A brief interview with the new management at Skandium, Rasmus Warnke Nørregaard and Jacob Kam.
What made you decide that you want to be a part of Skandium?
Rasmus: It was actually quite an easy decision for us. I’ve been visiting Skandium’s stores throughout the years and the respect for Scandinavian design was always felt so vibrantly in the room. This respect deserves to be carried forward and so, we consider it our duty to bring the heritage of Scandinavian design to as many people as possible.
Jacob: Of course we have been looking at the numbers as well, and what surprised us was that many parts of the Skandium business were actually running relatively well. Particularly the online business at Skandium.com has a solid revenue and is making a profit, in isolation. So we are convinced that when we enter with our expertise, with significant capital to boot, we will be able to serve our customers and make Skandium a modern business.
What experience will you be bringing to the business?
Jacob: We have been running Everclassic.com from Denmark for several years, which is a marketplace for vintage Scandinavian design where retail stores are connected with buyers all over the world. Prior to that, Rasmus has been responsible for marketing and design in the auction industry at one of the largest auction houses in Denmark. We both have the love of beautiful design running in our veins and a strong network among the most important suppliers, and we know how to make sure that our customers always have a sterling experience that will make them come back for more.
What do you want to change in Skandium’s business?
Rasmus: We think it is vital to keep all the strong characteristics of the Skandium brand. After all, thousands of customers have chosen Skandium for Scandinavian design and this is where our passion is. We will continue to source Nordic design products from the most important suppliers such as Iittala, String Furniture, Fritz Hansen, Carl Hansen, Louis Poulsen, Engelbrechts, Gubi, By Lassen, Arabia, Georg Jensen and Kähler, so that people will continue to be able to buy their pH lamps and Series 7 chairs at Skandium.
Jacob: That being said, we do have the ambition to make Skandium a viable business which will grow into something stronger than it has been until now. As our expertise lies in selling Nordic design online, our main focus will be Skandium.com. We respect that many of our customers have been visiting our stores throughout the years but it is no secret that the retail industry is having a hard time. Accordingly, we expect to focus our physical presence to a smaller number of stores, to begin with.
You come from a background where you have a solid network in vintage design resellers. How will this benefit Skandium’s customers?
Rasmus: It is true that we have a lot of experience in selling unique, vintage design products from the Nordics. This is something that we expect to add to the Skandium business in the near future so that Skandium customers can benefit from a wider offering of products. After all, if you as a customer are looking to decorate your home with Nordic design, it makes sense for you to be presented with both a brand new Muuto lamp as well as a vintage vase that will go great together.
What are the personal, favourite Nordic design objects in your own home? Rasmus: I bought a Peacock Chair by Hans J. Wegner last year and this chair is simply a masterpiece in my eyes. It is the culmination of Danish design and no matter the angle you are beholding the chair it looks stunning and inviting. Just seeing it in my living room makes me happy every day and I like the notion of investing in a chair I will be able to pass on to the next generation. The chair doesn’t just hold a strong monetary value, it also tells a story about what can be achieved when craftsmanship is combined with bold ideas. An as an added benefit which is very important these days, it’s just better for the environment that we start buying furniture which will last for a long, long time.
Jacob: I was fortunate enough to receive a Vilhelm Lauritzen chandelier as a birthday gift a couple of years back. They are no longer in production and when they surface on the vintage market, you need to act quickly. Vilhelm Lauritzen really understood how to create timeless design and to me, it’s just not possible to ever tire of looking at the reflection of the light in the chandelier. It’s a piece you keep with you for your entire life.
Jacob Kam, Partner at Skandium Technical and analytic profile with a knack for business optimization particularly centred on online traffic conversion and the customer journey. Jacob Kam is also co-founder and CTO of Everclassic and has lengthy experience in building as well as running businesses and never shies away from challenging tradition.
Rasmus W. Nørregaard, Partner at Skandium Resourceful and experienced entrepreneur with expertise in creative marketing across both and traditional media landscapes. Rasmus Warnke Nørregaard is also co-founder and CEO of Everclassic and has built a comprehensive network within the Scandinavian design industry. He is also a well-known face from Danish television where he is used as an expert on the valuation of design articles.