"I found out that I could use colors to stimulate my senses and improve my mood.”
- Cathrine de Lichtenberg
Cathrine de Lichtenberg lives and works in Copenhagen. She has a Master from Copenhagen Business School, but has since she was diagnosed with PTSD 6 years ago, been on a colorful journey to find her way back in life (and business).
Today she is Head of Design and co-founder of MarmoMarmo.
Small Squares of Freedom
During my sick leave with PTSD, I used colors to change focus and find inner peace in the constant turmoil I felt in my mind and body. It became therapeutic for me to create small still lifes, rearrange my home or repaint, to create a space where I felt comfortable for a little while.
The first two years I was very burdened and found it difficult to do anything but attend my trauma therapy. It was incredibly lonely, because I didn’t have the energy to socialize and generally, I slept a lot, without ever feeling thoroughly rested. It felt a bit like being in a bubble, where I was neither glad nor sad, I just was.
I found out that I could use colors to stimulate my senses and improve my mood. A snapshot in time, which I then documented and posted on Instagram. That is how my path into a new industry began. Small squares of freedom from agitation and, over time, a feed that I could return to when I felt that everything became too grey and meaningless.
My Instagram profile became my ticket into a new industry and a way for me to create a job for myself that allowed me to work at my own pace, while also providing me with the energy I needed to be a wife, friend, daughter, sister and so on.
At the same time I worked for Poppykalas, (Red: Thilde Marie Christensen, founder of Poppykalas) colorful world of flowers, where I had the opportunity to combine this newly discovered side of myself with my educational background.
It was incredible for me to come to a place where I could both physically use my hands and be in direct contact with our product, and at the same time also use my education to help her develop her business further. I am eternally grateful to Thilde for seeing the value in me, when I was most defeated. It is big, really big, to be seen and supported by a stranger, when you’re feeling bad.
I want my pictures to be a source of positive energy and the purpose of my IG profile is to preserve and share that energy. That is also my way of maintaining my love for our home, by finding small areas and nooks that make me happy. I need that, after so many years where I have constantly felt like “running away".
Flowers and fruits are such a big inspiration to me, and they exist in almost any color imaginable. I use them to play with new color combinations and explore how they come together in different settings.
Favourite colors ?
We all have ‘go to’ colours that we know always work for us and that we never get tired of, and then we have colours we would never choose. And that’s a shame, because all colors are beautiful in the right setup.
I always loved colors back in school and wore some aggressive thematic outfits with, for example, a pink or neon green scarf, hair clip, belt, bag and socks.
In high school it was just an easier choice to look like everybody else, so I put it behind me a bit. It only fully returned during my sick leave.
Colors create different energies in our home. Some rooms have soft, calming colors.
The kitchen has more energy, because that’s where we gather, have guests, etc. Every color is a beauty in its element. I have worked and played intensely with colors in the past couple of years, but I always return to Blue.
Blue is my great love.
The birth of my daughter went very badly and gave me a near-death experience. Luckily I had a huge toolbox, to deal with trauma, which I started using just days after Leonora’s birth. This made me recover quickly and I felt extremely strong, being able to get back up and be a good mother for my daughter, while keeping my PTSD stable.
This motivated me to challenge myself again. After so many years of illness, I had become afraid that something would happen that could trigger my PTSD, but when I discovered that not even a traumatic experience could unsettle me, I knew it was time to do what I dreamt about… to start something that was my own.
I had a range of ideas, but in the process, I spoke with two old friends, who had started brainstorming about MarmoMarmo. The energy was good, we complement each other's skills and, most importantly, we all dreamt of creating something that we could pour our love of design, technology and good craftsmanship into.
With MarmoMarmo we hope to create products that are comtemporary, but always timeless. Like flowers, marble is created by nature. All pieces are unique and beautiful in their own way. My hope is that people who owns a MarmoMarmo, will cherish it because it gives them a daily joy.
Cathrine is wearing
From top of article:
Hedvig Sister Blouse (pre-order), Iben Corduroy Waistcoat, Magda Night Trousers.
Norma Cherry Blazer, Bea Dress.
Bille White Dress.
Tonia Crochet Bag.
Franka Long Shirt (pre-order), Martha Snow White Waistcoat, Anna Camel Trousers.
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Photography by Petra Kleis / www.petrakleis.com