Bette Sonja Klarborg Elf - 35th Anniversary
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- Danish Design Since 1986
She’s a creative elf with a mind full of ideas. She’s always up to something and happy to share her ideas with others and lend a helping hand. A jack-of-all-trades who loves drawing, painting, modelling, and can create something out of anything.
In memory of my mother.
The jack-of-all-trades Sonja.
My mother Sonja was an adventurous soul and very creative from a young age. When she was a little girl, her family knew her for being quick on her toes and scared of nothing. She was here, there and everywhere! She wasn’t scared of heights, climbing up the fence and onto the roof when she wanted some alone time. There she would sit, dreaming up creative thoughts and ideas.
My mother was one of 9 siblings, all of whom were creative in their own special ways. Money was tight, so when they had crayons bought for them, my grandfather would saw them into two pieces to make two crayons out of one.
During the dark winter months, they would draw lots of pictures and busy themselves with creative pursuits around the large table in the living room. My mother would often talk about these cozy times and Christmas memories. They would make their own Christmas decorations for the tree, funny cut-out elves and Christmas decorations ‒ creating Christmas traditions that are carried on by later generations of the Klarborg family today.
In my mother’s childhood home, Christmas was always special and full of joy and coziness. Many of these cozy moments and traditions have been passed on to me by my mother, and I will be forever grateful to her for this.
For me, Christmas just isn’t Christmas without traditions and coziness. This is what binds the family together from generation to generation. Without my mother’s cozy Christmas traditions and all of her magical stories about the little Christmas elves, I wouldn’t have the vivid imagination to make my own elves.
She taught me to be creative and gave me a magical childhood full of imagination, which has proven to be worth its weight in gold for me today. I can therefore thank my mother for the fact that I now do what I love most in the world, which is making elves and being creative every day. I miss her every single day, as we always did lots of things together.
She was a creative person with a zest for life, plenty of ideas and a flair for creativity until the very end. Thank you, mom, I miss you – we all do.
Kind regards, Etly
About the designer
About the designer Etly Klarborg
Artist Etly Klarborg loved elfs and their significance in Danish folklore long before she started her company in 1986. She grew up with a vibrant imagination and created her first elf at just 4 years old, crafting it from mud while playing outside. The creatures helped connect her with her own mother, a storyteller whose personality shone bright.
It is the childlike quality of the elfs that have endured for all these years. When her oldest son, Martin, was young, he would play in his pajamas, his small belly popping out. So, too, then, did Martin the elf’s midsection.