In this educational and insightful interview, Shaun, Founder of Skandinavisk:
Explains the origins of the brand, focusing on the history and importance of candles in Scandinavian culture, and why Skandinavisk moved away from producing a range of regular candles to concentrate on home fragrance and body care to reach a wider audience.
Describes the many issues he faced when he launched his brand, such as trying to sell products that spanned a range of categories including textiles, ceramics and fragrances.
Expands on two key mistakes he made: 1) assuming that the brand would sell poorly in Scandinavia and 2) planning to focus on selling direct to consumers rather than via wholesale.
Discusses the importance of 'pivoting' or changing course in a business when current methods aren't successful.
Recalls how close the business came to failing because of issues presented by Covid-19, and the streams of revenue that kept the business going.
Talks through the ethical reasons which led Skandinavisk to replace its entire product line.
Gives a detailed overview of the experience and process of becoming B Corp certified, what it means, and what the ongoing responsibilities are.
Outlines the scale and purpose of the B Corp Beauty Coalition, of which he Chairs the Supervisory Board.
Recounts his earlier career history and why he was happy to walk away from corporate life aged 40, as well as explaining the skills he had to learn in his new business life and the importance of mental health and clarity helping you to ‘stay sane’ as you run a business.
Founder of Skandinavisk
1:13 - Introducing Skandinavisk.
3:14 - Brand origins and inspirations.
7:10 - Evolving your vision and facing challenges.
11:30 - Wrong assumptions.
13:30 - Pivoting when current methods aren't successful.
16:07 - Replacing Skandinavisk's entire product collection for ethical, sustainable reasons.
18:00 - How close the business came to failing due to Covid-19.
21:55 - Bouncing back stronger than ever.
24:20 - Getting B Corp and what it means.
28:37 - The quadruple bottom line.
32:01 - Being Chair of the Board of the B Corp beauty coalition.
36:45 - Disillusionment with corporate life.
39:40 - Finding inspiration in the 'Nordic kitchen manifesto’.
47:25 - The importance of mental health and clarity; 'staying sane' running a business.