My name is Vlad Tarmure and I have a Master of Social Science in Digital Media and Society from Uppsala University. At Malmö University I have been studying Entrepreneurship and International Strategy and Strategic Innovation as well as Swedish Language.
What is your idea?
The business is called Vintagesson and we are rehoming pre-loved items. We offer people from all over the world, curated Vintage Nordic Design objects. Our purpose is to create a new and more sustainable interior design narrative and thus to contribute to a circular economy.
How did you come up with your idea?
My idea does not entirely belong to me since we are two involved in this. More specifically, it is me and my bossom friend, Louana. Ever since we know each other we have loved thrift and second-hand stores. Because we have got so experienced with buying from second hand stores and there are so many incredible things out there, we thought one day why not to try to take nice pictures and sell them online. Due to the fact that we worked with design and marketing, we knew that we have all what it takes to give the abandoned products a new face and life. Moreover, we have a lot of fun and we find it so fulfilling to find products with beautiful design, amazingly crafted and with incredible stories.
What were the first steps you took to get started?
The first step was to select some products from the stores that we found really interesting that were in great condition and really appealing to the eye. We also looked for items that are crafted manually or were somehow unique. We started with glass items and then migrated towards pottery/ceramic, wood, metal, textile and art. After having the products we took some nice pictures and opened an ETSY shop (the biggest vintage platform) We also created an Instagram account. We started really small and did not think to much about how to do it. We did not have a well-established plan or strategy. We just had the ambition to try to find new homes for exceptional and timeless pieces that we did not want to see abandoned or destroyed. We also had the curiosity and desire to see if anyone would appreciate our selection and photography skills. It was mostly a way to have fun and do what we love, buying and saving old stuff.
What are your tips for getting started?
Doing and acting is more important than having the perfect plan or strategy. From the beginning, we were really mindful of the fact that we were in an inception phase where we needed to test the business model. The best way to do it was by putting ourselves out there. Having the perfect business plan or idea would have been useless without testing it on real users and the market. We, therefore, did not focus so much on having a perfect plan and strategy, we wanted rather to just go with the flow and try to see where the users guide us and what the market tells us. Thanks to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation courses I completed here at Malmö University, I learned some theoretical concepts and gained some practical tips about how this process works or what we should look for. Having all these insights from school, we could successfully apply them to what we were doing and make the best out of each situation. Moreover, we promised ourselves as founders to always have fun along the way. Sometimes it can become really stressful and challenging, but for us, it is important to try to detach and see it as fun. We just see the whole process as similar to raising a child in a healthy manner. How would the child grow if the parents are always stressed and tired? We try to be calm and laid back when making decisions, as well as we wanted to make sure that our visions align. Nonetheless, as founders we are in many regards very different, but our skills and personalities complement each other and we share the same values.
What are your next steps?
In just three months we have shipped more than 150 orders all over the world, which equals approx. 200 preloved items saved. Also, we have become a star seller and our products were selected by Etsy’s trend and style editors as featured picks. This has given us confirmation that we are on the right path and that what we are doing has great potential. Our next step is thus to keep the same trajectory. In order to do that we need to develop our product range so we can bring in new product categories and create preloved collections. We also plan to develop new partnerships with stakeholders from our key markets in order to be able to reduce the stigma about buying used items and create a new narrative of consumption: “Buying vintage is cool and stylish”. Furthermore, we want to improve and strengthen our digital presence by creating our own website, growing our community and fanbase, and collaborating with influencers who share similar visions and values. We do plan to open a physical store in the future, therefore we want to optimize our internal processes in order to have an efficient system in place from the beginning.
Read more about Vintagsson and their work here