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Lifestyle SCAD

Hygge introduces Scandinavian way of life to Savannah

District Staff
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Nestled on the corner of Broughton and East Broad Street, Hygge (pronounced hoo-gah or hue-gah) merges the Scandinavian way of life with Savannah’s growing, creative business enterprise. Founded by SCAD Alum Cristina Drumm Leonardi, Hygge embodies life’s experiences through environmentally friendly and ethically sourced items.

Drumm Leonardi has always followed her passions in life. One is the education she received from the Savannah College of Art and Design. “The thing that drew me to SCAD was the program in Lacoste,” she said. After taking a few online classes, Drumm Leonardi went straight to the Lacoste campus. When she came to the Savannah campus, she fell in love with the city and had to stay.

Drumm Leonardi contributes her entrepreneurial efforts to the classes, faculty and students at SCAD. “SCAD was a huge part of this [Hygge], it gave me the tools necessary to make it,” she said. One advertising class, in particular, visual brand storytelling, sparked Drumm Leonardi’s love for advertising, art direction and more importantly the idea of creating her own shop.

After graduation, Drumm Leonardi found a way to stay in Savannah by working for Terra Cotta. She learned more about the retail side of owning her own business from the team of women there. By merging her love for gift giving, storytelling and first-hand experience of Scandinavian coziness, Hygge was born.

“It’s very Scandinavian inspired but I’m carrying a little bit of everything,” she said. Chairs made by a family in El Salvador and paintings from her mother further the intimacy of the space. Sprinkled throughout the shop are books, ceramics, clothes, jewelry, skin care and other handmade items essential to creating a cozy experience.

Drumm Leonardi has traveled all over the globe (including Denmark, where Hygge is prevalent) and worked with the artists she met along the way to create a space with products for the mind, body and home. “I’m working with a lot of people who have never done wholesale before. It’s a great experience to see their brand evolve and think outside of the box,” she said.

She also works with SCAD alum and students to feature their work. She understands the logistics of starting small and plans on featuring smaller artists through pop-ups in her shop to expand the following of these artists.

Drumm Leonardi loves seeing SCAD alums, like herself, stay in Savannah. She believes that with the talented and passionate community SCAD creates, the opportunities for growth in Savannah are endless.

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