CEO and founder of IA BON and designer at RS Sports
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS WITH JENNI SÖDERLING
We have met the entrepreneur Jenni Söderling - from golf professionals to CEO and founder of her own brand IA BON.
Tells us a little bit about your company.
IABON was founded in 2013 by me and my friend Josephine when we were both at home taking care of our little babies. When we were going on vacation with our families we wanted to buy UV suits for our daughters Olivia and Bonnie and realized they were very difficult to find. The once we did find had large colorful prints all over and was made out of an uncomfortable polyester material that we didn’t want our little girls to wear. But since there were no other options we didn’t have a choice. This gave us the idea to start our own brand of UV protective swimwear for children and IABON was founded.
We found a fantastic Italian fabric that was free from chemicals and the UV protection is created from the density of the threads. Then we found a great factory in Slovenia that make most of our clothes today, the remaining swimwear are made in Portugal. Shortly thereafter we created a product that became a bestseller on its own. A simple hair tie with a bow, that is cute to wear on the wrist and also very comfortable to wear in your hair. This past year I have also worked alongside my husband with designing a sports collection with focus on tennis and padel for RS Sports.
When did you start playing golf?
I started playing golf as a little girl, since all my relatives on my mother’s side plays golf. I received my green card when I was seven years old and spent every day during the summer break at Lyckorna GK in Ljungskile. I played 36 holes a day and had putting competitions for an ice cream on the putting green with my friends. The golf course was my second home.
What has the game of golf meant to you as a woman?
The game of golf has meant a lot to me. It taught me at an early age that you have to work hard and practice a lot to get results which is a lesson I have carried with me in life. Since golf is something I am really good at I always feel at home and confident on a golf course, it doesn’t matter where I am in the world.
After high school, I moved to the USA and started playing college golf. The years in the US has meant a lot to me even though it was a difficult time since I put a lot of pressure on myself. I am very grateful for the experience I gained and it is something I will carry with me all my life.
How has these past years been like for you on the golf course?
I haven’t really played much golf since I finished college, which is 15 years ago(!). I was tired of golf after college and haven’t really felt like playing again until last year. My daughter Olivia who is 8 years old received her green card at the end of last summer, and my sun Fred that is about to turn six also loves to play. So far, I have only been practicing on the range, but I am longing to go out and play on the course with my daughter.
What are some of your best golf tips?
My best advice to someone who is a beginner is to play a lot. It is very difficult to learn a new sport if you only practice one hour per week. Go all in at first, then it will become fun so much faster. To someone that plays golf regularly, my advice is not to bring any swing thoughts on to the course. It is much better if you bring a feeling instead (I often think of my backswing as a bow that you load up and then release). If I am on the course I bring that thought instead of which position the club needs to be in, that only complicate things.
Sometimes you just have to trust that your body knows what to do. I never play my best golf when I start analyzing my swing on the golf course. The best and of most obvious tip is to focus on where you want the ball to land. Pick a mark on the course where you want the ball the land and focus on that.
What sports do like besides golf?
I like to play tennis. An hour on the tennis court just flies by, and without realizing it I have been running laps for an hour, because it is so much fun.
If you could choose any course in the world which one would you like to play?
I have always dreamt of playing Augusta. And if I ever get the chance that would be a dream come true.
Your favorite Daily Sports item?
I really like Mia wind jacket – both the short and in long sleeved one. The light weight material makes them wonderful to swing in. I also feel very comfortable in my Magic-skort.