I want to tell you the story about our third child – Petit
Petit came to life about 2,5 years ago when we found out that we where going to have a little baby, and as so many parents we started to think about everything we needed to buy for the baby. I was asking the people I know with kids what brands are best etc. All my friends with children live in Sweden so they naturally told me about brands and products that are very popular in Sweden, that was when Petit really came to life. We couldn’t find any of the brands or products we wanted here in Iceland and to order from Sweden and have sent here cost way too much for us. With me super pregnant we decided to open a online store with some of the brands we wanted to see in Iceland. At the same time I worked for Kex Hostel as a receptionist and we just wanted to try and see if this would be something that other Icelanders would be interested in.
Lucky us, there were more people who also had a great interest in the brands we introduced and some of the products that have never been on the Icelandic market before. After a year in business we also started to produce our own moccasins label, The Petit Moccasin made of 100% leather. It was a big step for us and we had to produce a minimum of 300 pairs, that was the first real “risk” we took with this company. It was a little bit like a cliff hanger for us, we were still very small and only online witch was not a big market one year ago. Lucky again our moccasins got very welcomed and many kids have been taking their first steps in them :)
We had Petit as a online store for more than two years before we decided to try to open a physical store, it has been very challenging to have our own store in many different aspects. When you have your own business that is the living income for your family it can cause a lot of stress and the biggest challenge is to try to keep our store as unique as possible. The Icelandic market is very competitive and other businesses are really looking into what were doing, not even being shy about it. We really try to have a open mind and not look into what others are doing in their concept just sticking to our concept, taste and original ideas. I also try to support many other small business with unique concepts like Biumbium, Snuran, Hurra Reykjavik and AndreaByAndrea. I would love to see more small businesses and concept stores in Iceland, I think it feeds the soul of this country and makes shopping more fun. Imagine if you have 20 stores and they all sell similar things? That is just not fun shopping, more unique stores with their own trade mark, please :)
One more thing about businesses in Iceland is the import taxes, you all know that it is so many taxes and fees put on everything that gets imported to this country it almost ruins all small businesses right away. IF the import tax of 15% would be taken out or the VAT for clothing would be lowered, Icelandic businesses would be able to offer better prices and Icelanders would hopefully start to buy more within their own country. That would mean more cash flow in the country and more businesses would grow and help the economy of this country. It’s simple math. Because I am in the children’s business I notice automatically what children are wearing and using daily, something that has been fascinating me is that SO many children are wearing H&M, without even having a H&M store in the country. That says alot! Icelanders are just hording H&M when they go abroad and probably buy 3 sizes up for each kid. No wonder H&M doesn’t open a store in Iceland, they already own the market!
I am sure they know about it to, big corporations like H&M have statistics on everything and have probably looked into Iceland many times thinking if they should open a store here. Well why would they put out all that money when they have this market for free? Maybe Iceland would get their first H&M store if they completely stopped shopping H&M abroad ;)
Well this post got a little deeper than I first intended it to be, it is just my thoughts and experience on business, have an open mind and stay positive <3