Karen Davis interviews a young entrepreneurial couple in love, who live in Bali.
Crille, tell us a bit about yourself.
Crille: My dad is Swedish and my mum is from Portugal. From the time I was 15 until 25, music was my thing; I mostly played guitar and sang, but I can play just about any instrument and write my own music. I created a clothing brand which did well; we had over 25 accounts in Sweden alone. Then I got into TV production and reality TV shows, working on Survivor.
Do you have any Survivor stories you can share with us?
Crille: This was Survivor for Norway, Denmark, the Netherlands and Sweden. Things happened; a guy had a stroke, in Malaysia two guys were in a tent and a tree fell on a guy and killed him. I had to sit with the corpse for four hours until the police finally came to deal with it! I never questioned my sanity as much as during these shows, during rainy season. I’d see burn marks on the ground from where lightening struck! The conditions on these small little islands in the middle of nowhere were really hard.
But what I’ve done most is menswear marketing and events. I still represent Rhythm, which can be found at Drifter shops. I’m a surfer and started photographing just a year ago, but my main gig is representing Rhythm.
And what’s your background, Milu?
Milu: I help Crille with management and he helps me with promotion. We make a good balance business-wise. I actually come from a very different professional background; I studied Spiritual Anthropology. It is more about Shamanism; how young westerners are hijacking old spiritual paths because in our capitalist system we lack ritual and meaning in our lives, and need that sense of belonging and fulfilment. I studied tribes in Venezuela and in Kenya. My main job was working at a children’s charity, in disaster relief and child slave labour. I was never in the fashion field!
Milu, how did you go from working for children’s charities to fashion?
I spent two years very ill with an undiagnosed but serious sickness. I was bedridden and did spiritual healing. I realized the work I had been doing took a lot of my energy, so I started making things, like boots! It really took off when I put them on Instagram! The boots are made in Bali and I sell internationally. Crille and I have started a public relations firm, where I manage the online media and he does the content creation.
How did you two meet?
Last July I read an interview of Crille on a travel blog. It fascinated me; it was about the commodification of nature and being present in nature, creating trades to be able to live in it. This guy who was just an Instagram identity to me, but he seemed too perfect to be real. He followed me on Instagram, and when he friended me on Facebook we started talking. Then we started talking on the phone and fell in love over the phone like such wierdos after 6-8 weeks.
I was coming to Bali, and although my family lives here I wanted to get my own place. It turned out that Crille was going to Europe that time and offered me his room! So I stayed in his room before we even met. This love story became more intimate when I moved in with his stuff all around me.
Crille: I was away shooting a wedding and came back earlier than planned. We met for the first time at the airport!
Milu: I was freaked out! We had already discussed the most intimate areas of our lives. But as soon as we saw each other, it was love!
He walked up to me and gave me the best airport kiss a girl could ever have!
Where are you going in Europe?
Crille: We’re going to my hometown to meet my family. We may go to Morocco and have some adventures. I went to Jordon a while ago and it is one of the best trips I have ever done. It taught me a lot. The people are happy. The Bedouin have heavy and beautiful stories and I got a whole new insight into Islam.
Where’s your favourite surf spot?
Crille: Medewi – it has nice waves and is quiet.
Where is your favourite romantic spot?
Our home! Our bed!
What brought you to Bali?
Milu: I came here to do production after my mum had sourced my product here.
Crille: I was in Malaysia working on Survivor and I randomly came here. Everyone was coming here. I came for a week and I really did not like it! The second time a year later I met my best friend, Made Wick and his beautiful Balinese friends. I got to be good friends with fellow Balinese musicians. I went and played in Jakarta with Superman is Dead for 100,000 people. Made knew everybody and we surfed, laughed, played music. He was my reason for returning.
If you could have whatever you want in Bali, what would it be?
Milu: I would continue to be entrepreneurial, but I just want a nice little home to make babies in. We would like to interlace our success into contributing to Bali, giving back. I have been thinking to go in a new direction, perhaps midwifery.
What are your future plans?
Crille: I’m about to do my own accessory label. I won’t say exactly what it is, but it is adventure accessories. I mainly want to build a family!
What is your advice for finding happiness?
Crille: Stay busy being happy! It is the only way to measure a good life. All you live with is all you die with!
Milu: Live authentically. Happiness is different for everyone. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as it makes you happy!