Granit was born in Sweden, in the kitchens of two women who wanted products for the home, but didn’t want to go to the Swedish cornerstone, IKEA. They wanted practical, functional products that looked good, which would make their lives simpler and have a Nordic aesthetic.
Soon after its inception, the Bergendahl Group recognized what Granit could be, purchased the company and set out to bring its one-of-a-kind items to consumers.
“We don’t follow mainstream trends,” says Carl-Mikael Bergendahl, CEO. “We focus on the trends that add value and function to our customers’ lives.”
These products come in eight distinct categories: Storage, Stationary, Interior, Kläder och väskor, Kök, Deli, Bathroom and Garden. Through each section, customers can buy various offerings that boast contemporary designs, natural colours and stay true to the original reason the company was founded. “None of our products are there to just sit in a room, they all do more and inspire their owners to do more,” explains Mr. Bergendahl. A good example of this mindset can be seen in the storage area of the firm. All storage solutions are made to look good while making the customer’s life simpler. Good organization cuts down on stress, saves time and gives the user more ability to focus on fun or creative endeavours. To make sure its range doesn’t just follow trends and look like everything else on the market, the company’s product managers are also product developers.
“We create our own take on things,” adds Mr. Bergendahl. “We look at what consumers want, see which products on the market already fulfill those desires, then design something that meets those wishes.” The firm has designers that design exclusively for them. This is important, because the company makes sure that each of its items are unique. Granit doesn’t just copy an existing product on the market, but rather creates a product that can only be found within its stores or on its website. This dedication to one-of-a-kind home and lifestyle pieces inspires loyalty in its customer base and also helps it widen that base.
Having a digital presence is important to the business, but so is maintaining physical stores consumers can shop at. “We recognize that the way people shop is changing,” states Mr. Bergendahl. “More and more people are buying things online, but when it comes to products for the home, being able to see them in person, touch them and interact with them is important.”
So far Granit has 32 stores and plans to increase that number in the next few years, paying particular attention to areas outside of Scandinavia, such as Germany. Also the Netherlands promise to become an interesting market for Granit. Even though the company wants to physically expand, that doesn’t mean it is slacking off on the digital front. Its website is very extensive and gives customers information about all of its products, sustainability practices, charity work and more. The firm is active on social media and features Instagram photos its clients have uploaded to the website.
In terms of sustainability, Granit believes in the whole process that goes into making something sustainable. It’s not just about what products are made of – although that is considered – it is also about the people behind the products. “Sustainability for us is how we treat our customers, employees and suppliers,” explains Mr. Bergendahl. “Conditions for all workers in our supply chain and in stores need to be good, and not just good at the basic level.” To show its commitment to workers and the environment, the business has a program called Granit Omtanke, ‘omtanke’ meaning ‘care’. Many of the firm’s products are made from recycled materials, are biodegradable, made from chrome-free leather, are mulesing-free, and much more.
Partnered with its sustainability actions, is the company’s support of social philantrophy. “In addition to reviewing our own products, we support initiatives that promote a sustainable society,” adds Mr. Bergendahl. An initiative the business has taken to heart is the education of women. The UN’s sustainable development goals include education and equality, which is why Granit has chosen to support Solar Sahelis, which is a program where women in poor rural areas in Rajasthan, India, are trained to sell solar lamps to their nearby villages. The women earn money, which gives them a stronger position in their families and their society as a whole. Granit’s contribution to this program is being used to recruit and train 150 new women every year.
With its unique and functional products, its digital and offline presence, its commitment to every step in the sustainability cycle and its dedication to bettering the world we live in, it’s easy to see why Granit continues to have a solid foundation with its customers. Think better, do better.