What inspires you? What feeds your soul?
Well, first I have to feed the reindeer otherwise we wouldn’t get off the ground! On a more serious note, the mince pie left near the fireplace is a real motivation because I burn a lot of calories, despite what my wife says, who is very fussy about my diet. Christmas Eve is the moment when I can let go a bit, especially if there’s a little glass of vodka to wash it down with.
Who are your role models?
There are quite a few of us now in the happiness market… I have a lot of respect for the Dalai Lama, for example, he’s always so incredibly calm and composed… his example helps me handle the stress of the Christmas rush. Baby Jesus is great too, even though he does rather rob me of the limelight, so we’ve agreed to position ourselves in different markets – he sticks to the mystical stuff and I take care of the merrier side of things. Cupid tries hard but he makes a mess of things on a regular basis and gets quite a bit of flack…still, it’s the thought that counts! But I’d say my ultimate role model is Spiderman – his costume and agility are awesome; the reindeer are a lovely tradition but they take a heck of a lot of looking after.
What compliment about your work do you like to hear?
Oh Santa, it’s just what I always wanted! It’s perhaps a bit of a cliché but I like to make sure everyone is happy. Plus, my wife doesn’t say it to me so much anymore.
Is there a city or a destination that inspires you or speaks to you?
I spend the whole year in deepest Lapland. I love it because it’s very peaceful but it’s cold enough to freeze the ears off a sled dog! I must admit I fell in love with Los Angeles; as you know, I’m quite strict about keeping my identity secret, but it’s cool over there because I can mingle with the Hells Angels, this band of big guys with beards who kindly taught me to ride a motorbike.
How would you describe your approach to life?
I work hard – it keeps me in shape! My job combines psychology, designing innovative toys and a command of logistics because everything has to be delivered in 194 countries in 24 hours. So I’m quite disciplined all through the year: Tai Chi with the elves every morning, a 100% Lapp diet (fish and root vegetables, the occasional handful of cloudberries).
What project are you most proud of? Or one that you would love to have done or would like to do in the future?
I would really like to have been able to do the Coca-Cola campaign but back then it was more difficult to reach me than it is now. They had to use a lookalike double who worked in some little shopping centre. I had to review my entire wardrobe – I used to wear green at the time, not red. My elves had to work like crazy to make sure things went smoothly the following year.
What’s your favourite toy?
I have a great passion for petanque but unfortunately it’s difficult to play it in the snow and I’m always losing the jack. The reindeer play really well now, they’ve improved their spin work and we have some good matches. The elves don’t play with us anymore because they were cheating too much.
What’s the biggest challenge you have faced or have yet to face?
Delivering gifts to everyone in the world in 24 hours year in year out is a huge challenge. Many are still trying to do it without success. LE GRAMME for example would like to copy me but they are still wet behind the ears.
Do you have a ritual in your work?
I rap a lot! (I know, I know, it’s a corny joke but my wife laughs every time.)
Do you have a favourite place where you go a lot?
I opened my own Ice Bar right under the aurora borealis. You’ll find me there at the end of the working day.
What’s your favourite object? How much does it weigh?
I always have my Sophie giraffe in my pocket. It weighs 65 grams.
What has weight in your life?
My sack! I can assure you it takes some muscle – and a team of reindeer – to carry it!
Which LE GRAMME objects do you own? How do you wear them?
I have a few bracelets: the 41g brushed, the 21g polished, the 23g horizontal polished guilloché and the 27g punched polished (my latest – I couldn’t resist!). I wear them all at once, it amuses me, it makes a noise like the elves’ bells – they’re so jealous.
If LE GRAMME were a toy, what would it be?
An elementary shape, something simple – a hula hoop! I’m very good at hula hooping.
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