Meet Sophie Trelles-Tvede
What made you want to start Invisibobble?
Concretely it was three things that came together. First, I was 18 years old at the time, and had just started studying my Bachelor degree at university. I wasn’t quite happy with my degree, and I was thinking about what I could do so that I could use up my spare time with a project that I cared about and was passionate about. Second, it was bothering me (and this was a life-long issue) was that I always got headaches when I tied up my hair from the tension the hair tie created on my scalp.
And lastly, the event that brought it all together: I attended a Bad Taste party hosted at the university campus, which literally meant you had to dress up as ‘bad taste’ as humanly possible. I made a great effort with my clothes and makeup to make it as terrible looking as possible, but then realised I hadn’t done anything with my hair. I was already running a little late to meet my friends, and thought as a last minute fix, I could put the telephone cord from the emergency telephone (yes, it was very old) that I had in my dorm room. I unplugged the cable, put it in my hair, and thought ok this is definitely bad taste enough, and went off to the party.
When I woke up the next morning (with the telephone cord still in my hair!), the first thing I realised was that I didn’t have a headache (even with my hangover) despite having such a large piece in my hair. If a tiny regular hair tie causes so much tension on my scalp and this bulky telephone cord didn’t, then surely I must be on to something.
So I picked up the phone and called Felix, my boyfriend at the time and my business partner today, and told him about the idea. We basically instantly decided we were up for undergoing this project given we were both at university and were not 100% fulfilled, and really felt we had nothing to lose by trying it. The rest is history 😉
When you were younger what did you want to be?
For a really long time I wanted to be a marine biologist, because I loved wildlife, specifically ocean mammals, and wanted to contribute to the research and preservation of these animals. My life then took a turn when everyone told me that studying marine biology at university was too niche so I switched to studying business. I guess in the end it wasn’t such a bad decision.
What has been your favourite brand moment to date?
Probably the first time Felix and I saw someone wearing an invisibobble. It was in a park in Munich, and we walked behind her doing a little victory dance. People looked at us as if a screw had gone lose in our heads, and the girl herself never noticed. We were ecstatic though.
What is your favourite aspect of the concept?
Probably its simplicity. It creates this reaction in people of ‘oh, I could have come up with that’, and somehow makes it a very approachable brand and product for people.
Who is the favourite person you have worked with?
I would probably have to say Felix. He has been there from the very beginning and we know and understand each other so well. Sometimes he’s a massive pain and really gets on my nerves… but it just means he is challenging me to deliver the best possible results for the brand.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
It’s better to have tried and failed, than to not have tried at all. And I really live by this, both in my professional and in my private life. I don’t want to leave this world with any regrets or any ‘could have’s or ‘should have’s. Worst case if something doesn’t work out, you learned from it, and you try again.
Who is your ultimate business inspiration?
Definitely Richard Branson. He has this amazing mindset of just getting shit done. For him there are no limitations, which you can see in his unconventional business model of both having a drinks label, but also having a space project to send regular people to outer space.
What trend do you predict will be the biggest in 2020?
Other than hygiene products, more statement hair accessories such as giant scrunchies or really cool head bands 😉
What are 3 words to describe yourself?
Direct, creative, aaaand a little chaotic.
What are 3 words to describe your brand?
Innovative, stylish, solution-oriented.
What is the secret to success?
Keep moving. Keep doing. Don’t stop. And of course: believe in what you do.
What advice would you give to future female generations?
Be unapologetically you, resilient and fearless. Be okay with making mistakes as they help you understand things differently and grow. Surround yourself with the right people as it opens you to be able to feel like you can do anything, which you can.
What motivates you?
Knowing that I have created a product which people use around the world on a daily basis and that it makes their everyday a little better.
Which 3 people would make up your dream dinner party?
What are you grateful for?
So many things, but mostly for having a family and friends network that I can fall back on and rely on. Second in line, and also super important, that I have the privilege to spend so much of my time working on something I truly believe in and really enjoy doing.
What is one thing everyone should do?
If you have an idea, execute on it now, before you have other obligations/excuses/issues that get in the way. Not only that, but if your idea is good, then someone will do it at some point, so rather have it be you, and have it be now 😉.
What are you reading right now?
The printed version of my first book I ever launched, which is about the story of invisibobble: 100 Million hair ties and a Vodka Tonic
What is your spirit animal?
In my private life, probably a dog, because I love being fed and walked haha!
What are you most unapologetic for?
For spending my university days travelling around the world and presenting invisibobble to hairdressers and retailers, rather than attending my lectures and seminars.
What is the best thing about having your own business?
What is the hardest thing about having your own business?
What is something you’re currently working on?
Supporting the launch of my book, so that as many young people as possible get access to it and it hopefully inspires them in their professional life.
What will your brand look like in 10 years time?
Hopefully just as cute, emotional and loving as it is today, but on a much wider scale so it is available to everyone who loves and appreciates our brand.