The Founder

Anh-Marthe Storheil

Born: In Fredrikstad, Norway.

Age: 33

Family: Engaged with Remi and a 4 year old son named Porter.


Nine years ago, Anh-Marthe rented a little office and started her own small fashion agency in Maridalsveien near Akerselva in Oslo. Today, Anh-Marthe Storheil and her agency, Storheil Agency, have grown across two floors, which now is showrooms and office for both the agency and her own fashion brand Iben.

Photo: Ole Martin Halvorsen

Anh-Marthe moved from the small town Fredriksstad to the capital Oslo when she was 19 years old and worked both in a fashion store and eventually became junior seller in the Danish group IC Company for the brand Inwear. At 20, she became Country Manager in Norway for the Danish fashion brand Saint Tropez. When she was only 24, she realized it was time to start for herself.

 

Five years later, Storheil Agency, the agency Anh-Marthe had built up housed the Danish brands Second Female, Just Female and Jane Kønig in the Norwegian market. Anh-Marthe had also started up the multibrand store Støy in Fredrikstad with international brands such as Acne, Isabel Marant and Ganni.

 

- When I started Storheil, my goal was to sell goods for 50 million within five years. In the fifth year, we sold for 60.

 

In 2014, she started her first own clothing brand, Iben, and led with it both her own agency, shop and clothing brand. And in the middle of that she became a mother for the first time. 

That she says she cannot recommend to anyone, but she fought through it and Iben is now a well known brand in Norway and is growing fast internationally.

 

In 2016, Iben, along with several other Norwegian brands, got involved in a project run by the fashion cluster Norwegian Fashion Hub. This included a trip to Milan where Anh-Marthe and the team were given the opportunity to meet world-leading experts in branding and strategy.


With this, the goal of developing Iben into an international brand became clearer. The same was the job of identifying who the Iben would be.


Photo: Joe Harper
Photo: Ole Martin Halvorsen

 - Basically, Iben should only be high quality basic products to complement Norwegians' wardrobes. But after the project with Norwegian Fashion Hub and the trip to Italy, we determined that the main goal is to communicate self-esteem, therefore Iben is strong, independent, passionated and free.

 Anh-Marthe admits that she hopes the future will not be as though as the last five years. That said, she has great plans to establish Iben internationally the next years. It starts now with the entrance of for example Selfridges in London where Iben is situated side by side with some of the world's largest fashion brands.

 

- We have already started the next collection that is SS20. It is about the balance between having a career and the urban, and appreciating the feeling of freedom. Something I think we all unconsciously move towards.

 

What is your hot tips to others that wants to start their own company?

 

- Before you start it is important to know what you are inspired by and what drives you. After five years I had to reset myself and ask myself what really drives me. I think many start-ups go on a bang because they don't know what they want. One thing is to map your business, but why you start it is just as important.