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- Sunniva Visnes Lia & Lejla Gashi, bar owners

Denim for life

Instagram usernames: @discosunniva & @lejmonade

Sunniva and Lejla owns a bar in Oslo. We met the couple at their apartment in Oslo for a chat about their life and style.

 

Can you tell us about your bar and how everything started?

 

Lejla:

–      Well, for me it started with a part time job. I was working as a bartender, and two months later I became bar manager. Then I started my own company and took over a location. That was about two years ago, in 2019.

Sunniva:

–      And then the whole covid19 thing happened, and we had to shut down the bar. We still own the company, but we had to remove it from the venue. Now it’s put on ice until we can open again.

 

How was it, working together?

 

Both:

–      It was really fun!

Sunniva:

–      Yeah, we really like working together because our roles were very clear. She was the manager, and I was the more “hands on” person in the bar. So, she was the one running around fixing problems, and I was the one making all the drinks. We didn’t have the money to hire more bartenders, so we were working at the bar fourteen hours a day. We did all the tasks.

Lejla:

–      We had to run around and fix everything ourselves. That was really fun, I miss it a lot.

What does owning a bar mean to you?

 

Sunniva:

–      I think the bar became kind of like a playground, because neither of us have experienced owning something and being able to do what we want.

Lejla:

–      We learned every step of the way, like, “what do we do now? How do we do it?”, and we put our heads together and tried to come up with solutions.

Sunniva:

–      It basically became our home. It was really important to us. Everything had to be perfect. We’re both perfectionists. But yeah, it was fun to have that playground where we could paint anything we wanted or hire any artist we wanted and only play the music we like. And sell the beers that we like, the drinks that we like. We made our own drinks, and it was a very creative environment.

 

Describe a day in your everyday life

 

Sunniva:

–      This period we are in right now, for most people it has been very detrimental to them. They lose their jobs and earn less, but Lejla and I, we have never been more stable in our lives! We were forced to get normal jobs and live a normal life.

Lejla:

–      And because of the restrictions we can’t go out, we can’t do anything, so we save a lot of money. It’s a normal life. A bit boring because we like stress, and we like to run around and have a lot to do.

Sunniva:

–      It’s not the pace we are comfortable living in. But it’s just for a little period of time.

 

Where do you find inspiration?

 

Sunniva:

–      Well, I find a lot of inspiration in you, Lejla. She is like a fountain of ideas. Sometimes I have to stop her because it’s too much. 90 percent of her ideas are really good, but some of them are kind of unpractical. And you want to do everything in a very short amount of time.

Lejla:

–      I take inspirations from movies and Instagram.

Sunniva:

–      I feel like the ideas just pop into your head. You suddenly come up with this great idea.

Lejla:

–      Yeah, but that’s after I’ve been swiping or watching a movie. For example, when I had watched The Great Gatsby, I wanted to host parties like that. That’s my goal. To do that someday.

Sunniva:

–      So, you get your inspiration from movies and music and art, and I get my inspiration from you looking at movies and such.

 

How would you describe your style?

 

Lejla:

–      I’m not much of a fashionista, so I just let Sunniva pick and choose.

Sunniva:

–      Yeah, but you love clothes!

Lejla:

–      I love clothes, I just don’t know how to put them together.

Sunniva:

–      You take a long time shopping and choosing stuff. You’re like “I want to buy an outfit that looks like this”, and then you come home with something totally different.

Lejla:

–      But that’s the thing when you have a head that’s full of ideas. You can go out and have a clear thought about what you want, but then you get so much inspiration from looking at everything around you, and you just end up doing something else.

Sunniva:

–      I think your style has a little bit of everything. You like sophisticated, simple and earthy tones. My style has always been more masculine. I have a very feminine face and body, so I have this need to balance it out with my style. I’ll usually wear baggy clothes; hoodies, sweat shirts, the short hair. I try to balance it out. I like the androgynous look.

 

 

 What’s your favorite piece of denim?

Both:

–      Jeans! Definitely jeans.

Lejla:

–      I have a pretty simple style, so a pair of jeans and a sweat shirt is my go-to.

Sunniva:

–      Yeah, for everyday when you’re going to work and everything. I love baggy jeans! Like, really baggy. If I don’t wear a belt they fall off.

 

What is the key item of your wardrobe?

 

Lejla:

–      For me, it’s jackets. I freeze a lot, so I have to have a cool jacket that pull the look together.

Sunniva:

–      For me, it’s headwear. I have a lot of caps, bucket hats and beanies. I probably have like twenty different head garments, for some reason