With simplistic design in high quality materials, your customers will be lining up out the door to get their hands on Von-Röutte. This buying season you will be lucky enough to witness the new range from the Von-Röutte team with a unique surprising element.
Hurry up August!
Life Instyle: What is the 15 second elevator pitch that defines your business?
We design uncomplicated bags and wallets inspired by minimalism, made for the weekend adventures and everyday use. When we create a new product, we keep in mind three simple Nordic values: to be functional, beautiful and affordable. Our handcrafted products only use premium materials with great attention to detail and simplicity.
Life Instyle: The theme for Life Instyle Melbourne this season is Return to the Source, what does this mean to you and how did your story begin?
Consumers are becoming more sophisticated and demanding these days: they research every detail and origin of the products they want to buy. As designers, it is up to us to be transparent and ethical in our approach, hence we need to be aware of our footprint, the materials we use and the people we work with. At Von-Röutte, ‘Return to the Source’ means that we constantly need to improve the process in our product design and development. It’s an excellent opportunity to make the work more sustainable and meaningful.
Our story began when we noticed a gap in the accessories market. We observed that there weren’t many backpacks or accessories that were versatile enough for those that balance work and travel as well as appreciate minimal aesthetics. With my background as a designer and my fiancée’s background as a biologist, after travelling around to many amazing places, we decided to create something that was unique and that would last for generations, having in mind the importance of quality and the origin of the materials we would use.
Life Instyle: Where do you find inspiration?
Simplicity and minimalism have always inspired us in everything we do. The values from modernism are rooted in our ideas.
Von-Röutte means “on a route”, it comes from the idea of being on the road and is purposely a tribute to the Scandinavian design, which continues to define us as a company.
Functionalism, simplification of forms and affordability are keywords that come first in our dictionary.
Life Instyle: What was your biggest challenge when starting your business and how did you overcome it?
We always heard that opening a business would be a challenge and we realised when we started trading. Finding the right partners and understanding the market dynamics are key to help us continue to do what we do. Learning from your mistakes, finding new partners to collaborate with and adapting to your target market are essential, especially when you are in early stages of developing your brand.
Life Instyle: What was your best YAY US! moment?
We have many YAY moments and we celebrate each of them, literally. The most remarkable moment was right at the beginning. A customer made a very cool video wearing our bag saying how much he loved it. It was so rewarding to see a customer thanking us that we had to celebrate it properly.
Life Instyle: What advice would you give to a new designer/retailer reading this post?
Every designer and retailer should be, above all, thinking about the needs of their final customer. We find it really important to keep looking for new references every day so we can solve specific problems and make life easier for our clients with our products in mind. References are the fuel of creativity and I’m sure that customers will notice this if you keep looking for new ideas every day., However, without a good plan you won’t go anywhere. A strategic plan with a clear goal is paramount to deliver your products to the right people.
Life Instyle: Where do you see the future of retail heading?
Consumer behaviour is changing significantly with online shopping and mobile Internet, where people no longer buy products with the impulse that they had before. We discovered that research plays a big part of the purchase experience and we believe that stores and designers must be part of this process. Being present in different channels and integrating them will be the key for surviving in a near future. Omnichannel stores will be more convenient for customers. Retailers that are able to integrate digital and physical experiences will become more advantageous for the final consumer.
Life Instyle: What would a tarot card reader find in your future?
Challenges, challenges and more challenges. Expanding the brand to new markets will definitely be in our reading. We also hope one day to have a flagship store and exclusive collabs with designers that we love.
Life Instyle: How has your business grown over time? Where did you start and where are you now?
The first year was really challenging because of the number of changes that we had in our strategy. We had to travel to many different countries in order to find the best (and most ethical) materials to work with.
Starting a label from scratch, amongst all the noise, with no awareness has been the biggest challenge, but at the same time it’s really rewarding to see that we have a growing community that admires our brand and constantly give us great feedback about our newest products.
Life Instyle: What should our visitors be expecting to see from your brand at Life Instyle Melbourne 2016?
Expect to be part of our story, our brand and the concept we are bringing. This year we are presenting everyday accessories for urban explorers and each product that we have designed to have a unique surprising element. We will be featuring accessories with a mix of materials and textures that are inspired by the transition from the everyday use to weekend wanderings.
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