Fifteen years ago, Peter Erlandsson helped reawaken the dormant brand String, whose bookshelf system, designed by the legendary Nisse Strinning, had been a common feature of Swedish homes for decades.
“I can honestly say that Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair is the most important fair for us. 46% of our sales come from Sweden and our biggest customers are here, so it makes sense. We don’t attend very many exhibitions in a year, and when we do, we try to concentrate them all in the spring.
“In recent years, we’ve developed our storage systems so they have a place in more and more rooms, not just the living room, and we’re promoting that here, of course. For example, we’ve got a new material and colors for our shelving, we’re launching a knife stand and we’re expanding our outdoor range.”
Foreign markets account for 54% of your sales. As a Scandinavian company with Scandinavian designers, how are you received in the world today?
“Everything we do is ‘Made in Sweden’, largely in Småland. Globally that’s a strength, particularly in China, Japan and the USA. It maybe doesn’t play quite such a big role in Europe, to be honest. Our product is made to go global – it comes in a flat pack that is easy to ship, with no wasted space, and it’s ideally suited to e-commerce. String works all over the world.”
What is your approach to sustainability?
“We actually do quite a lot in this area, but we haven’t been great at getting that across to the market. We work with MDF and steel, we only use recycled material in our perspex wall panels, and all the paints are water-based. Everything in the String range is rooted in quality and in environmental and social responsibility, so we feel quite comfortable about what we do.”
Finally: how does it feel for you personally to be here at Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair?
“It’s wonderful to meet and chat to our customers and resellers. We’ve worked hard since we took over in 2005, but I never get tired of all the fairs. The social aspect means a lot. Stockholm is an excellent fair for Scandinavian design, I must say.”