DOXA Run – New Running Apparel Brand & Interview With John Hansen

DOXA_Image_InstagramI first saw the logo of DOXA early last summer, while I lived in Copenhagen. Probably through Instagram and started following them, thinking that they had a nice look to their gear. I wanted to interview John Hansen, the creator and designer behind the brand, to get to know why and how it all started.

John is a seasoned runner and designer who wanted to bring a clothing line for running that would work through the workout to everyday life. I really like how he’s looking at this idea and how he also wants to do good while he’s at it. DOXA has a Kickstarter campaign now for their first capsule collection and they will give 50 race singlets to Kenswed Academy in Nairobi, Kenya, if the campaign is funded. The school is a way to give the children a chance for better living conditions and future. Here’s the link to the school for you to check it out .

Who are you and what is your background?

My name is John and I’m 36 years and have worked with fashion for 15 years, the last 1 year as self-employed in AITY Consultancy, where I do design work for different danish brands.

Alongside all this I have DOXA – the place where I unite my passion for running and my hobby and interest in fashion. I live in Copenhagen where the social running crews has been exploding the last few years. This definitely awoke my interest even more of combining fashion and running – to become a part of the new athleisure trend.
What is Doxa? And what is it to you?

As mentioned above, DOXA is more or less the person I am, running, fashion and lifestyle combined into one.

DOXA is everything for me, but at the moment I’m not able to make a living by the brand, but hopefully it will turn into that one day.

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Where did the idea behind Doxa come from?

DOXA was born out of my idea to bring something new into the running scene. I know I can’t compete with the more established brands such as Nike and Adidas, but there is a lot of space for other brands, who makes cool running gear with an urban approach. Because these days people want to look cool before, during and after their social run with all their friends, colleges and maybe their love of life – who knows.

Where the name Doxa comes from?
I wanted to create a name that had a visuel effect and that I could work with in different prints and effects on my product. I like the different geometric shapes of the letters and the shortness of the name. It’s precise and direct and something people hopefully will remember. Another important aspect for me, was that I could incorporate one of the letters in my design and prints-the letter X.

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What is / will be the difference with Doxa compared to other similar brands?

I think that DOXA is different because of the fashion angle. A lot of running apparel maybe looks too sporty(boring) and functional compared to how most customers actually wants to look. When I go by the subway to a park far away to do my trail I would like to blend in with the people and not look like a nerdy runner, who caught the bus like a fail. So in my opinion DOXA is the brand that’s missing in the athlesiure arena-the brand that combines fashion with functionality and makes people look cool. In the end that’s what most people want to.. 🙂

My hope is that DOXA will be sold from fashion stores and giving the costumers the opportunity to combine it with their daily wear. This is also different from what most other similar brands do-a traditional distribution would be through classic sportswear stores. But I believe that DOXA fits in with a mix of fashion and sport and has an edge that will make costumers notice DOXA on the shelves.
Where does the ideas come, with patterns and fits, from?

I combine sport with fashion, so my ideas is born in fashion with the intention of incorporating it with the functionality in sportswear. The fit is the most important part of the product. As a runner myself I know the importance of a good fit, without that you can’t perform. But I also believe that fit is not everything, with the great interest in sportswear you need something that stands out and the customers feel that their running gear reflects their style. People want to feel fashionable while running, not only while out running but also on the way to the running field and when hooking up with their friends after.

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Where do you see Doxa in 5 years? What are your goals?

Hopefully I’m able to work with DOXA as my main business and make a living out of it. I would love to see my brand represented all over the world in selected fashion and sportswear stores. And at the same time I want to keep on working with Global Relations to keep on creating better opportunities for the young talents in Nairobi. Hopefully we can create something bigger and greater together. It’s important for me to be able to contribute to the ones that need the help and support to succeed. And if sometime in the future my work with DOXA could make some young kid in Nairobi life a little bit better, I could not be more thankful.

How did you come up with the idea of doing this all with Kickstarter?

After a lot of brainstorming with a good friend about how to get a new upcoming brand out to the costumer, we came up with the idea to try Kickstarter. I needed a platform to show my work and my dedication to running and the good work at Kenswed. Kickstarter is a great place for new brands to start up and a forum that reaches out to so many people. The interest has been great, but there’s still a long way to the gold. Whether I reach it or not, it has been an amazing journey and I’ve learned so much on the way. Hopefully I will reach my goal and then being able to contribute to Kenswed and send out all the cool runninggear to my cool backers. Kickstarter is hard work, but the risk is low and I would diffidently recommend it to anyone who wants to make awareness of their products and needs there funding to get started.

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Do you have some connection to Kenya or where did the idea for that come from?

The idea was born from the simple idea; that I really wanted to do something good for others not as privileged as me. I met a guy when I was out running with Runners United, we talked a lot about his work in Kenya with the young running talents. He told me how tough their living circumstances were and how running often is a way out of poverty. His good friend Per-Olof Hansson is founder of the NGO Global Relations that works with the young people in Nairobi. So I contacted him and we started talking and sharing ideas. I really admire his work and feel honored to be a part of it.

And last but not least…

What does running mean to you?

It means the world to me! It’s my space away from everything, where I come up with new ideas, where I clear my head and where I gain new energy. Running is my life! I’ve been doing it for over 25 years and I will keep on running as long as my legs let me..

Go and check the Kickstarter campaign HERE! and their website HERE!

And keep yourself updated with the brand at Instagram @DOXARUN

I wish all the best to DOXA and John and hope to see this all grow to what you have dreamed! 🙂

PMA ❤

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OOOPS! I’m Moving Back To Finland!

IMG_0373Yeah, ooops! Actual winter and Finland is calling my name and I have to listen to it.

I’ve always listened to my gut feeling, always. If I have, my life has gone to a better direction, if I haven’t well… I always know that I should have. This past Monday I just knew what I need to do, no questions, I just knew.

I’ve gone through enough to be able to admit that it’s my time to leave or change something, this was one of those times. After losing my job and still be very much without a permanent place to live, and fall rolling fast on us, I had to do some hard math of my life and think what is the best thing to do now.

Always before, everytime, if I’ve even had to think about going back to Finland, I’ve felt like I’m a failure. Never before since I moved away from there the first time, have a I felt that it’s for the best and actually felt excited about it. Obviously I’ve changed, life changes you if you let it and listen. So I think that my whole attitude about going back is different. More open to what will come and how I can use that time, how long it may be to the best I can.

One of the biggest reasons for me to do this, is that I am so utterly tired of struggling all the time and really, really want to get my life in a little more balanced place. Not physically, just to be clear. That part is pretty much okay :). But I am turning 32 next March and I have no interest in being in the situation I have been now for too many years any longer if it’s possible for me to change it all. So the adult realist in me knows that this is the best thing to do, I’m not failing at anything, I’m doing the smart decision for myself.

“Good instincts tell you what to do long before your head has figured it out.”

– Michael Burke

It was almost funny who the first people I told or talked about this whole feeling of moving, all of them were my closest friends who happen to live very far from me. That showed me, good that it did, that my friends are in my heart and no matter how far, they are in my life where ever I live. Because I remember last year when I felt that I had to move back to Finland that I am losing out on my friendships by being so “far” from them… What I learned during my time in Finland is that I have super close and great friends there, that I have missed a lot here in Copenhagen, and what I’ve learned here in Copenhagen is that my friendships are truly all over the world and the ones that matter are there no matter what. That’s the great thing about social media and emails and text messages and whatever we have these days.

I was also thinking that maybe I was meant to go back to Finland, for the reason that I still have some unresolved issues about that place. I’ve been so negative about it and haven’t really given myself a chance to figure out why. The truth is that I have been running away from myself since I left Finland the first time. I’ve definitely found myself a lot during these years, but I think there’s a little piece missing and I have a feeling that that is my attitude towards Finland. I need to solve that puzzle and then I am free to really go wherever my heart desires. And actually feel ready and free at that place, no idea what it will be. I have a feeling that my nomad side is not ready to settle down completely yet. There’s too many places that I need to see and experience, already thinking of the next place I need to visit… IMG_0593

That’s actually one of my favorite things in life these days, the people I have in it from so many different places and really around the world. They open up the world to me in a whole new way and make it so much more interesting. It doesn’t really give you a chance to be content with something you’ve known always, it makes this whole experience so much richer! And definitely once you start selfishly “deleting” the ones that aren’t good for you and keeping the ones that make you feel good and surround yourself with positive vibes close, damn this all makes it worth and more! You just need to be brave, ask for help, and really be open to whatever, life is pretty damn amazing when you let yourself do that!

So next week when I’m flying back to Finland, I am ready for whatever is coming my way, will work harder than ever before for my own happiness, letting people make my life richer, reminding myself that this is not even the breaktime, this is the beginning of all the best things that are coming up!

Now it’s a time for me to enjoy my last week in Copenhagen, spend time with the ones I love, have an actual farewell party for myself, because I am so damn lucky to have so amazing ones in my life that they want to spend a little time with me like that before I leave ❤ ! Life will always work out if you let it, that’s what I’ve learned!

“I’m so proud of you
Everything’s adding up, you’ve been through hell and back
That’s why you’re bad as fuck…” Drake knows!

PMA ❤

One Week In, So How Does It Feel Now?

IMG_7910Less than two weeks of this new life, and I’m slowly realizing how good I’m truly feeling. Time feels like it’s just flying by and then you notice that it’s only been little over a week…

The fact how at home I feel is almost freaking me out a bit, but at the same time making me feel like “oh this is how you are supposed to feel…”. Or are we? I don’t know. But I am thoroughly enjoying this calm, peaceful feeling inside of me.

At times I feel like I want to freak out and panic a bit, mostly because I haven’t felt this happy and calm in so long, or maybe ever. What is happening to me?! And I think it would be so familiar to panic, yes yes of course I have those moments. But I also am able to calm down crazy fast from them. And to be honest, if I wouldn’t be weirded out at all about what’s going on and how much is going on, wouldn’t that be more worrying?

But seriously, how do we know that is the place I am supposed to be? I have no idea, but there has to be something in this all. I don’t know how many know what I mean with that peace and calm inside of me. If you know, then you understand how huge it is to have. The world is crazy around me and there’s so much happening, and I’m calm. That is big!

Less than a year ago when I was here last time, trying to make a home and a life, I was in such a different place with myself. The person I was then and who I am now, wow! And I think I am starting to really notice the difference here. With the help of a friend who was there for me last year and is there for me now. We were talking last week and he said something I feel too, but didn’t know how to put it in to words. Last year our relationship was more like big brother/little sister, now we are equal. That shows the change in me pretty well.

I have been thinking why is it that I am who I am these days, what happened in the past 9 months?

Because I’ve lost so much, gone through so much, and had so much pain to deal with on top of all else what life has. So why am I so loving and calm now. Why I’m not even close to the person I was before. What happened that I truly gave myself a chance to be who I probably have always been but haven’t given that me any chance?

Do we really have to lose so much to wake up and give life the chance?

I lost my Grandma, one of the most important people in my life. A relationship I thought was meant to be ended. I moved back to Finland which I really didn’t want to do, but it ended up healing me.  For the first time, even through all the pain, I was okay. I felt like this is my time to be there for others, something I haven’t been able to do before, because I wasn’t good with myself and the love for myself wasn’t truly there yet.

So that’s what really changed. Love, for myself and for others. And gratitude for all, not just the good moments, mostly actually for the bad and ugly ones. And the fact that I’m able to be happy. It’s not always easy, but I’ve given myself the okay to just be happy. For the first time in my life. Baby steps, but still.

If you would ask what I changed in what I did or how this all happened, I have no idea and no answer to you. I’ll tell that when I’ve figured it out.

But what I do know is this, a quote from a dear friend Robin Arzon, “I know that I’m not here to waste my days.”

I’m too old for letting my life just pass me by and not do anything about it. So if this place feels like home, for the first time ever in any place, I will give it all the changes. If I have that calm and peaceful feeling inside of me that I’m doing the right thing, I will push on even if I’m super scared of it all at times. And if it feels right to love as much as I do these days, oh I will do just that! Basically I am giving myself THE chance for the first time.

I’m letting go of the old, while learning what it has taught me, but being open and patient with my future. Trusting what it has to offer. Less control and planning, more of that jump to unknown stuff. This all sounds crazy, but it’s so right. I know I’m doing things all backwards and “wrong” in the sense of how we are supposed to do, but that never worked for me before, so why would it now?

So while I’m casually working this new life of mine here, I am also training for my next Ultra in 19 days. So no biggie. Little things are making me who I am. And I could not be happier with who I am now. I want nothing to change. Nothing.

Lovers gonna love, that’s all.

PMA ❤IMG_7942

Oooops, I Moved To Copenhagen!

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Ready at the airport in Helsinki with my house of a bag that fits my life .

Yeah, I think oops is the best way to describe this move, or again :D. I was thinking and talking and planning this one, but the actual move decision was made just few days before my flights here.

Another jump to unknown, or was it? I know the city a bit, more than some others I’ve moved to. I really wanted to get away from Finland, I really did. And now I’m here, not going back “home” or was that even home…

That is one of the biggest things I’ve noticed since I came back here. I haven’t felt this at home in long time, maybe ever, probably never. Yesterday I was walking around in the city and noticed myself just smiling while looking around. This weird, for me, sensation just flooded over me and just made me feel like I finally have found a place I belong. And that is a first for me.

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

Photo by Sofie Riisgaard

A year ago when I was here, I didn’t belong at all, I wasn’t ready and really not “there” yet with myself. I didn’t really know anyone that well, and I had no energy to get out there and meet people. And then I lost my Grandma. Too much, just too much!

But now, I have quite a few friends here, not only running related. I actually have one of my best friends here, which makes me extremely happy. I do miss my best friends in Finland, but they are with me and in my heart. And I know I am doing the best thing for me. The work I’ve done before I moved here to be able to make this work, is just so different than ever before. I just feel calm and in peace with this all, yes I am afraid and doubt myself at times, but the overall feeling is more than good.

It’s funny how a year ago I didn’t want to ride my bike here, still don’t remember really why, but now I’m at home here with that too. The neighborhood that I really didn’t like last year, is my home now. And it feels like home, like home! Like a place I could find my dream apartment and all. That all feels so overwhelming and amazing at the same time!

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Bridge the Gap/ Copenhagen Marathon Photo by Henrik Thorn

Though me coming here just before the Copenhagen Marathon weekend has made this all feel a bit confusing, as those weekends with friends from all over the globe does to you. You need couple days to decompress. But it was such an amazing weekend. I would not be here now without running and the chance to meet so many insanely amazing people! Pretty damn lucky to call them my friends <3.

I’ve surprised myself in so many ways already here, which makes me pretty happy. Like being able to run almost 20km in steady fastish pace for me without dying. I know that my running will improve so much here, just the fact that I will be running with others will help, but to be able to run with people who are way better at it and the push I have to get from myself and I get from them. Priceless!

But I also feel this pressure coming from within, that this is a do or die situation. Which is a bit stupid, but somehow that makes me push a bit more, so I’ll keep that close now. While I do that, I need to remember to give myself time to let all this sink in. I have to remember that I just moved countries again, not just houses. And it still is a big deal. So be gentle to yourself, please.

Friends on friends on friends!! Photo by My-Ha Lang

Friends on friends on friends!!
Photo by My-Ha Lang

It’s a funny feeling of wanting to do everything at once and the need of pulling back. Balancing it all is the most important thing. To recognize myself and how I deal with different things. For example, if I’ve been with old and new friends the whole weekend, I would be a bit exhausted in normal situation, but when you top that with the move, it’s more than normal to feel exhausted. So the thing is to take some time for myself to get my batteries charging and then do those things I wanted with better energy. Not an easy thing to remember, when you don’t want to do the same mistakes as before. Baby steps…

I somehow also felt nervous about writing these all out, like the place I am at the moment would make some difference in what I can write and not. But it’s fear again, maybe. To be who I truly am in front of so many new. In front of all the new, which makes me feel so powerful and confused at the same time. Though mostly just really amazing and excited, so I’ll take that as a good sign.

So yeah, oops I moved to Copenhagen!

If you know any jobs or want to offer me some, I’m looking :)!

Let’s see how this move goes, I feel ready and yeah, at home, so no reason why this wouldn’t work!

PMA ❤

What It Is That I Actually Want In My Life – To Be Happy

IMG_4657I heard this song this morning, that I listened a lot when I was moving to another country the first time, almost three years ago. And I haven’t heard it in almost that time… And now it came and made me cry. It hit so hard and true to what I am going through at the moment in my life.

For the past three something years I’ve been searching, searching myself, what makes me happy, what do I want in my life, what am I about, all that. I feel that I know exactly what it is but haven’t really wanted to admit it to myself. I think it hit me while I was passing these dreamy small houses in my Ultra in Bornholm, I knew that I want to live in a similar one one day. I want to have a home of my own.

In the search of mine, I’ve gone from one end to another, made bold statements of what I want and don’t. Sometimes to my own surprise. Especially lately… For example, I have been feeling that I really don’t think I want kids at all. But a happy coincidence from a dear friend having the coolest wormlike person whose completely stolen my heart and made me think of my bold statement again. Is me not having kids really what I want? I know that I am super scared to have them, or not the having part, the part afterwards. I know, I truly know, that I would be a great Mom. But I am honestly worried if my depression changes my childs life like it did mine. But that is fear, nothing to do with the actual fact of having something growing inside you and you looking at your own in the end, growing and loving.

I think the reason why I haven’t been into having kids lately, of course not having anyone to have them with, has been the blunt reason that I have just started my own life and really started to realize what I want to do. For the first time, so I’ve felt that having a kid would someone ruin that for me.

But back to the small houses in Bornholm. I remember how happy seeing them made me, sounds funny, but I’ve been in this weird space in my life for the last three years and still am, that I haven’t had my own home at all. Not a place to call mine, place that looked like I live there, a place that I would feel completely safe and in peace and comfortable. I’ve had times when I missed having that place so bad, that it made me cry. Then most of the time I’ve just adapt to the situation and go forward and lived my life. But I’m really getting to this mindset after a long long time that I really would love to have my own place. A place to call home. And I know that a home doesn’t always have to be a place, but I think at this time in my life, that is exactly what I want.

I don’t own much, but I would love to be able to have all my books in one place, have my dog in the same place I am, have the few mugs I have in my kitchen, maybe have a some super cosy sofa to lay and read and snuggle. I would love to have my few art pieces on the walls and a place that looks a bit like me. I don’t need or want much, but it would be so lovely to have a place. And I would love to have a place with old wooden floors and old windows that you could sit on the window sealings :). I think the screaky wooden floors take the first place on this competetion haha.

The past week I’ve been in a flu, and of course I’ve had a lot of time to think. I’ve been up and down a lot, but I’ve realized that part of it is the fact that I know exactly what I wish to have in my life at the moment and they aren’t anything crazy.

I would love to have a home, I would love to have a job where I could bring my talent out and be good at what I do and who I am, I would love to have someone special to share my life with, maybe run too, I would love to have some friends to spend my time with, maybe have some lovely nights with food and good wine. I would want to have kids one day, maybe even be married one day. Nothing super crazy, but after being in this nomad life for the past three years, they sound amazing. Solid and comforting. The main point is that I wish to be happy with my life. I really miss having those kinds of “normal” things in my life.

The truth is that I love normality, with a twist :). I love when I kind of know what is happening next, at times I love to plan things. I have gotten so used to having to live a life with a lot of situations changing around me all the time, that I’ve forgotten that I do love to have some certainty too. So I am grateful to have had these past years, yes, but I would love to have some calmness at least on some aspects of my life now.

Obviously I don’t know if I’m going to find them in Copenhagen, which will be my next stop. In a way I would love to stay there for long enough to see if it would be really my place. I have this tiny voice in me yelling that it will. I already know where I would love to live, almost the exact house. There’s the sea, which I love. There’s many many things I absolutely love and feel that I will have a lot more soon. And there’s a spot where me and Ukko used to walk last year when we lived there, and just sit next to the sea and stay in silence. Somehow my lovely dog loves the same things I do. And I have dear people there who I love to have in my life and run with. That’s one huge thing for me, to have people to run with around me, the first time ever I’ve actually wanted that.

So in the end, I don’t miss or want that much in my life. Mainly to be happy, and definitely to share it with someone who loves me and I love. That is a big thing for me. But I’m in no rush, all will come in time.

To be happy. To be loved. Smile. Breath easy. Read books. Eat good food. Get those hugs I miss now when I haven’t gotten them in a long time. Or hugs in general. Having the real life in my life with wooden floors. Tea. Remember to be happy and smile to all those tiniest little things in life. And dance because life is pretty amazing. It makes us cry but it always picks us up too, if we let it. And don’t forget to do those things that make you feel all silly, they make you feel alive in the end. ❤

What I want in my life is what I’ve worked towards without realizing it. I’ve been alone for long enough, so now is time to let people in my life, really let them. Because I do like that. The balance of being alone when needed and being surrounded with love too.

It feels like this weight lifted off my shoulders when I admitted these all to myself. Good that that happened. The pressure of “not knowing” is easier when you give yourself a chance to see what you have in you. Really.

PMA ❤

I need to add the lyrics here, so you maybe understand what in it hit so hard.

“Leave your country
Leave the notes
Of your future and your goals

Leave your language
You once spoke
Leave the soil where you were born

Leave all
Leave the guards
Leave the stone crushed in your heart

You’re my hero, you are mine
Dead or alive
Once you pushed me passed the line
To a better life

Left your country
Left your father
Left your sister, left their warmth

Leave all
We know too well
Leave this paradise, caught in hell

You’re my hero, you are mine
Dead or alive
Once you pushed me passed the line
To a better life

You’re my hero, you are mine
Dead or alive
Once you pushed me passed the line
To a better life

And I, I ran
And I, I ran”