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”You are actually able to make good business but still produce in Sweden”

When Scandinavian retailer Grandpa wanted to create their own ceramics line, they didn’t want to produce it in Asia. Luckily, they just needed to go to Sweden’s smallest province.

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Words: Johan Magnusson

The concept runs four stores in Sweden’s biggest cities Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö and their own sub brand Low Key Goods, which they started simply to make products for their own stores.

— Products which we knew where and by whom it was produced, says founder and owner Jonas Pelz. We create high quality timeless products with a distinct character, influenced by the 60s and 70s and the modern Scandinavia. We only produce in Europe and are trying hard to produce in Sweden. A way to make that possible is by collaborations. We’ve done one with Swedish clog manufacturer Moheda and last fall we released another one with Smålands skinnmanufaktur. In the latter we made a small serie of every day accessories like an eyeglass case, a notebook case, a Macbook case, a camera strap, a card wallet and a tote bag.

For this fall, they present another one with ceramics producer Paradisverkstaden.

— We’ve wanted to make ceramics for a while but we are not interested in producing in Asia, says Pelz. When we go to Formex design fair in Stockholm every year, we always meet Paradisverkstaden. We’ve been impressed by their work, but style wise we have not really matched. So we thought, why not ask them if they are interested in making a collab? And believe it or not, they were! They helped us with the material and glazing, while we did the design. We have visited their beautiful studio on the island of Öland (Sweden’s smallest province) twice. The funny thing about Paradisverkstaden is that they produce in Sweden, and it’s a typical family business where the founders Olof and Eva still are very much involved. But they are not small scale, they really produce quite big quantities. That’s what I think is interesting and impressive. You are actually able to make good business but still produce in Sweden. The collection consists of 13 pieces. We think each piece can be bought separately but it’s also easy to make a small selection of your own.

This season also sees the launch of Grandpa’s own men’s clothing line Soft Goods.

— We want to give the customer a great deal, while we have full control on where and how the clothes are produced. The idea is that we will add more pieces to the line step by step with the products you need for a classic, relaxed and timeless style, says Pelz, adding,

— I need to point out the importance of slowing down people’s consumption. Even if my livelihood depends on it, I think — or, I know — we have to stop shopping as we do today. The old phrase ”Buy less, buy better!” really is key for the future!