Jenny Etherington was shocked when she received an email from reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian’s executive assistant. The email explained that Kourtney was a fan of Etherington's high-end handmade children’s swings and wanted to include them as a recommendation in her holiday gift guide.
The gift guide is something Kourtney and her sisters do annually, sharing products they love on their personal apps and websites. Jenny and husband Thomas Mortimer, a cabinetmaker by trade, hand-craft Solvej Swings at their Matiere headquarters, 30-minute drive from Taumarunui in the middle of the North Island, alongside their employees.
A few years ago, the famous mother-of-three purchased two Solvej Swings in ‘merino white’. Jenny noticed the familiar email address and courier address at the time. In the subsequent email approach about the gift guide, Kourtney’s assistant gushed, “She loves these swings!”
“It’s very exciting!” says Jenny. “It’s kind of crazy to think when we are here in small rural Matiere sewing our swings that they may end up in amazing homes in LA, like Kourtney Kardashian’s.”
The day the gift guide went live on Kourtney’s website, the Solvej Swings website experienced a flood of traffic from America – more than 10 times their usual number of site visits. A few of the stores that stock Solvej Swings in America have already ordered more in ‘merino white’ (Kourtney’s choice) in readiness for the extra demand Kourtney’s recommendation may create.
Kourtney’s social media profiles (Instagram, Twitter and Facebook) have a combined reach of 109 million followers. Kourtney has 71m followers on Instagram alone and industry experts estimate she can command around $300,000 for a single Instagram post promoting a product.
Meanwhile, Kourtney is known for her strong stance around supporting ethically produced, eco-friendly products, and the Scandinavian-design Solvej Swings are sustainably made from wood (recycled matai where possible) and a specialty canvas and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
There was no monetary charge for being included in the gift guide but the assistant did ask for a few of the Solvej Swings, saying Kourtney intends to gift them to friends and family.