Q&A: Blästa Henriët

Combining Scandinavian design with natural remedies, Blästa Henriët is our new favourite lifestyle brand on the market. The small business is based in London where they produce traditional ‘wheat packs’ using natural, sustainably sourced and raw materials. Founder Lo Blästa was inspired by her upbringing in Sweden to create the brand, designing and illustrating the bags herself, and so we sat down with her to discuss her love for linen and the inspiration behind this beautiful collection.

It is commonly thought that Sweden and The Netherlands are two of the happiest and healthiest countries in the world. With a dual heritage from both, what motivated you to move to London instead?

That’s true, and it’s almost tangible when you go to either country. There’s an openness and laid-backness which I really like and I feel very lucky to have been brought up there. I have always moved around a lot though, and I was drawn to London because of its rich culture and arts. I have an inquisitive personality and living in London means that there’s always a new experience waiting, I love that. I feel a connection to this city that I haven’t experienced elsewhere, it’s a sense of community on a massive scale.

How did you start your career in textile printing?

My grandfather experimented with printing and made batik clothing in the 60’s and 70’s. He began importing silk from China and started a textile business with my dad in the late 80’s. I was largely brought up around dads cutting table and developed an early fascination for the materials. I went on to study textile design in Uppsala and Malmö, where I discovered screen printing. I fell in love with the craftsmanship, the skill and attention to detail. I then set up my own workshop in my mums barn-turned -studio in the north of Sweden. It was quite basic with old brooder lamps installed in a wardrobe to create a dark room, but I loved the freedom of it. I started printing there every summer when I went home to spend time with family. Back in London I eventually pursued printing professionally and went on to start my own business.

What is a ‘Vetekudde’ and why is this such an important item for you?

‘Vetekudde’ is Swedish for ‘Wheat Pillow’, or ‘Wheat Bag’. It’s a natural hot & cold pack, traditionally made from pure linen with a wheat grain filling. The wheat bag is designed to reach all the way around the neck and other parts of the body to soothe tense muscles or cramping. Along with most Swedes, I prefer a wheat bag over a hot water bottle any day, as it comes with various therapeutic uses and goes beyond just providing comforting warmth. I didn’t expect the wheat bag to become such a big part of my life, but I’m so glad it did. I often get customers who suffer from endometriosis, arthritis or lower back pain. The best part of my job is when they tell me that my product has made their life easier.

How did you turn this small project into a business?

I made my first wheat bag as a DIY project to treat my sore shoulder. With Scandinavian culture having a boom with the art of ‘hygge’ I thought people might like the idea of a Swedish wheat bag; unscented, made from plain linen and pure wheat. I designed a small collection and presented it to a handful of independent stores around London, and we secured our first stockists. Since then we’ve grown little by little whilst maintaining our original approach of Natural, Therapeutic and Made to last.

Do you have any other natural remedies you have taken from your Swedish upbringing?

I was born into a largely self-sufficient household. My parents had a little cottage in the countryside where they baked their own bread, brewed beer and made sauerkraut. I have early memories of oil infused garlic to treat ear infections, St. John’s Wort oil for bruised legs and daily doses of cod liver oil. For me, drinking plenty of water is important. Headaches, fatigue and sudden hunger can be signs of dehydration and I think most people struggle to reach their standard 2 litres a day. Also, to be typically Swedish - a skinny dip in an ice-cold lake followed by a wood fired sauna is a natural remedy I highly recommend!

Alongside functionality, why is aesthetics and design such a core part of Blästa Henriët?

A useful object that is pleasing to look at gets me excited. Durability and quality is extremely important to me, I always do my research and look at the materials before making a purchase. I don’t really buy anything for my own home unless it can withstand the test of time, and it has to look good to catch my eye in the first place! To combine quality materials and craftsmanship with understated design to create something beautiful and timeless almost feels like a Scandinavian cliché, but it’s hard to beat.

How do you ensure your products are made as ethically as possible and why is this important to you?

We manufacture everything in Britain and maintain a short supply chain, this means we can easily oversee production and at the same time minimise our carbon footprint. We are careful of whom we choose to work with and always get to know our suppliers. The materials we use are all raw or natural, and certified free from chemicals and harmful dyes. We work with European linen flax, which requires no irrigation or pesticides and very little water to grow. The process of producing linen fabric is naturally very sustainable. I think it’s important to think about the source of what you choose to buy, find out more about the materials used and how it’s made. I feel a responsibility as a manufacturer to do what I can to ensure fair working conditions and to limit our impact on the environment.

Do you have any other products in the pipeline you can tease us with?

Yes! There will be new additions to our collection soon, with focus on wellness and spa wear - linen will feature heavily of course. Each product has to be developed over time and with care, to ensure we absolutely love it before adding it to our range. I’m very excited about the items we have in store for you!

You can browse the Blästa Henriët collection here.

Featured image by Sarah Hood.

Word by Phoebe Grace Ede.

Share this:

More From The Journal

  1. Plastic-Free Periods

    ​As more and more alternative period products become available, we chat to four real women to hear their experiences transitioning from conventional feminine care to more sustainable and healthy options.

    More +
  2. The Glasshouse Guide to Beauty Recycling

    The rules around recycling can be difficult to decipher most of the time, but recycling our beauty products seems to be an even more confusing area. In celebration of Zero Waste Week, we’ve put together the definitive guide to reusing, recycling, and refilling our bathroom waste.

    More +
  3. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Virgo

    As the summer starts winding down, we’re entering into Virgo season. Practical and humble, we find out more about Virgo’s traits as we continue our Astrology series with Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer.

    More +
  4. Work with us at Glasshouse Salon

    Fancy being a part of our close-knit Glasshouse team? We are looking for a talented Hair Stylist to come onboard.

    More +
  5. Beauty Trend: Orange

    Bold and zesty, orange makeup is having a moment this summer. Whether you’re up for experimenting or are a little more reserved, we’ve got some tips on how to wear the shade in a way that suits you with the help of our in-house makeup artist Emily.

    More +
  6. Amber Rowan by Thea Lovstad

    Despite diversity being more visible than ever, we still wrap a lot of our identity up in our hair. Model and actress Amber Rowan has suffered from alopecia from the age of 15, sharing her journey and the stories of others on her platform, Hair Free Life. We spent a morning with Amber and photographer Thea Lovstad, leaving feeling inspired by what she has to say and her unique beauty.

    More +
  7. Reads: Moon Lists by Leigh Patterson

    ​With a focus on reflection and perspective, Moon Lists is a new workbook from Leigh Patterson designed to guide readers through a series of prompts, lists and questions for a life experienced more deeply. We sat down with Leigh to gain some more insight about the concept and how it relates to self-care.

    More +
  8. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Leo

    As we enter Leo season, friend of Glasshouse Daliah Roth, aka The Highgate Astrologer, joins us once again to share an in depth analysis of the fiery sun sign and the Leo qualities you might see in yourself or others.

    More +
  9. Summer Beauty SOS

    From oily skin to frizzy hair, the warm summer weather can throw a few different beauty issues our way. We’ve put together a handy guide to dealing with some of the biggest bug-bears of the season so that you can enjoy your summer stress-free.

    More +
  10. Circular Beauty: Part One

    Circular beauty is the beauty trend we hope never goes out of fashion. In part one of this series, we look at how food waste is finding a new home in our skin and hair care.

    More +
  11. Think Piece: Beauty Fasting

    The beauty industry is bigger than ever. But what does that mean for the environment? And what are our overcomplicated regimes doing for our skin? We delve into the world of ‘Beauty Fasting’ to see if there’s any worth in cutting things down and giving our skin, the planet and our wallet a break.

    More +
  12. Minimal Makeup with Maximum Impact

    As things heat up this summer, we’re favouring minimal makeup with maximum impact. From a bold lip to blush-flushed cheeks, this is a simple concept that places the focus on the skin paired with a punchy summer makeup look of your choice.

    More +
  13. Astrology with Daliah Roth: Cancer

    In the second instalment of our Astrology series with Daliah Roth, The Highgate Astrologer, Daliah talks us through the qualities and attributes of the Cancerian. Nurturing, emotional and perhaps prone to grasping onto things and people, find out how much you identify with the sign and what it could mean for you.

    More +
  14. Q&A: Jessica Tremp

    ​Australian-based photographer Jessica Tremp has captivated us with intimate portrayal of nature, sculpture, motherhood and everything in between. We caught up with her to find out more.

    More +
  15. Rituals: Eminé Rushton

    Having left her 9-5 for a slower way of life, writer and therapist Eminé Rushton speaks to Glasshouse on her new lifestyle rooted in Ayurveda and the rituals she has to keep her life balanced from early morning meditation to picking herbs in her garden.

    More +
  16. An Ode To The Ocean

    ​This World Oceans Day, we’re celebrating everything that the sea has to offer, from medicinal breakthroughs to inspirational beauty. With the marine ecosystem under threat from global warming and plastic pollution, we believe it is worth every effort to save our ocean.

    More +
Load more posts