Despite what you might think after last blog post it is not at all bad that we are moving to Iceland and in fact there are many advantages to moving just as there are some disadvantages.
For a small startup like ours every penny counts and cutting costs is the most vital thing for us to do to be able to grow. Even though it is expensive to move the production to Iceland it is still in the long run feasible to do for just one reason. We have production local that we own and can set up permanently to our liking. Its not big but big enough for now. Of course it is not free but as it is our garage its only the mortgages that we pay and thus we are paying the rent to our self not some one else. And yes rent of production local and shop here in Bergen is expensive. In fact way to expensive for startup like ours. This is why we chose to close the shop - Hraun art and design - that we had, put the emphasis on online sales and markets. All in all it was a very wise move in retrospect.
Secondly we are getting closer to our main supplier of material. Atlantic leather. We get all our fish leather from Iceland and will thus bypass most shipping cost of fish and all the hassle with customs as we have previously experienced. Being closer to the main raw material also means being able to buy on smaller scale and expand our portfolio of products and develop more of new styles. In the long run this is not only going to save money but also save time and make design life easier.
Third but not least, despite being in Norway for 5 years we still have larger network and easier access to a lot of help and helpers that we need to grow, back home in Iceland. Further more all access to material to build tools and helping devises are far more easy in Iceland than in Bergen. I am a bit frustrated about how difficult it is to access some materials here in Norway and have to spend to much time on searching online for solutions. Some times I wish there was a home depot here in Norway so I could just walk into one shop and get most of what I need in one go. There is no Home Depot in Iceland but I know exactly where I can get what ever I need and I know that I can get any thing I need to build up the workshop and my tools.
Fourth and one of the key elements is the fact that we have received better response from shop owners in Iceland than we have here in Norway. This means that I can put emphasis on production and quality of my work and less on selling to survive. The more we can spread our products the more feedback we get and thus can keep on developing the product line. The big plus is that it is better to have many salespersons selling your work than just you alone . They reach far more customers and the likelihood of the right people finding your products is more.
Fifth. The tourist market is our main customers here in Norway. It is a proven fact that our products are best liked by people from USA, Germany, France and Netherland and these are all countries that travel to Iceland all year round not just in May - September like here in Bergen. Beside these countries, other nations are flocking to Iceland at the moment and thus the potential customers are many more over there than in Bergen.
These five reasons should be more than enough to make the move as they far outweigh the disadvantages which is mainly the import of other leather and supply. But as we have to deal with that through online purchase any ways, it does not matter much, specially now with the Icelandic krona getting stronger and the Norwegian krona falling.
The Icing on the cake is of course the fact that we have a daughter in Iceland and all our friends and family are over there
Do we need any more to prove that this is a vise decision?
Stay tuned, stay happy and keep on stitching