who are we - II
July 1, 2017
Guðrun Rógvadóttir, Guðrun & Guðrun’s commercial director, is a decisive and confident woman who likes to juggle family life with business meetings halfway across the globe.
Growing up in the capital of the Faroe Islands was wonderful for Guðrun Rógvadóttir. If asked to describe her childhood in one word she would say ‘freedom’. As a child she would run home from school, throw her bag in the hall, call to check if her mum was home and then run back out to play until bedtime. Noone was checking upon her and her playmates or controlling their play, which could be seen as questionable with regards to health and safety when seen through adult eyes. Somehow noone ever got seriously hurt, and instead the playtime memories are of a joyful, carefree time.
The Faroe Islands were a childhood paradise, but Guðrun always had a longing to experience a different world and to make a difference. At the age of 11 she was determined to go to Africa. She learned about African societies in geography class, and saw pictures of hungry children and of volunteers building réservoirs for villages. Her father was an engineer and, in her mind, could build the reservoirs. Guðrun couldn’t understand why they didn’t pack their bags and jump on the first flight. This attitude perfectly encapsulates Guðrun’s drive. –For her, everything is possible and no is often an unnecessary word.
Guðrun made sure she got to travel. At a young age she started working so that she could earn her own money. Her work career started at the age of 12 in a cold and smelly fish shed, and it wasn’t long until she found a new career path. Her salary was spent on two things: Travel and clothes.
Even as a student in Denmark she would jump on a plane to a new exciting location at every opportunity. She even went missing for a couple of weeks while she was backpacking through Asia by herself, blissfully unaware that she was missing.
The dream of making a difference for other people was always on her mind. She worked on EU projects around the world, but the dream of creating something for herself was still haunting her.
She contacted Guðrun Ludvig about the burning sheepskins in 2000 and since then Guðrun & Guðrun has flourished. The project that speaks most to the 11-year-old Guðrun, who was denied a trip to Africa, is the Women’s Empowerment Project and the knitting women in Peru and Jordan.
Today she is juggling family life and business meetings around the world. She lives by location and can completely lose herself in her new environment while her kids are safe at home with their father. But it is hard at times and often she has to be reminded to prioritize differently.
There is a huge contrast between Guðrun’s family life and business life. Relaxing Guðrun can be found in the garden of her home in the Danish countryside, cutting huge branches off the trees around her house. She doesn’t much care for minor details like weeding the garden. She wants to see big results preferably right away, so a chainsaw is more to her taste. Or she can be found in the Faroese mountains with family and friends, either on a horse or camping with the the many children in her extended family.