Every month we interview people that inspire us and a lot of others. This time we speak entrepreneurship with Swedish Carl Johan Malmström (28) who is the man behind BOYSINSPIRATION, MOTEI and more.
First of all, tell us a bit about your background. Well, I was born and raised in Linköping, Sweden. A town 200 kms south of Stockholm. At the age of 19 a packed my bags and moved to Oslo, Norway. I wanted to start to work in the fashion industry and back then there was not much room for me to fulfil my dream in Linköping. I came to Oslo and started out immediately working for Tommy Hilfiger. I went in to work in project basis with some different assignments and later on I started with wholesale and have represented brands such as Hunter, RM Williams, Happy Socks, Lacoste with more. I think I´ve been working with around 20 different brands within that field. I´ve gained a lot of experience in a very short period of time, with the overall goal to become an entrepreneur.
Why did you want to become an entrepreneur? And why within fashion? I knew it already as a 16 year old teenager. I started to study different topics within entrepreneurship and it went really well. The other courses in school didn't excite me as much as of the thought about running my own companies. Fashion is a big interest of mine and I choose to fulfill that path when I took the step and moved to another country. I believe that you shall go in to the industry that excites you the most, and now it is fashion.
I´m going to sound like Nike now, but - just do it.
Tell us a bit how you did start out, what was the first thing you did when you became an entrepreneur? First thing I did was to find up the right concept. The right concept at that time was MOTEI (http://motei.no). There was nothing like the concept out there and the first thing I did was to conduct surveys in order to see if there was any interest in a concept like MOTEI. Would the consumers use it? I soon found out that there were room for the concept and that the consumers would love to use it. I think that my personal devotion til the concept came clear when Innovation Norway believed in us and gave us the grants to start the concept. Second of all, I couldn't had done it without my partners and the people around me.
What is the best tips you can give to someone who want to become an entrepreneur? I´m going to sound like Nike now, but - just do it. First of all you need to have your idea, get feedback about your idea and be open minded to discuss it with others. You will not gain any valuable feedback if you don´t discuss it. Don´t be afraid to discuss it for reasons that someone will copy it. If someone want to copy it, they will sooner or later anyhow. The big difference between you when you´re starting it is that you belong to the top 1% in the world who´s actually not just a talker, you go out there and learn by doing. Tell us a bit about your style. What do you prefer to wear? I´m very casual. I wear a lot of t-shirts, shirts, cardigans and combine it with chinos and jeans. I´m always wearing a watch and are a sneaker fantast. But still, everything is very clean and i´m not going out from my comfortable circle.
You will see more from Carl Johan Malmström later on regarding other projects as well as here at BOYSINSPIRATION.
About MOTEI: Motei is a search-engine for fashion. You can search for products and find them in the local retail stores around. Everyday consumers search for fashion and fashion companies use the site to tell the consumers about their products. Available in Norway.