The Creators Inn: A Home away from Home (If you're not Swedish)

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Need a place to stay in Sweden? You might just have one, for free, if your creative intentions are in the right place. Gothenburg-based multi-disciplinary design and communications shop Next Century Modern partnered with Swedish clothing maker Elvine to provide free, short term lodging to folks planning to fulfill their artistic passions in Scandinavia.

In the hopes of promoting the forward thinking and goodwill mindset of the Elvine brand, and establishing fertile ground for creative collaborations, NCM and Elvine have launched a "hotel within a hotel," The Creators Inn by Elvine, a branded suite in Stockholm's Hotel Scandic Malmen, outfitted in stylish trappings and free to artistic souls looking to do creative deeds in Stockholm.

The idea actually started out as a personal project of NCM CEO/co-founder Jesper Larsson. "I had a lot of creative friends visiting me in Gothenburg and I wanted to increase the hospitality level in my apartment and offer my friends more hotel-like services," he says. That coincided with work NCM was doing for Elvine. "We were supposed to present something else, but we presented the idea of Creators Inn instead. We had brainstormed around how a brand could be friendly, and one thing that came up is that friends always offer you a place to stay when you visit their city. We thought it fit perfectly with Elvine's brand values, and so did they."

That resulted in the "Creators Inn" concept. The first prototype of the Inn actually started out in Larsson's apartment. "We had re-decorated as a hotel room. At first it was all about making the apartment and the project look and feel like a hotel chain—hence, the Holiday Inn inspired name and logo with the cheesy crown on top. We created small consumables of soap, shampoo etc., embroidered bathrobes and towels, doormats and printed material with the logo on."

Test subjects were Larsson's friends. "They would try out the room and I would stay in my girlfriend's apartment instead. We used the feedback from those first guests to further develop the project." That experiment led to the finding that "some people wished for more interaction with other creatives." So Elvine opened a capsule hotel at the creative collective LAT in Gothenburg. More recently, the idea evolved into the more recent "hotel within a hotel," in Stockholm. Application for a free stay can be found on the Creators Inn website. The capsule hotel will remain open throughout 2009, while the Stockholm Inn will be available until September 12.

Even the bananas are branded.
Even the bananas are branded.

NCM and Elvine expect the project to go on, however. "The plan is to try and open the first Creators Inn by Elvine outside of Sweden, probably during 2010," says Larsson. "But we still want to continue the project in Gothenburg, since both we and Elvine thinks it's important to first and foremost support you local grounds. But we don't want to rush things. We like to take things a bit slow, in order to keep the oh so important heart and soul in the project."

See more of The Creators Inn here.
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