Meet the Founder - Pernilla Rönnberg, founder of Estelle & Thild.
It all started when Pernilla Rönnberg studied an Executive MBA at the School of Economics in Stockholm during her maternity leave. She had just sold her share in a smaller skin care company, where she was CEO, to a larger company and was thinking about the next step. During her MBA studies, she began sketching the business plan that would become the basis for the start of Estelle & Thild.
There was a lot of talk about organic back then and I saw an opportunity to tap into the trend to develop the beauty industry.
how did your interest in organic skin care start?
- In connection with working as CEO of the smaller skin care company, I got a good insight into the production and what is required to build a company from the ground up. I had also become aware of what the skin care products on the market contained, and since I have two young daughters, Estelle and Mathilde, I began to think about all the chemicals they are surrounded by and felt that I wanted to do something to change that. There was a lot of talk about organic back then and I saw an opportunity to tap into the trend to develop the beauty industry.
Pernilla decided to use only pure bio-active ingredients and raw materials without pesticides and toxins, which has resulted in products with 95 percent natural content. She sought out the best people, factories and testing laboratories and built a team. Among other things, she came into contact with the French Ecocert, which is the largest independent certification company in Europe and the USA for organic products. They have strict requirements and examine the products in all parts, from content, raw materials and production to packaging and content texts. The production takes place in Denmark because they are good at producing organically.
I believe that by being at the right time I have been able to create volume in production and sales
what does the market look like for organic beauty products?
- Today, our products are available in over 1,000 stores worldwide. I believe that by being at the right time I have been able to create volume in production and sales. The industry looks a little different today. In the past, it was the biggest, best and most beautiful that mattered, but today the ethical values are more important and people are looking for different niche brands.
Today's consumers increasingly accept companies that do not contribute to sustainability, especially the young. Because the products are eco-certified, we have succeeded in entering the big chains both in Sweden and abroad. A milestone for us was Sephora Asia, not many people get in there. What we also see is that the sales channels have changed from the traditional stores to the fact that the largest sales are via the Internet. The physical stores function more and more like show rooms where customers can feel the products. So far we have not had any direct focus on selling via the Internet, but it will.
how do you build your brand?
- I am driven by doing business and building companies, and I always have a strategic focus in what I do. When I build the brand, I think from a market perspective in all parts, for example the packaging is a large part of the brand work. There I also get an outlet for my creative side.
The heart of our company is the products, the concept and the visuals
is it an advantage to be a swedish company abroad?
- Swedish companies have good opportunities to succeed abroad because we are considered reliable and a bit exotic, and we work differently from many foreign companies. The heart of our company is the products, the concept and the visuals, and the unique thing is that we have started from the experience and the feeling and have not renounced it. We have an innovative appearance towards customers, and as a small company we have to make sure not to be overrun.
what is your vision for the company?
- My driving force is to build something good and be able to contribute to something bigger. My vision is that Estelle & Thild should be able to become a big brand that drives development in the eco-trend and challenges the larger companies to become more sustainable. Other driving forces connected to it are to think new, challenge structures and inspire more people to entrepreneurship.
what significance does the founders alliance have for your entrepreneurship?
- It's a fantastic network and it is very inspiring to meet other founders. We often have the same questions and challenges. I don't have many friends who are in the same position, so I get quite lonely in my role, and then the Founders Alliance is a perfect forum for exchanging knowledge and experiences.