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Celebrating Failure, Taking Risks and Saying No to Hustle Culture

Sophia Van Hees

Surface Pattern Designer, Sewing Teacher & Lover of Textiles



Celebrate Failure

I recently discovered that Finland has a national day of failure (October 13) to encourage people to take a risk without worrying about the consequences. Brilliant!

Don’t Ignore Your Passion

I learned the hard way that you cannot ignore your passion. I put my art on the back burner for a long time after dropping out of art school. Then a few years ago, during a particularly dark time in my life, I was asked what I could do to bring some joy into my days. I immediately thought of my art, and soon realized that it energized me and gave me purpose. Although it was a risky decision to pursue a creative career, it finally feels like I’m on the right path. The world is bright again.

Sound Life Advice

The only difference between those that “make it” and those that don’t is that those who make it don’t stop trying. Thinking about this gives me hope when I feel overwhelmed or anxious about the future.

No to the Hustle Culture

Being busy is often viewed as a virtue in our culture, to the point where sitting still can bring up feelings of guilt or concern that others will think we are lazy. So to me, slow living means not getting caught up in this hustle culture and enjoying the time I have for reflection and deep thinking. Often it is in these times that my best creative ideas emerge.

Essential Advice When Starting Out

Failure and rejection are just hurdles you have to pass over until you eventually find the right opportunity.

Advice for Creative Entrepreneurs

There may be people in your life who don’t understand what you’re doing. Instead of trying to convince them, your energy may be much better spent building a supportive community. Find your people—the ones that share your values and dreams.

Wish I Knew Earlier

I wish I could tell my younger self that taking risks and learning from mistakes is the key to growth.

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