Cathrine Wessel grew up in Norway with 5 sisters and brothers. Being raised on a farm with a big Newfoundland dog they skied back and forth to school and were never without their layers of wool. Her upbringing allowed her to fall in love with the outdoors and she even competed in cross country skiing for 10 years. However, Cathrine and her sibling didn’t just wear wool when skiing in the winter, they also wore layers of wool throughout the summer. The wool was much itchier back then but it taught her early on the importance of this fabric and how it is so involved in the Norwegian heritage, for example, the Vikings made it across the Atlantic sailing with wool sails.
Cathrine visited NYC for the first time when she was 18 and fell in love with the energy of the city. She decided to live here and has been here for 25 years. For 20 of those 25 years Cathrine has worked as a photographer and she will always wear wool when she is shooting on location- whether it be on the beach in Miami or the mountains of Switzerland or the streets of NYC. The properties of wool gives her everything she needed- protection from the elements, comfort, and cool. The combination of her urban living and being raised in Norway gives Cathrine the perfect balance she needs to be the Creative Director of W&W.
Stian Tolnæs, born in Oslo, Norway. Stian has always been an active guy. Dressed in wool from top to toe he grew up with the great characteristics of wool, in layers. Stian has travelled all over the world where he always seeks to perform his sports of skiing, windsurfing and waterskiing. Through the past 15 years Stian has played in a band where he sings, plays the guitar and occasionally picks up the Saxophone for 1 or 2 songs. Through his many executive positions Stian has learned a lot about branding, sales and marketing – skills that he now implements in the establishment of the With & Wessel brand. Stian has since day 1 worked a lot in the brand store in Manhattan, he has opened and worked in a With&Wessel pop up store in Oslo, and when he has a chance, Stian will help and motivate the stores where With & Wessel is sold – lastly through a 2 hour “Wool School Session” in one of With & Wessel’s great distributors in Norway.