An American-Scandinavian Dream: Lexington Company Celebrates 25 Years

25 years with Lexington Company

After 25 years spent imagining an American-Scandinavian style, Kristina Lindhe hasn’t just introduced a unique, sustainable and timeless lifestyle — the founder of the international business and mentor has also challenged the home interior industry.

As we celebrate a milestone in the company, Lexington’s 25th anniversary, we sat down with her to reflect on the 25 years that have brought us to this day.  Here’s part 1 of our sit-down.

Starting a new business can be scary. What do you remember about the early years with Lexington?

I never thought it was scary. I might have been a bit naive, but I've never felt that way. I have always been driven by the idea of ​​what we would do and what we wanted to do. I envisioned what we would achieve because our goal was clear. For me, it has always been about just working to get there. However, when I got to my goal, I'd already set a new goal. So, I’ve have never stopped to reflect because there has always been something new to chase and that has been a big driving force for me. I didn't reflect on what that meant for me until later. There’s also the great responsibility of having employees who need their salary every month. That also becomes a different kind of driving force as well.

We are turning 25 this year, what thoughts and feelings come to mind when you think about it? What does the 25th anniversary mean to you?

It’s time for the next 25 years. In a way these years have gone by quickly, but it has also taken so long to get here. Now it's time for the next period. This is just a starting point.

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As demand for the Lexington lifestyle grew, expanding the concept to include fashion was a no-brainer. Kristina is wearing her favorite Raven jacket from a previous collection.
Besides being the founder, CEO and creative director of Lexington Company, Kristina is also a mentor. Here, she's seen with Frida Ramstedt, the recipient of The Kristina Lindhe Mentorship.

What have been the highlights for you?

It has been quite difficult to achieve something and think of it as a highlight because I have already started thinking about something else by then. That's very typical of me. It is not a bad thing, but I've learned that you must stop and appreciate where you are when you reach a goal — if not for yourself at least for everyone who works with you. When you achieve something it's fun to celebrate that you've done a great job or that everyone has achieved something together. You don’t have to appreciate the big stuff only. It is, for instance, a great satisfaction when people enjoy a collection we’ve created. Starting our website was a highlight and so was its development. There are many minor things that are highlights in our 25-year journey that I have a very hard time choosing just one, big highlight.

What would you say has been the most rewarding part of your journey?

The development and growth that takes place here. Both in terms of the collections and in terms of the development of our employees. It’s rewarding when you get to watch people you think will grow, develop and become good for the company actually achieve all of that. It is a great satisfaction that it can happen here at our company. It is about the development of something going from an idea or expectation to becoming something even better than what we’d hoped for. It is about people, products and events. But with expectations come disappointments when things don’t turn out as expected or how you’d hoped they would.

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Kristinas Lexington Journey started with bedding

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“No one knows who Karin Petterson from Jönköping is when she purchases our products, but she is just as important. Her experience is just as important and noteworthy.”

Kristina on valueing non-famous customers as much as celebrities.

How have you dealt with the disappointments?

I believe there’s no use in worrying about things that didn't turn out well or went wrong. It is pointless. Instead, I’d like to focus on how to move on and what the next steps are. It’s not always easy to do that, but it’s necessary.

You have experienced many fun moments and collaborations over the years with Lexington, starting the Kristina Lindhe Mentorship, collaborating with the royal family to promote entrepreneurship, and seeing Lexington products at the homes and wardrobes of Swedish and Hollywood celebrities. Which collaborations and experiences are your best memories and why?

A few years ago, I sat down at a cafe which was opposite our store at NK. You could sit at the cafe and see the cash register at our store. I was there one Christmas weekend and watched all the people who were purchasing Lexington. There was a line at the cash register because they were going to buy Christmas presents for their loved ones. It was a fantastic feeling seeing there were so many people who like our products so much they gift them to those they love. It's such a great thing to witness.

Another amazing experience is seeing the enthusiasm and energy from our sales personnel, at trade fairs for instance, as they go through the collection with customers. It’s fantastic knowing that we created this. This is Lexington. They are so committed to this, and they enjoy it. Those are amazing moments.

When it comes to celebrities, I have to mention Alec Baldwin. He contacted me a few years ago and wondered if we should host a shopping event at the Hampton store. It's not very often that you get an email signed Alec at the end, but that was what happened. I replied: “Yes, of course, we can do that.” However, I was unsure if it should be a big affair or if it should be private. So, I decided to keep it local since I didn’t dare to make the event bigger.

I knew some of the people he knew, so I invited them because I thought he would like that and it would be fun. I also invited other locals. There were about 50 guests, I think. Once the invites were sent, Alec had to cancel the event and I had to inform the guests about that. I later found out the cancelation was due to Hilaria’s miscarriage, which was extremely sad. A couple of weeks later, the Baldwins contacted us again saying they wanted to give the shopping event a go. So I replied: “Absolutely, set a date that works for you.” We set a date and had the event.

While at the event, Alec took my mobile phone and recorded basically an ad with himself for Lexington. That, of course, was a big deal. The fact that it all happened was unique and such a fun memory.  A man like Alec Baldwin wouldn’t do that with anyone.

We’ve had many celebrities who have shopped and still shop at our stores. It's, of course, fun when these things happen because it gets attention. It gets attention because no one knows who Karin Petterson from Jönköping is when she purchases our products, but she is just as important. Her experience is just as important and noteworthy.

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Kristina likes introducing modern twists to a traditional home interior industry to stand out in the saturated industry. Kristina's intent when she started the Lexington Company brand was to create bed linen in oxford, poplin, and flannel. They’re typical, all-cotton shirting fabrics in simple bold designs with checks and stripes. Fabrics such as denim (the lighter kind used for denim shirts), but also more traditional fabrics such as sateen were added later. 

“Unfortunately, I tend to see the 5 percent that’s wrong instead of the 95 percent that is good.  This trait is both a strength and a weakness.”

Kristina on one of her challenges as a leader.

What was your biggest challenge in the last 25 years as an entrepreneur and founder?

I would say having enough time to do all that I want to do. It is one of my biggest challenges. The other challenge I face is not really as an entrepreneur but as a leader. I am a person who wants things to be 100% right. So, unfortunately, I tend to see the 5 percent that’s wrong instead of the 95 percent that is good.  This trait is both a strength and a weakness. The strength is that you always have a goal or a standard. That is important because you have to do things properly to get ahead.  But sometimes, 95 percent is enough because it’s better to do things than to not do them. However, I do have to work on my tendency of noticing the 5 percent. That's just how I am in private as well. There's no difference in how I am in private and at work. I do know the importance of acknowledging the good parts of a not-so-perfect project when someone has put their whole soul into it. I just have to work on being consistent with that.

You've previously said our poplin bedding is your favorite but is there any other product that has a special place in your heart?

 If I have to choose something from fashion, I’d say there are 2 products I really love. The Raven jacket, which we have almost every season, is perfect. It is the perfect garment because you can wear it anytime and almost anywhere without it being a faux pas. I also love or cotton-cashmere material that we use a lot in making our fine knit products. It is fantastic because it holds up in every way, and it is so easy to develop when making the different models that we have. We have many great materials that we’ve created throughout the years. I’m a sucker for high-quality materials.

Part two of this interview will be coming soon. Make sure to sign up for our newsletter if you don't want to miss it.