Sustainable pipes for indoor design open up for new possibilites
Interior design using pipes was something new for former fireman Johan Lindberg from Mora. He has now built up his business and already branched out internationally.
– I want to work sustainably and for the long-term, not with a throw-away attitude. You’ll never need to throw away my products, which means you’ll never need to buy new ones, says Johan.
Johan’s move into business began when he built a clothes rack using old steel water pipes and there was some material left over. From that, he had soon built a coffee table for his summer cottage in Morkarlby close to Mora. He had discovered his creative side and before too long he had also built a shelf, a candle holder and an outside shower from leftover pipes. Still working as a fireman, he only had the evenings to be creative. Nevertheless, he found time to set up a web shop from where he could sell products and pipes with the idea of inspiring others to create things from their homes.
The website took off and shortly after, Johan had an established business, with stocks and a workshop at his home. The outside shower received attention from a neighbour who worked at FM Mattson, a tap manufacturer in Mora. About the same time, a request came from the Swedish television channel SVT for its popular show Sommartorpet med Ernst: they needed an outside shower. Johan’s design was exactly what they were looking for and it was consequently featured in the show. This quickly led to further sales. Currently, the outside shower is part of the design collection Mora Garden along with other items such as taps and hanging devices.
Contact with Inkubator to expand the business
When a business experiences rapid growth and faces new challenges, it’s a case of thinking strategically and of having goals while at the same time not losing that sense of creativity. “How am I going to take my business to the next stage?” wondered Johan. Talking with another Mora-based businessperson, he heard about Inkubator’s business development processes. Soon he had contacted and met Jörgen Steen, and this resulted in Inredningsrör Ltd. – the name of his business – becoming involved with Inkubator, where Johan began his business coaching.
– His concept is an interesting one that brings together design and sustainability, states Jörgen Steen, who is helping Johan to develop his business. Johan has found a niche by creating products with unusual designs that are made to be kept, not thrown away, and that can be changed and reshaped: it is a product for the times.
Internationalisation leads to new contacts
About the same time, Johan heard about the business network Enterprise Europe Network. He was offered the chance to accompany a group on a business trip to Shanghai, China, where a Scandinavian shop had been established for new sales channels and matchmaking between businesses. This led to an understanding of international sales, both the opportunities and the challenges.
– The best part was the contacts I made with other businesses in the group, which has led to new products, states Johan.
How do you see Inredningsrör Ltd. ten years from now?
The vision is to grow and become more international. I don’t really see any limits. There’s a great deal of interest in my products, and I am always on the look-out for new ideas and ways to develop. What I need right now are retailers so that I can better reach my customers. Inredningsrör Ltd. will expand in a sustainable, long-term manner. I’ve got tons of energy and am confident that I am only at the beginning of my journey into business. Version 2.0 here I come! states Johan.