WINi 2018: Charlotta “Lotta” Sjoelin

Bohío | Fine Art Photography

Charlotta “Lotta” Sjoelin has a business degree and has worked in marketing and sales in the pharmaceutical industry, as a lobbyist, and as a design business owner. The native of Sweden traveled the world before she and her husband settled in Chapel Hill 12 years ago with their three children. Here, Sjoelin has found her passion in working with homeless women and children. She visited a shelter in 2014 and was distraught by the spare furniture and depressing decor, she says. “How can you pick yourself up and put your life back together if you are living in what feels like a neglected environment?” She rallied friends and volunteers to raise money and donate services to redecorate the shelter’s rooms: bright curtains, cheerful pillows, rugs, wall art. Since then, Sjoelin’s A Lotta Love does this same volunteer-driven redecoration effort at shelters across the area, six of them and counting. At WINi, Sjoelin will share how it all began and the power of community: “I wanted to donate bed pillows,” she says. “That evolved to what we do today.”