Jonas Ericsson (@generating_can) is a business consultant, author and M.Sc in International trade. Founder of Dot&Beyond and writer of CAN!, he is certainly the man of choice for daring entrepreneurs who are ambitious and wanting to fulfil their wildest aspirations to break into the lifestyle industry. We got the privilege to interview Jonas in Stockholm, Sweden, Land of the Midnight Sun.
1. Hi Jonas, can you tell us a short story about yourself?
Hej hej!! I am a guy who loves design, and the idea to spread it out to new and different markets. Design in terms of looks, quality and functionality, as the Swede I am. I am also a serial entrepreneur in design, having done different projects and businesses both in Singapore and Sweden. I simply can’t resist to be a part of developing a new brand, concept or idea.
2. Why did you choose the location for our interview/ photoshoot?
This place, which is called Mosebacke on the island of Södermalm in central Stockholm, has a fantastic vibe around itself with the mix of old and new. Old buildings and new people.
Södermalm is also one of the “hippest” locations in the world at the moment according to New York Times and Wallpaper Magazine, where a lot of new trends are being set. All isn’t about trends and money though. We all need to have a nice place to rest and to think so we get a full life. And Mosebacke, with it’s fabulous view over Stockholm and its waterline is a good place to catch up yourself.
Dot&Beyond is working with design and designers from Singapore and around. We set up the idea in 2015 and launched our first exhibition in Sweden in January 2016.
It all comes from my years in Singapore when I did it the other way around; I took Scandinavian design to Singapore with my company Style: Nordic and had shops at Ann Siang Hill and one on Orchard Rd.
It was a fantastic journey where I experienced so much about Singapore and doing Dot&Beyond is a part of “paying” back by giving designers and brands the opportunity to enter the Swedish market. Tough, but in the long run a very good one.
Dot&Beyond started as a spin off from my consultant bureau of business development called Generating where we had clients from all over the world.
My first idea and vision was, and actually still is in a way, to open a kind of platform for the brands and designers in a physical place like a shop and showroom. Unfortunately the venue I had booked was taken just under my nose….. I still wanted to bring the designers here in some way, and I realised that we can work as and agent and distributor instead.
We start small and take it step-by-step instead of doing the BIG thing. I think actually that it’s better in this way. We have to remember that the brands and designers from Singapore are very new and have never been seen in Europe and Sweden before. This makes it awfully difficult to enter the Sweden market. The people are incredible picky and have a strong herd mentality that they live up to.
BUT, we believe in this and hopefully it really will take off in 2017. We already have some clients and more are coming. So happy for that!
Grinning from ear to ear, as he take his dog for a walk
5. What does storytelling mean to you?
It’s about giving something a life. An idea or a product, it still needs a story so you, as a normal person, can create your own story and picture about it, and then pass it on. It is also about adding value to things. A product without a story is like a person without a life. We need to know what’s behind and in front of it, and us all. We need to have a context and a view that appeal to us and our own lives.
6. What is your favourite form of storytelling and why? What influenced it and has it influenced you?
Coming from the fashion and interior industry, one of my sayings is; “Image is everything”. Hahaha!!
It sounds so awfully ignorant and superficial but when it comes down to reality, it’s actually true. So sad.
I believe that we all put on a story every day we put on our clothes for the day. Different story for a different day. So in a way you hardly never ever get to tell the same story….. I mean that you hardly ever wear exactly the same clothes, do you? Fantastic!!
“Action speaks louder than words.” “Never forget to play.”
8. Do you have a favourite fictional story? Why is it your favourite and how has it influenced you?
I don’t know really. I mean, my life is a fantastic story on its own, hahahaha. Just kidding….
I am fascinated by James Bond, and I love to read Agatha Christie and all that. Even great Swedish and the classical authors are in my own library.
But my silly favourite is actually a movie called “Pretty Woman” with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere playing the main characters. The movie fills me with joy and happiness and that anything CAN happen.
STORYTELLERS WE LOVEis a monthly series that sets out to uncover different forms of storytelling in the world, by engaging influencers in their own right and thought leaders in their industry. We believe that their stories and way of storytelling will foster Gnome & Bow’s vision to inspire personal storytelling without boundaries.
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