Feature in Swedish Chamber of Commerce Annual Review 2016
Are you Swedish?
OR OTHER COOL BRANDS
By: Carolina de Klerk Nordholm
Can merely a passion for Sweden and books lead to a successful business with products you didn't know anything about? It sure can. Are you Swedish? is a proof
of it if nothing else.
Hanneke de Boer went from being a lawyer to being a successful entrepreneur in her own Swedish fashion brand agency. Here she shares the story behind her success and how books play a big role in her life.
Hip, modern and cool It all started some 10 years ago. Hanneke had seen all these Swedish films and she really liked the hip and modern Sweden that she saw there. She decided to learn the language, then paid the country a visit, and discovered the brand Dagmar, being very much on the rise at that moment. She thought it would be great if she could bring Dagmar to the Netherlands. She prepared herself and got in touch with Dagmar who was very positive. She quickly got presented a contract. After spending the journey home to Amsterdam and a couple of working hours, and realising she didn’t know anything about fashion, sales or PR, she still decided that same day that she would go for
it and quit her job.
She later launched her business with two brands. Not knowing much about the fashion business, marketing or PR, she was open to all information and made sure
people got to know that she was out there. An e-mail to Het Parool resulted in an article and from there it went on.
Today she does PR as if she’s never done anything else. She’s convinced that sales and PR go hand in hand and that sales always come with service. Are you Swedish? is today the PR and sales agent for ten fashion brands, of which eight are Swedish, one Danish
and one Dutch. The latter two were simply too cool to say no to. Her choice of brands very much reflects what she personally likes. Long lasting quality is very important to her. Using a ten year old jacket is eco if anything!
The fashion she represents is sold to about 300 shops, and through her own consumer oriented ”Cool department store”. The B2B sales go through the online B2B department store and personal meetings with shops. She has one person working with the sales and distribution.