- What is your back ground and history?
I was born in an entrepreneurial family in northern part of Sweden, in a little village called Älvsbyn. Right through the village is the clear water river Piteälven. A river that lives its own life, depending on the season. Älvsbyn in English is River Village. Looking at statistics from 2014, Älvsbyn had 8 224 inhabitants and 1 535 registered companies. This is one company per 5,4 inhabitants. So having a company, doing business and an open mind to entrepreneurial ideas has always been natural to me. It is not always an easy way of living, but somehow the mind is set from childhood to test and try chances, dreams and opportunities that comes along the way.
I grew up in a baker family. I have always smelled, and tasted bred and fine bread. In bread the spices are very important as well as yeast and flour. Just by smelling bread I can tell what is will taste like. This might be the reason why I find scents exciting!
- Have you always had an interest in scent and fragrance?
No I have not. But not for the reason that took s did not like fragrances. Perfume and fragrances where not a big part of my life during the childhood. The interest has grown when I had the opportunity to go to flight shops and spend “hours” of testing when waiting for flights in my job. I took a Masters in International Marketing and a Bachelor in Financials in late 1990´ at the Luleå Technical University and graduated in year 2000, 30 years old. I have now been working for a mining/smelter company for more than 10 years and in that job as Market analyst/Business Intelligence have had many hours spend at airports. For me a perfume is not only the scent and the components of the fragrance. It is also the bottle, colors, box and text. It is the whole package that will sell a product. No matter if I only love to design boxes to perfumes or create a perfect scent, it will not sell without the whole package.
- How did you first start becoming involved in the perfume world?
The very first scent that was given to me was a box with Jane Hellen products in 1983, if I remember correctly. I was 13 years. My uncle Stellan gave a box to me and a box to my twin sister. This is the first memory I have of having a scent at all. However, being involved in the perfume world has started this late winter when I created my first scent; Scent of Aurora. Sourcing the best production plant for my start was the first time I had to do with people within the industry. This world is all new to me. There is a lot to learn and I look so much forward to it.
- Tells us about your brands theme and character.
When you give me this question I know I have to hold back, I can talk for hours! First of all, I have chosen to call the brand NorraNorrland. This is actually two words in Swedish “Norra Norrland” or Northern Northland. Norther Northland is the two most northern landscapes or “states” in Sweden. I was born in the most northern and today I live in the second most northern. So, the brand is connected to the area where I was born and where I live.
The name Scent of Aurora comes from the Nordic light, Aurora Borealis. The beautiful and sparkling light that travels over the night sky wintertime. I recommend every person who has not seen the Nordic light in Norther Sweden to do it at least once in a lifetime. On rare occasions there is also a sparkle that can be heard! Since I want to capture the norther part of Sweden in my brand, I have also added two extra illustrative in the bottle; 24K gold and red small glass pearls.
The gold represents the richness that we have in the ground and in the forest. The value that can be found in the ground and on the ground have a large impact of being able to stay and live up here in the northern area. A lot of the jobs and the income come from years back from these industries. Today there are more industries, not at least within IT. Facebook have for instance large storage here for storing data. One of the reasons is the cold! The long and cold winter in Luleå are holding energy costs down.
The red glass pearls represents a berry called arctic raspberry (Åkerbär). Arctic raspberry is very rare, exotic and exclusive and also as unique in taste and scent as for instance saffron. Saffron on the other hand can be sold in large volumes, but arctic raspberry cannot. It cannot be re-created. It grows in a specific flora and some seasons they don´t grow at all. I took part in a study at a university in southern Sweden not long ago, where they asked me what the berry tastes like. Even I have had the berry on the table during my whole childhood; I was not able to put it into words. It is so specific that there are no words for it. It is just irresistible!
- Your brand is the first from your area of the world; it’s said to be very beautiful. Can you talk about how and if it inspired you?
When I decided to create a perfume and start a business with the brand I wanted to capture the area in the bottle(s). When I went to the factory to start to bottle I brought actually 3 things. The gold, the glass pearls and a bottle of water from the Piteälven. There is a water tapping factory in the village. I wanted to add at least one drip of water from the river into the bottle. In that way I would also had captured the whole river that goes from the Alps to the sea. Sadly to me, this was not possible. The factory did not want to add it for some reason.
There are so many beautiful and area specific things form this Northern Northland that inspires me to create so many more scents. We have the clear water, the cold winter, the dark days in winter time, and the light nights in summer time, and the flora off course. And the five seasons off course; winter, winter-spring, spring, summer and fall.
- What are your views on where the perfume world is now and where it’s headed?
Since I am rather new in this business, I look at it from a consumer’s perspective. I see a lot of commercial from rock stars, actors, and athletics. It is not only one fragrance but 5 -10 or more produces in their names! It is big business. This is new the last 15-20 years. But this is also going on in the wine industry for instance. On the other hand this might open up for more people from outside the traditional producers to enter the market. Changes are good. There is no development without changes! Hopefully there will be even more niche fragrances in the future and more people who go for their dreams to have their own line of products.
- What were your fears if any when started the company?
I started first company 1992. I was 22 years and saw only opportunities. This was before I went to the university. Now, when I am a bit older and have a little bit more experience, I think more long term, more strategical and evaluate every step in investments more carefully. The fear is more of factors that I cannot impact. For instance, I am vulnerable to the suppliers of the material I am adding into the bottles. I don’t want anything to happen to their business.
- Finally, do you have any thing you would like to share?
I like Nikes slogan Just Do It. If I could inspire just one person to take the steps to fulfill an entrepreneur dream like I have done. Do it. Just do it.