Designer Linnea Paulsson and photographer Hilda Grahnat are out to break the “crazy cat lady” stigma facing the pet-obsessed. Three years ago they launched Pet People, an elegant magazine celebrating the bond between people and their four-legged friends in cities around the world. Hilda says the Sweden-based publication has evolved intuitively as a passion project, with an altruistic slant.
“Studies show that even watching cat videos makes you happier,” she explains. “We hope Pet People can spread those good feelings.”How has the magazine been received? Hilda: People who love pets are often ridiculed or seen as fanatic, and readers have told us they finally feel like they’re taken seriously. We’ve created a space for them to talk about life with their pet in an intimate, casual way that others can connect to. Linnea: We often hear that people like the juxtaposition of soft, cuddly pets with clean, minimalistic design. The tactile experience is as important as content.
Which independent Scandinavian magazines do you read? Hilda: The independent magazine scene in Scandinavia isn’t big yet, but we’re excited to see it growing. We like Nuda Paper (Sweden), BLAD (Denmark), LEON (Finland), The Way We Play (Sweden) and Ord & Bild (Sweden). What's the most surprising thing you’ve discovered while publishingPet People? Hilda: We’ve confirmed a thesis we had since the beginning: pets have a positive effect on your physical and mental health. They keep you company when you’re down, affect your social and physical behavioural patterns, and can even be a form of therapy.
Is Sweden a good place to raise an animal? Linnea: It’s common to raise animals here. Almost every friend had a cat or dog growing up, and pets are allowed in most rented apartments. We talked to a couple that actually moved here from London in part because it was so hard to find a pet-friendly apartment there.Hilda: In Berlin, where we made our second issue, dogs walk without a leash and they never bark at each other. They’re also welcome in most establishments. That’s not really the case in Sweden. Which pet makes the best companion? Linnea: After meeting a bunch of pets and people, we can conclude that there can never be one perfect pet for everyone. However, everyone has a perfect pet. You just need to find the one that fits your personality and lifestyle.
Words MACKENZIE LEWIS KASSAB // KINFOLK Photos KRISTOFER JOHNSSON