20 books have been published on the topic and “hygge” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary last year. A documentary is also being released this year called “Finding Hygge” in which we will be featured. We will be hosting a film premiere in the Vail Valley this spring (date to be announced).
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? We have made it our mission to carry products for the varying budgets within the Vail Valley. We have affordable items as well as high-end products and love to make everyone feel at home in our shop. You can find a unique $10 gift or redo your living room with beautiful Scandinavian-inspired decor.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? We absolutely love the products that we curate from around the world but the main intention behind Hygge Life is to spread the hygge lifestyle in America and our community. We love talking about hygge and helping our customers introduce it into their lives and homes. Don’t expect to leave the shop without having a conversation with one of us.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Koen and Alexandra met in Vail six years ago. Koen (from Amsterdam) was studying at the top hotel school in the Netherlands and came to Vail for an internship at The Sebastian. Alexandra had just graduated from Wake Forest University and was working at The Ritz Carlton, Vail. They fell in love and moved to Amsterdam and lived there for almost four years.
Living and traveling in Europe inspired them to start Hygge Life — they wanted to bring the intentional, beautiful design and slowed-down lifestyle back to the U.S. In 2016, they decided to move back to Colorado. After a year in Denver, the mountains were calling and they moved back to Vail in the summer of 2017. That same summer they got married and hosted their “hygge wedding” here in the Vail Valley.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? On opening day, we were working hard to get the shop ready and were nervously awaiting our first customers. The tension was relieved (and we had a good laugh) when our first customer came in with a broken light bulb and the second a torn lampshade, both looking for a replacement at what they thought was Vail Lights. All we had to offer was cozy candlelight and directions to the new Vail Lights location.