How We Partnered With Leading Brands And Grew Our Global Customer Base To 75K+ Customers
This is a follow up story for AGood Company. If you're interested in reading how they got started, published about 3 years ago, check it out here.
Hello again! Remind us who you are and what business you started.
Hello! My name is Anders Ankarlid, the founder of Agood Company and I’m very happy to be back talking with you. Agood Company is a truly sustainable Swedish lifestyle brand. We design everyday products, without compromising on design or sustainability. Our mission is to help people make more conscious decisions and as we say at Agood: choices matter. Make yours agood one.
The last time we spoke, I said our flagship products are our mobile cases (made out of linseed waste), and they are still one of our customers' favorites. These mobile cases are designed and produced locally in Sweden, all with unique designs, as well as having independent artists' designs printed on them.
Our second contender is still our stone paper notebooks, made from stone waste, with no trees or water needed. However, our other products like our bamboo electric toothbrush heads and bottles made from recycled steel are extremely popular.
Our main customers are based in Sweden and Germany and are still our main focused market segmentation. We are however trying to expand more in the UK and are currently planning to set up a new warehouse there.
We celebrated our 3rd birthday this year and our global customer base is +75,000 customers and has an average monthly revenue of 400K EUR.
Tell us about what you’ve been up to. Has the business been growing?
It's been over two years since we last spoke and since then we have grown significantly since May 2020. Of course, like every other company, there were a few bumps in the road due to COVID and supply chain issues, however, I am extremely happy with what we have accomplished today.
I would say since we last spoke the biggest milestone we reached was working with these two world-famous maverick brands, Saint Laurent and Samsung. We have partnered up around different mobile case designs for both of the fashion brands and the feedback we received from this was a highlight.
However, we of course want to keep expanding our B2C sales and increase the traffic on our website. To do so we have focused on our Instagram and LinkedIn, trying to inform our followers of the benefits of choosing our products.
Lastly, we continue to work not with performance marketing but focusing on creating a community with our followers through weekly newsletters and outdoor brand campaigns. We currently use Klaviyo and send out two newsletters a week. One keeps you up to date with new products, our Agood Foundation initiatives, and any exclusive deals. We are currently working on connecting our products to different organizations to make their purchase more tangible. Of course, our followers can follow which projects/organizations they are supporting when buying from us.
What do you want to be remembered for? If you want to create something which your customers love, you need to spend time talking to them, ensuring you know your market's wants and needs.
Our second newsletter is called Good News Sunday where we share any positive good environmental news happening around the world. We started this as we wanted to put a smile on people's faces. We are surrounded by negative news a lot of the time, so we wanted Sunday to be a day where we can shed some light on what is currently happening around the world.
We also recruited a new leadership team. This has ensured we have a strong team looking over the company and ensuring all teams are working towards their goals.
Regarding our products, we have created a limited-edition collection together with the Berlin-based artist, Bings dedicated to raising money for those in Ukraine. Earlier this year Sofia (our Head of Community) and I drove to Ukraine and since then we have been coming up with the best ways in which they can help those in Ukraine.
During our trip, we made strong relations with Sergio and his team who are onsite. Each product donates €20 to our Agood foundation which is currently supporting those in Ukraine. These products are non-profit, and all money above the production and shipping costs will go directly to initiatives supporting Ukraine. If you are interested, you can read about our progress here.
We have grown through our PR, since we last spoke articles have been released about our partnerships with GANNI, Ninja in Pyjamas, and Samsung. We are now one of Samsung’s exclusive partners for 2022, which is a huge achievement for us at Agood Company.
We always want to help companies become more sustainable, and now we can encourage Samsung’s customers to choose a sustainable option. I couldn't be prouder of our recent partnerships and I am excited for more opportunities like these.
This year, we have written two new articles, and if you have time, I would give them a read!
- Our Designs Principles- If you want to read about the behind-the-scenes of our design process, then this article is for you.
- The One Billion Phone Case Problem - It’s us talking about the issues with the overproduction of plastic phone cases and how we can provide solutions.
What have been your biggest challenges in the last year?
To add to what I said above, most companies still feel the effect of COVID and therefore we are still experiencing high freight prices and raw material costs. This is however nothing we can solve, and we will just have to wait. Hopefully, over time we can see these costs reduce to pre-covid times.
We are currently in organizational changes with our new leadership team and other new employees. Like any other company, it’s always a challenge to ensure the new team works together efficiently and finds their positions within the team. We also faced some early burn-out syndromes within the company.
We win when we do things with our hearts. Similarly, when we create content that we truly are passionate about, the result is great. This is because it's truthful. It’s something we believe in.
Our last internal and also challenge is trying to get our message across to others. To educate people. We are aware that the stress about climate change is still not deemed as important to a lot of people.
After the impacts of COVID, we are unsure why people aren’t threatened. Why didn’t we learn? The whole world saw the pressure we are putting on our planet during COVID. We could finally see less pollution in rivers, more wildlife enjoying the fresh oceans, and clearer skies. We are trying to keep putting our message out there in the hope people can learn the importance of their decision-making and how one choice can help the planet.
What have been your biggest lessons learned in the last year?
Our first lesson is: We win when we don’t compromise. We aren’t trying to quickly push out new products. We have to make sure every supplier is committed to our mission, if not, then there's no room for us to compromise with them. Our partners work together with us, that’s how we can create products we are proud of and know our customers will enjoy the quality, as well as the environmental benefit.
Our second lesson is: We win when we do things with our hearts. Similarly, when we create content that we truly are passionate about, the result is great. This is because it's truthful. It’s something we believe in. There’s nothing more rewarding than putting out a product that came from our hearts. It’s also a benefit for us as it means we enjoy the work we do. Nothing is forced.
Our final lesson: Plans are great, but it’s also a bit of yada yada. It’s extremely important to be adaptive. Change is happening the whole time, I mean I don’t want to mention it again but no one expected COVID. If you always stick to your plan and don’t work around the situation, you are going to get left behind. It’s better to be able to change quickly.
What’s in the plans for the upcoming year, and the next 5 years?
Our 5-year plan can always change that’s the one thing we know. It will be obsolete and incorrect.
This has been in the works for a bit but we are hoping to launch our fashion line. As I have said before, we don’t compromise and we don’t take shortcuts. So it has taken a while, but I cannot be happier with the final product. Stay tuned for when we release our line.
As mentioned before, we hope you set up a warehouse in the UK. Before Brexit we had a strong market in the UK however now the shipping costs don’t benefit both parties. It’s expensive, however, we believe the market is still there and our warehouse can solve issues with the higher costs.
We of course want to continue working with our B2B customers and create long-term partnerships and find new ways in which we can collaborate with them and reach a wider audience. We have recently started to create new limited drops across our different product verticals. We have printed some of our designs on our notebooks and bottles, and our design team is continuing to find new ways to add different designs to our existing products.
And last but not least, we want to fulfill our dreams. We are so proud of what we have achieved and cannot wait to continue making our dreams come true.
What’s the best thing you read in the last year?
The best thing I listen to is the All-in podcast. There’s a new podcast every week and a group of five people talking about the current economic situation, technology, politics, and much more. I am addicted to their way of seeing how the market will evolve. I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough.
Advice for other entrepreneurs who might be struggling to grow their business?
Being an entrepreneur is always a struggle. I have had years of experience, facing the ups and downs of the different markets. But one thing to think about, is growing the most important thing? You have to create something which you believe in, if you focus on growing the whole time you lose focus on the mission of your company.
Another question I always think about is: What do you want to be remembered for? If you want to create something which your customers love, you need to spend time talking to them, ensuring you know your market's wants and needs. You need to spend time designing these products or services. Communication is key, if you are creating a product that has no use to your customers, you will struggle to grow.
I recently took part in a Shopify event called the Future of Commerce. We talked about 2022 eCommerce trends, insights, and advice you need to succeed. At Agood Company, we have the opportunity to help consumers make more informed, responsible choices. This will become more important as people are going to become more cautious about what they
buy and for what reasons.”
You can download the report here and read a bit more about my view on page 120 but also can have a deep dive into a lot of other market perspectives. I am extremely proud I got to be a part of their panel, and honestly recommend you have a look yourself.
Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?
We are always looking for talent. Of course, we are looking for people whose values align with ours. Someone who wants to make a difference and someone who can help us disrupt the environmentally damaging markets and show others how you can consume consciously.
We are also open to internships, we are keen to help people gain experience in a fast-paced environment and who have a deep interest in sustainability. If you are interested, email Sofia Olofsson ([email protected]) and we can see what opportunities are available.
Where can we go to learn more?
- Website - (you can also sign up to our newsletter and the bottom of our homepage)
- Check out our community interviews and articles
If you have any questions or comments, drop a comment below!
AGood Company has provided an update on their business!
Almost 2 years ago, we followed up with AGood Company to see how they've been doing since we published this article.
Hey! 👋 I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.
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