Innovator: Emelie Nilsson
Innovation: Candlestick with a Clamp
Emelie Nilsson is currently a designer and CEO at the company Våges. Her innovation, a candlestick with a clamp base, was originally inspired by her grandfather, but her family’s interest in forging metal goes back further than that. The story begins in 1875.
In 1875, in a cottage in Småland, Sweden, Emelie’s great-grandfather Carl Samuelsson begins blacksmithing. His metal forging becomes very popular, and his son Gustav follows in his footsteps and becomes a blacksmith as well. Gustav’s eldest son, John Gustavsson, who is Emelie’s grandfather, continues the tradition.
John had a son named Våge Gustavsson, who is Emelie’s father. Våge was influenced by his ancestors’ interest in blacksmithing and, in 1997, he started the company Våges Smide.–I have always enjoyed being out in the workshop with my dad; I was fascinated by all the tools out there, says Emelie.
Våge passed away in 2006, but left the company and his knowledge to his four children: Emelie, Lenny, Joel and Mikaela. Today, they all work in the family business.
Emelie got inspiration for her prototype from her Grandfather John
Emelie studied for her Bachelor’s degree in design at Växjö University, and for her Master’s degree in design at the School of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg.
In 2016, Emelie found a clamp that her grandfather John made and used in his workshop.
”Most importantly, every little detail had to be made in Småland”
Emelie justifies her choice of design by saying that a clamp is beautiful graphically speaking, and that its function is something that everyone recognises and understands.
Emelie explains that there were different stages in the making of the tall clamp. Turning, bending, punching, threading and welding.
Våges has decided that their products will be made in Småland because the siblings have a strong environmental interest and work actively to reduce their environmental impact.
In designing her product, Emelie chose to have the candle holder loose so it can be replaced with a tea light holder.
In other words, the candlestick with the clamp can be combined with other products such as candle holders for bottles and tea lights.
New innovations are on Emelie's drawing board
Emelie reveals that the design process has never been so quick as with the innovation of the candlestick with a clamp.
Emelie says there are new models on the drawing board, one of which is compatible with the candlestick with a clamp.