We had the good fortune of connecting with Malene Blaedel and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Malene, how do you think about risk?
The word risk carries with it a negative connotation. Risk is the possibility of being exposed to danger. The fear of “danger” is what keeps a lot of people from breaking out of their routine and reach for the stars. Maybe you dream of traveling the world for a year, but you are scared of the financial repercussions that may bring, or you are stuck in a bad relationship but are afraid to end up alone. If you don’t take the risk, you will never break free from whatever it is that made you dream of something else in the first place.
For me personally, I believe that taking risks is healthy. I’m not talking about mindlessly throwing your life away to pursue any little passion project that pops up – but being willing to go for what you want if you can imagine a better future on the other side of that risk.
The most recent example of how risk has played a role in my life is my current situation. I quit a great job and steady income in my home country of Denmark to move to the US in the hopes of building my own business here. I spent every last dime of my savings investing in my business and paying for my immigration lawyer – with zero guarantees of success. I moved 5608 miles to a place with no support system and had to start over completely. In life and in my business. If I failed, I would have nothing. That was a huge risk to take – but without it, I would have never made it to where I am today. I live in wonderful Los Angeles, I run my own business, which allows me to choose work that I love to do – and I am learning and growing every single day, personally and professionally, because I took that risk. Big risk = big reward!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As I mentioned, I am from Denmark, and so naturally, I bring my culture with me in pretty much anything I do. I have learned that the combination of Danish/European and American culture is pretty much the perfect mix when it comes to the way I do business.
Throughout my professional life, I have noticed things that I did not like. One thing is how “people” seem to disappear and hide behind a professional persona when they represent their company. I never understood why, and I never liked it. I talk a lot about how important it is for brands to have a personality. It’s what sets them apart, and it’s the one thing that can make their audience relate to them. If they have no personality, nobody will remember them. The same goes for people. Just because you crack a joke in a meeting, or you’re sharing a funny story that happened to you, it doesn’t make you unprofessional or unequipped to do your job. In fact, it makes you more relatable and opens up the room for more honest conversations – which in turn creates better results. So I always stay true to who I am, and I hire people who do the same. It makes for a creative, open, fun, and inspiring work environment – and that’s how we do the great work we do at Blaedel Studios. This has been a bigger challenge than you might think. Many people are very set in their ways and are scared to get out of their comfort zone (which brings me back to your question about risk!)
Another thing that comes from my Danish culture is a “no-nonsense” approach to marketing. Denmark is all about minimalism and order (Danes will wait for the light to turn green before crossing the street, even if nobody is around), and I take those qualities and apply them to my work. The world is packed with noise coming at us from every corner, so I try to get to the point and focus on what is important (for the clients as well as for their customers) – and I take pride in doing it right. No skipping corners!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I LOVE Los Angeles! This city has so many amazing places to go, things to see, and restaurants to visit. A week is not enough, but if I had to prioritize, I’d say that we would start with a beautiful hike. There are so many to choose from, but one of my favorites is Los Liones – the views!! I would also take them to DTLA. I’d visit Grand Central Market and just walk around, taking in the buzz of the city. I’d have drinks at rooftop bars like Freehand or Mama Shelter, eat at some of my favorite places like Republique, Sugarfish, Bestia, Gjelina, The Butcher The Baker And The Cappuccino Maker, Osteria La Buca, Nobu, Elephante, Destroyer, Margot, etc. (I can keep going). I’d show them around West Hollywood, Culver City– and then of course the beaches. Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, Malibu. We’d also go to the Getty Museum and Griffith Observatory, and we’d hang out at the Grove and the Farmers Market there too.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to give a shoutout to some of the people that believed in me from the beginning, those who have supported me in my journey, and those who have helped shape the person I am today. To mention a few, I’d specifically like to thank my dad, my mom, Stewart Roud, Rainier de Ocampo, Vanessa Amran, my friends and family back in Denmark, my friends here in LA, and of course my clients!