Tell us about Stackelbergs, how did it all start?
Stackelbergs started in 2009 and was first an agency and a distribution company. Our first mission was to become a licensee for the former Canada Goose Home, where we did the whole concept from start to finish, which was really fun! We ran that subsidiary until December 2015, but license fees became too costly and we chose to go another way, but we learned all about textiles, down, wool, and the importance of certifications then. Stackelbergs as the company looks today has been around since 2014 and has now grown to be one of the bigger players in our niche in Europe today, which we think is so fun!
What type of products do you sell and which market do you target?
In 2011 we had the opportunity to take over the distribution of the Foxford brand, which comes from Ireland. Among other things, they made a small collection of mohair blankets, and sales went better and better here in Scandinavia. When the opportunity arose to get in touch with a South African factory, we could start up our own line and collection of mohair and where the wool comes from South Africa. A few years ago, we wanted to take the company to a higher level and chose to cultivate and focus on manufacturing quality wool products. We mainly make blankets in mohair wool, but we also make products from cashmere, merino wool, and alpaca for our collections. Our largest market is Sweden, but in recent years we have also established increased sales and exports to Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Belgium, and France among others.
The issue of sustainability is high on the agenda these days, how is it in your industry and how do you work with sustainability?
Early on, we decided to try to manufacture as “pure” products as possible. In other words – opting out of artificial man-made fibers as much as possible. This has turned out to be a stroke of luck considering how the view of natural materials and manufacturing has developed. We like to manufacture as close to the raw material source as possible, we try to visit and have good insight into how production and care take place. We visit farms, auctions, and factories on our own for increased transparency and control. Mohair in particular is one of South Africa’s largest and most important exports, so our view is that they are extremely careful with their control of animal handling and dyeing of fibers. Mohair has relatively recently received a certification – Responsible Mohair Standard (RMS), which enables fully controlled production all the way. In fact, we have produced the first blanket made of RMS mohair in the world for the company ARKET, which we are very proud of. The goal is for the entire collection to be certified.
What do you think are the most important ingredients to succeed in what you do?
We cannot say we have any model of success that we follow. But one tip is to dare to focus and become the best at what you do, and also improve your knowledge and stay up to date. Right now, many exciting things are happening regarding textile materials, and it is important to follow that development to continue to exist even tomorrow. We have almost doubled our sales after we took the step to “only” work with wool plaids, and opted out of everything else. A bit odd for me but true.
What does your industry look like today and how do you see the development going forward?
The interior design industry in particular turned out to be a bit of a winner during the corona-pandemic. People stayed home and decorated instead of traveling and going out. Surely there will now be a slightly more restrained time in connection with increased costs given inflation etc. But we see positive trends where it is precisely products of quality, which are manufactured sustainably and transparent to the customer that increases interest. Customers buy slightly fewer products, but of better quality.