This time we present you with an interview with Nikolaj Valentin, co-owner of the fine men’s clothing store, S.T VALENTIN, that we have written about in our Aarhus Finest. He is a hardworking and passionate man, which is a great inspiration to us.
Who is Nikolaj Valentin?
I would love to say that I’m a young dedicated entrepreneur, but since I’m turning 30 this year, you can skip ‘young’.
I’m the co-owner of S.T. VALENTIN, which is a little fashion company based in Aarhus. 7 years ago I started a leather bags- and accessories brand with my partner in crime, Steffen Larsen. Today we own a men’s clothing store, an Online-store and a clothing agency.
What drives you?
People who are capable of making their own business have always inspired and driven me. Both of my grandfathers started their own business in an early age, and even though I have heard their stories hundreds of times, I can never get enough of it. I have always looked up to them and I really respect people who have the courage to start something from the bottom.
I love to create new projects and be able to see ideas from an early stage develop into a real concept. Passion and dedication are some of the most important keywords for me.
What is your biggest dream in life, and has it ever changed?
I have a lot of dreams but the most important is that my life makes sense both personally and businesswise. I have worked about 70 hours every week the last 7 years and I have achieved a lot of my dreams so far. If you had told me 7 years ago where I would be today, I’m pretty sure that I would have been more than satisfied.
But every time I achieve a goal, I’m already focused on the next one. It has always been like that.
It’s important to be happy and we can easily agree that money can’t by happiness. But on the other hand I’m not satisfied living an average life, with an average job. I don’t need to be a billionaire but it’s definitely a goal to become financially independent.
Have you always been into fashion?
As long as I can remember I have been fascinated by fashion. I grew up in a small city called Svendborg, where there was this little unique clothing store called ‘Garderoben’. They handpicked some of the best upcoming brands, and the owner was a goddamn cool cat! My friends and I couldn’t afford half of the brands he was selling, but it didn’t matter to him. He was always kind and he always took the time to tell us a story or two about the brands.
At that time I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do with my life, but some of my passion for the fashion industry definitely started back then.
How would you describe your style?
Until times are brighter, I’m the man in black. Johnny Cash said it and I agree most of the time. I love my black jeans, my black leather boots, a loose tee and my leather jacket. I have a shop full of nice items but I feel most comfortable in the dark rock’n’roll look.
Where do you see yourself in a year?
We have some really exciting co-labs on the table, and we are also looking into expanding our concept store to other cities.
If only there were more hours in the day…