Is a model for Boob Fall/Winter 2018 and provides tips on homemade organic skincare and other life hacks on Instagram @chilibendt.
Tell us a bit about your journey and how you came to be the person you are today.
I grew up just outside Stockholm living with my mom and sister. I was a surprise – my big brother had already moved away from home when I came into the picture. Maybe I did not have the best conditions and resources, but I think my constant search for more, and my creativity, gave me the tools to become the person I am today.
I have always been interested in fashion design and music and I studied textile design in high school. After graduation was my focus was on partying. During that time I started to DJ and arrange clubs around Stockholm. In that way I created a large network of contacts in the fashion, club and music industry. I kept testing myself further and went where the path led. Sometimes that meant working as a cleaner on Viking Line’s ships and sometimes it meant being a PR manager at a hip fashion company. I’ve never had a plan but instead have strived to do things I think are fun at the time. Right now, after a little maturity and experience, I am the PR & Community Manager at A house Stockholm, a meeting place for creative companies in food, fashion and media. Besides DJing, I am in the middle of launching Bomber Management, a creative management company for female artists in pop and rock.
Who’s in your family?
My husband Gustav and our son who's coming in September. My mom Matilde, my siblings Jocelina, Victor and Johan and all of their children. Gustav's mother, father and brother along with his wife and child.
Chili in maternity top and maternity trousers
What’s most on your mind lately?
Our son. Not a second goes by that I'm not thinking about him and everything we'll do together. Which makes me ... a bit languid. There’s no room for anything else in my brain right now. Maybe that’s what they mean by pregnancy brain?
When are you happiest?
At home in beautiful Gamla Enskede, a suburb of Stockholm. I love being out with people, networking and listening to or playing music, but nothing beats the calm of home. I love being by myself – I’m my own best companion.
How has your pregnancy been so far?
I think I’ve had a fairly common pregnancy so far. I was extremely tired for the first four months, and had a bit of anxiety and nausea. There are so many strange things happening to my body that come as a total surprise, like having nosebleeds every other day. But the biggest surprise is that I've been so harmonious and calm. I have never fought so little or been as in love with my husband as I am now. I hope it lasts after the pregnancy.
Name three things you did not want to be without when you were pregnant.
My wonderful husband who fixes everything, drives me wherever I want to go, lets me choose the food and TV shows, buys everything I'm craving and just is generally supportive and encouraging. It's lovely to be able to do this with him. There are no material things that I feel are necessary right now. I'm glad I have a roof over my head, steady income, a partner, support from loved ones, good healthcare and not too many pregnancy ailments. I could just well as well be living in a place where not everyone receives healthcare, or in a war-torn country that I could be forced to flee from.
What do you hope to pass on to your child?
The openness, creativity and courage to not just follow the mainstream. I hope he inherits his dad’s humility, humor, tolerance and musical talent. But none of that would matter if he did not have empathy for other people.
Chili in red maternity dress
What do you want the world your child grows up in to look like?
Now is really a sad time to have children. There are incomprehensibly tragic things happening in the world. But unfortunately there will always be lunatics in positions of power. A dream world would be a society without conflicts, where everyone has the same opportunities, regardless of how they act, look or what their sexual orientation is. In addition to that, I want our son to know that you do not have to follow the typical template. We will do everything to convey that.
As a person who travels a lot, what places do you look forward to experiencing with your child?
Gustav and I travel to Italy every summer. We start in Rome and then keep traveling and discovering new places in the country. That's something I want to continue doing with our son. We went there on our honeymoon and again when we found out we were going to have a child. Viva Italia!
I know that Gustav has plans to take a road trip around Europe in a VW bus at some point in the future. It was something he did as a child and wants to carry on with our family. I have family in Cape Verde and my sister and I share a small apartment on the back of our mother's house there. That's where I want to spend my winters with my whole family. Cape Verde is beautiful but rugged and poor. I want our son to experience that world and culture, to get an understanding of what the world looks like and where his family is from.
You are a DJ and music lover. What songs do you or will you play for your child?
In addition to the music I choose to listen to myself, I listen to music Gustav sings in. I have this idea that it calms our son and that he will recognize Gustav’s voice. Then, during my maternity leave, my goal is to listen to our entire vinyl collection on a couple of thousand discs, so very early on he’ll hear everything from punk and Afro-rock to Swedish Progg, synth, blues, pop and reggae.
Chili in grey maternity t-shirt and black maternity trousers.
What are your thoughts on style and clothes now that you’re pregnant?
I’m interested in fashion and I like to express myself through clothing, but I think it’s a challenge when you’re pregnant. I try to use my regular clothes as much as possible, though not the pants. But most other items work. You can learn to be creative with what you have.
What’s at the top of your wish list?
I'm extremely spoiled. I have everything I need and a little more. But a healthy, safe and happy child who sleeps and eats well would be magical. I also hope that I feel good physically and mentally after childbirth.
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