Three years ago, light boxes with various quotes began to circulate on instagram, on big blogs, in interior design magazines and in stores. They came out of nowhere and are just as popular today as they were then. Behind this product called Bxxlhgt is 26-year-old Daniella Upmark. Radar stopped by her shop at Krukmakargatan 31 one morning last week to find out more about her inspiration and the background to her success!
Where did the idea for Bxxlght come from?
– The idea was born during a trip to New York, where I got very inspired by all the old cinema billboards and all the neon signs everywhere. I had just bought a new apartment and really wanted to have something in my home that stood out and got people to react. Back then “quotes” were very big and I personally love written communication. So somewhere around there, my desire for wanting a sign of my own was born. And that is the basis of the whole Bxxlght idea. I have always been very inspired by the US in general.
So you got the idea because that you wanted something for your own home, not because you wanted to make a business of it?
– Exactly, I wanted something for my home. When I want something, I become quite determined and since I didn’t ‘find any sign that I liked, I decided to make one myself. I made a prototype that I fell completely in love with and wanted to share it with others.
– I also understood the importance of getting people to spread and share your idea, and the light box has that effect. It integrates the customer. Through our product, people can share their opinions, ideas, and create something personal. But of course I had no idea that it would go so fast. That it would create that big of a multiplier effect. My focus was to make people understand that it was more than just a sign that we had created, that it was an interior detail. Many big bloggers wrote about it, bought it, had it at home and changed the quotations, and then took new pictures, which created a mighty spin!
–I am so happy and grateful that I got such a push in the beginning. That people appreciated my idea and thought it was fun and innovative. It is very important in the beginning, when you have so much self-doubt (and expenses!). To get that push was absolutely fantastic. I often think of that, that I’m so grateful for it. People believed in me.
Do you have any favorite quotes that you have seen on a box?
– I have many! One of my favorites is “stay in bed”, but it varies a lot. I really get so much inspiration from my clients. To see on instagram how someone has styled their home with a box or if they have written a clever quote gives so much inspiration. It’s amazing how one can create something that someone else can make something with, and then get inspiration back.
Is there any person you know that has a box where you feel “God, how awesome that that person has my box”
– Yes, Stella McCartney! She is a great role model for me in general, her entrepreneurial style, her morals, opinions and what she fights for. The sad thing is that when one sends a box to such a famous person, the chances of seeing how she uses it is very small.
– Kate Moss also has one. She and Stella McCartney have really been two role models of mine since I was very small, but in very different ways. That they have one of my boxes at home feels surreal, I really have to pinch my arm.
You have recently released a new collection, can you tell us about it?
– Yes, a while ago, and we will also release another one in February. From the beginning we only had the boxes and three signs with different messages on, but this spring we began to go into more LED neon. Or I’ve actually been working with the neon since we started, but because it is dangerous for the environment and hard to have at home, it has taken a while to produce this. The LED neon which we use is not dangerous, it doesn´t get hot so you can place the sign wherever you want.
–Last spring when we opened this shop, we released three neon signs with messages and then a month ago, we released the cloud, lip and moon. The moon is in a completely different product category, it is made of a special plastic and is manufactured in Sweden.
From where did you get the inspiration this time?
– I have for long been eager to do something with neon. I love statements, people who stand up for their opinions and this time I wanted to go more into symbolism. There are other ways to be communicative than in writing. Just as with text, people read things differently. For some, perhaps the cloud and lip is just a cool interior detail while for others it really means a lot.
– Why I wanted to go into symbols is also because it is not as straightforward. To me, the cloud represents that I am a dreamer and I never want to forget to let myself dream. With the light boxes one must decide on a text, which is difficult for many. I wanted to create something where you don´t have to scream out your message.
What are your dreams and goals for Bxxlght?
– A dream is of course to launch in the United States. I would like to have shops and offices there. It feels like that is where Bxxlght belong the best, and the inspiration comes from there. One store in New York and one in L.A – that´s the dream.