Posted on Aug 26, 2019
Haute Hijab Staff
You may think about Haute Hijab in terms of the products we sell, our social media presence and everything Melanie does for the business and communities. But, there are so many things happening behind the scenes to help make the front-end stuff (and thereby your HH experience) run as smooth as possible. Our Data Analyst Ingrid Thvedt is one of our back end team members who dives deep into all things, well, data, to look at what it is you are buying, figure out trends and make sure we are doing everything possible to make Haute Hijab a success!
Ingrid has a bit of a reputation around the office of being a little mysterious amidst a bunch of chatty team members! So, admittedly we were pretty excited for her debut in this interview series! Did you know she is a BIG fan of the woods or that she used to work for a foster care agency (where she learned some incredibly important lessons about humanity)? Get to know Ingrid
Ingrid and Winnie the cat!
1. What is your favorite thing to do in your free time?
I spend a lot of time in the woods. We are so divorced from the earth in our modern day-to-day lives, but it's what sustains us. If there was no earth, there would be no humans. Also, it's just nice to be outside surrounded by trees.
2. What are your hobbies? What are your dream hobbies?
I like to go on walks in the woods (see above) as often as possible.
Dream hobby? Probably fermentation. I love kombucha and kimchee. Did you know that sourdough bread is made by mixing flour and water together and then just leaving it out to be colonized by microscopic organisms from the air? Yogurt, pickles, whatever. I want to watch bacteria alter my food at the molecular level. Being that this dream hobby is very achievable, if I haven’t fermented something by the end of the year, an intervention must be staged.
3. What is something you hate doing?
Hate is such a strong word. I don’t like getting shots or having my blood drawn, but I guess if I really hated it I would stop traveling, getting vaccinations and occasionally giving blood. So, no, nothing that I can think of.
4. If you could eat something on an endless loop, what would it be?
Probably a burrito bowl, because it has protein, carbs and veggies. And, tastes good.
5. What feeds your soul/when are you at your happiest/best?
... the woods.
6. Who do you look up to the most and why? (living or dead)
I don’t tend to look down on people, and I don’t tend to look up to people. There are many people with traits I admire, but I wouldn’t call my admiration looking up to them, necessarily. We all have the ability to do great things, and we all have the capacity to fail ourselves and those around us.
I do think very highly of people who just keep trying, even when it seems like success is impossible. I used to work for a foster care agency, and I was amazed at how persistent and hardworking some of those kids were. I met kids (well, teenagers and young adults) who had been failed by their parents, by their circumstances, by the foster care system itself; who didn’t have access to proper resources, who couldn’t afford metrocards or school supplies, who had years worth of knowledge missing due to trauma - but who knew that, deep down, they only had themselves to depend on.
They worked hard to create futures, not only for themselves, but for their younger cousins and siblings. I can’t name names, obviously, for both legal and ethical reasons, but I am so lucky to have had the chance to work with people like that.
7. What is something, if you could go back and change in your life, that you would?
The only use for disappointment is spurring change. I try to take what lessons I can learn from a bad situation, and then I let it go. One regret I had in college is that I did not pay enough attention in high school calculus, but I’m over it.
8. What is your biggest challenge in life?
At the moment, nothing. A few years ago I got really burned out, and that’s something insidious that takes time to get over. But, it’s all good now. If anything, it’s made me really appreciate the invisible work that people do.
9. What is something about you that people would be surprised to know?
If I went around telling everyone surprising things, they wouldn’t be surprised anymore, now would they?
10. What is that big dream thing you want to accomplish in life? Or if not one thing, a few things?
A long-haul backpacking trip. I think it would be cool to spend a few months in the wilderness with limited contact with others. Humans evolved to be alone or live in small groups and not be constantly overloaded with information. I would like to experience true solitude. That being said, I have no experience backpacking, so we’ll see.
Ingrid making a funny face as she and other Haute Hijab team members did a funny task as part of an office scavenger hunt!
11. To the non-Muslims at Haute Hijab is your favorite OR not-so-favorite thing about working at a Muslim-owned company? Or, what is one thing you’ve learned that surprised you about Muslims?
It’s nice to be surrounded by people who devote such a large part of their lives actively trying to better themselves. As an example: there are five prayers a day - that’s five chances to think deeply about who you are and how you can serve those around you. It’s made me a little less lazy when it comes to my own values.
Seeing people reminding themselves about what’s important makes me remember to remind myself about what’s important, and it’s cool that it happens on a daily basis.
12. What does a typical Friday night look like for you?
Food, drink, socializing, date night. Normal Friday night things.
13. What’s the strangest or most fun family tradition you have?
I’ve never been exposed to the traditional Scandinavian dish called lutefisk, which is salted fish that is soaked in lye until it turns into a fish jello. But, the thought of it haunts me. I think that the older generation in my family uses the specter of lye-soaked fish jello to scare children into behaving. Three of my grandparents are Swedish or Norwegian, and eating lutefisk is very much part of our culture, but I’ve always been too scared to try!
14. Cat person or dog person (or some other kind of animal)?
Cat person, definitely.
15. If you were to create a slogan for your life, what would it be and why?
Learn something new every day.