Exclusive Interview for Naturalbox with Gina Holdar - the founder of Americana Classic Vintage

Hello Gina!
Hi Alicja!

Alicja: It’s a pleasure to meet you and it is great that you are located just across the road from us. We are neighbours! Thank you for inviting us to Americana. You have a really inspiring personality which is one of the main reasons why I wanted to do this interview. Your business is flourishing and I would like to talk a little more about your business first. What is Americana Classic Vintage?

Gina: Americana Classic Vintage offers the most authentic pieces of American interior décor, antiques and vintage clothing, fused into a renewed product. We like to reinvent trends.  The feel of the products is rusty but rare, rough but sharp, worn yet immaculate.  Americana is the given choice for the dynamic, secure and individualistic person who is confident enough to affirm his/her personality and refuses to give in to the unimaginative everyday.

Alicja: What does Americana mean to you? – we are in your showroom at the moment on the East Coast of Sweden and when I look around, I have a feeling that it is a unique brand with cool and  stylish store in Stockholm. (I had only the pleasure to visit your warehouse and showroom in Oxelösund and I can’t wait to see the store in Stockholm at Gamla Brogatan, but I understand that it’s also a very nice place that attracts a lot of people.

Gina: The thing that sets Americana Classic Vintage apart from the rest is that we offer you that rare chance to get an undisputed original.  We search high and low across the American landscape to find the most authentic pieces of American décor, antiques and vintage clothing.  Our showroom in Oxelösund and our store in Stockholm represent the artifacts of everyday American life, which have influenced fashion and interior style for decades. 


Photo: Americana Classic Vintage in Oxelösund, Styrmansgatan 12.

Alicja: What made you come to Oxelösund, a small city on the east coast?

Gina: My husband and business partner Sven is originally from Nyköping, but lived outside of Sweden for many years. When we moved to Sweden, we first settled in a home he inherited from his family in Nyköping. We were looking for a warehouse and found a great location in Oxelösund, which is near Nyköping. Now, we even live in Oxelösund, so we can be closer to the business. Oxelösund is great for the children, who can bicycle everywhere and we are close to the sea, which has many advantages.

Photo: Gina & Sven, founders of Americana Classic Vintage

Alicja: Your products are very unique and happy! What do your customers like the most when it goes to the range of products that you offer?

Gina: Some of our most popular products are the Ball Mason jars, the metal retro signs, our genuine American antiques, Southwestern rugs, and of course vintage clothing.

Photo: Americana Classic Vintage Crew

Alicja: My favorite choice is of course the Ball Mason jar and it seems that many people are now crazy about the smoothie jars and chia pudding jars. You have shown me the whole range of the jars, including different colors and shapes. What’s the magic with Ball Mason jars?

Gina: Mason jars were originally invented in 1855 and are the granddaddy of all modern vacuum- sealed jars. They were the first jars to offer an air-tight seal by molding glass to a threaded screw-top, with a rubber ring for an vacuum seal.  Because of their design, we can trace the origin of all threaded metal and glass closures to the revolutionary Mason jar invention.  There are jars that claim to be Mason jars, but it’s not the real thing unless it has this vacuum closure, like the Ball Mason jars do.

 
Alicja: I think that many people are curious about you. Who is Gina in the private life? :)

Gina: Before Americana, both my husband and I had careers in international development and lived for many years in the former Soviet Union.  I have worked for the World Bank and United Nations and my husband worked for the European Commission and OSCE.  Because of this, I love to travel and any spare time we get we take off to another country to relax, discover and have fun! Our children share this love of travel and we are always planning and looking forward to our next adventure.

Alicja: What are your dreams and goals for 2015? I know you can’t reveal too much but could you please tell our Naturalbox fans?
Gina: We are beginning to develop our own home décor products under the label Americana.  This fall, we will debut our own designs and hope that we get a positive response from our customers. Americana currently sells in 10 countries across Europe, and it is our goal for 2015 that we continue this expansion, adding more countries and deepening our presence within each country.

Photo: Americana Classic Vintage in Stockholm, Gamla Brogatan 23.

Alicja: Let’s come back to the Mason jar. When I look at the Ball Mason jars, I think about smoothies. What more do you use your jars for?

Gina: There are countless uses for Mason jars. With food, you can use them for storage or as an airtight container for stacking salads and other fresh foods.  Even the lid rings can be used for making a perfectly poached egg in the frying pan.  The uses are innumerable!


Photo: Americana Classic Vintage

You can also make loads of things out of Mason jars, including lamps, flower vases, oil lamps and even soap dispensers.  We offer many specialty lids to transform your Mason jar into one of these items, but there are hundreds of other ideas how you can make and use Mason jars, which depends only on your crafting skills and imagination!

 Alicja: Naturalbox features your 473 ml smoothie jar in the April Naturalbox issue themed Smoothie. – What do you think about NB concept and the latest edition of Naturalbox?

Gina: I think the inclusion of the Mason jar in the smoothie-themed Naturalbox is perfect. Because of their vacuum seal, the Mason jar is ideal for on-the-go or storage of smoothies and even for the different smoothie ingredients.  There are even blenders on the market, where the blade screws perfectly onto the Ball Mason jar, making for a DIY magic bullet for your smoothies. Naturalbox and Ball Mason jars are also a perfect fit! 


Alicja: How do you spend Easter and what’s your favorite Easter dish?

Gina: In our family, we spend all holidays travelling and this Easter we will be in Malta.  I’m a kid at heart, so of course my favorite Easter “dish” is Easter candy. We will pack some in our suitcase and indulge in the Easter goodies while we are away!

Thank you very much Gina. It has been a real pleasure to talk to you. We wish you a nice Easter holiday and good luck with all your plans! 

Thank you Alicja! It has been great to talk with you!

Are you interested in American style? Head on to: 

www.americanaclassicvintage.com

 

 


Alicja Chlebna
Alicja Chlebna

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