The Trendhim philosophy of awesomeness
Awesomeness is the main deciding factor in all we do at Trendhim. We only sell products we believe are awesome. We only deliver service we believe is awesome. We only hire people we think are awesome. We give customers 365 days to return products because we believe that's awesome. We want you to have the best possible shopping experience and fall in love with your new things. It’s as simple as that.
Read the short story of how Trendhim came to be, from the cradle to adulthood (almost) as we best recall it.
All good stories start at the beginning... but not at 4AM
Trendhim was founded in late 2007 by Sebastian and myself (Mikkel). We were just 18 and finishing up our last year of high school. We were young, energetic, burning with the desire to start our own business... and fortunately, naive enough to actually go for it.
We came up with 2 ideas for what we thought would be a good business. A home delivery service for bread on Saturdays and Sundays, and an online store with accessories and jewelry for men.
You know how they say entrepreneurs need to do whatever it takes to make their business succeed? Well. As much as we would love to agree, we quickly decided that the whole getting up at 4AM to deliver bread thing wasn't really our cup of tea.
And that was it! Morning bread suffered a swift death, and from the charcoaled ashes of waking up early... rose Trendhim.
With about 4000 euro of hard-earned money doing paper routes and binding flowers (a story for another time), we embarked on this great adventure.
With our naiveté only surpassed by our ambition, we dived headfirst into everything eCommerce. Coding websites, buying products, taking good care of customers, insurance, accounting, product photography, and so much more.
We had fire in our stomachs and wanted to build something awesome!
The people closest to us, family and friends, didn't always get what we were doing. Some took every opportunity to comment on how great an education is, and how what we were doing was risky.
Eventually, though, even Sebastian's own mom came around, accepting, despite strong apprehensions about her son's future, that we were two young people with a quest in our heart and that there was no stopping us.
Today she's probably our biggest fan and spots the most minute mistakes on the website before we do.
83m2 of Rome
If someone had told us that we’d have to work 16-hour days, 7 days a week, invest another 10,000 euro, and give up almost all our social lives for about 2 years to make this work... we would have called them crazy. But that's exactly how it went! And that's also where the naivité of two young entrepreneurs with a burning desire to succeed came in handy.
From 2007 to 2009 we both still had part-time jobs at the post office, allowing us to put bread (and sometimes even milk!) on the table.
Both Sebastian and I, our beds, bathroom, kitchen, inventory, and office called a certain 83m² apartment home.
Rome wasn't built in a day, we knew that.
At the end of 2009, we were finally making enough money to quit our jobs and focus on Trendhim full-time. Wow, what a feeling!
"I can still vividly remember the strange feeling in my stomach on the way home after I quit my post office job. It was that awkward combination of extreme happiness, excitement, stress, anxiety, and an imminent nervous breakdown.
Was this the right decision? Trendhim would now have to provide full-time salaries for the both of us. But who knew what would happen and whether the company would still be profitable in 6 months?!
At the same time, I knew that now we'd have even more time to make Trendhim truly amazing!"
Who needs a bedroom
Things moved quickly from then on. We were expanding into new product categories, and even new countries. And... we needed more space. Badly. We literally had boxes of products in every corner of the apartment, with both of us sleeping on small mattresses in the living room.
So we decided to rent a huge villa in a family neighborhood. We thought it was the perfect solution, because then we still wouldn't have to drive to work every day, and could kick ass from morning till sundown at home.
A new era
The year 2011 came rolling by... and we needed to move the business yet again because the owner of the villa was selling it and for some mysterious reason, he thought it'd be slightly awkward if we hung around when the new people moved in.
A bit older, a bit wiser, and still very much passionate about building something awesome, we decided to rent a proper 200m² commercial property.
Me and Sebastian still lived with each other, though. Nothing felt better than working together at home while the rest of the world was sleeping.
A rocket is made to go fast, not straight
We always knew we wanted to do so much more than just being an online retailer. So in 2012, we set out on another quest... to build the most awesome brand of accessories for men. We worked our asses off for a few years to create something truly unique, down to the last detail. And... *drumroll*... Lucleon was born, our very own men's accessories brand.
Looking back, we should've kept the focus on Trendhim for a little while longer. But when you have so much fire inside, you tend to blast off and soar like a rocket...
Eventually, we found the perfect balance between Trendhim and Lucleon, and now Lucleon is an integrated part of who we are and what we do. Coming up with our own brand and designing our own products was not only a natural next step but also reflected our aspirations for the future. We always wanted to be on top of as much of the retailing process as possible. That's the only way to make all of it awesome! However, at the time, it was a bit too much to chew on in one go...
Redbull and fire makes perfect
When 2013/2014 came around, things started to move really fast.
The Trendhim team grew and Martin joined us as a 3rd partner in the business. He was a bit of an energy-drink addict... which we thought was great!
Martin fit in like another pea in the pod, and we all had some great late-night work sessions. I actually remember waking up one morning to the sound of Martin opening a can of Red Bull!
We also went from packing every single order ourselves to hiring young students to do the job so we could focus on other things.
At the end of 2014, Trendhim was growing faster than bamboo shoots in a rainforest, expanding to Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Netherlands. We also doubled the selection of products that year. No wonder we felt super busy...!
An amazing experience
Karina and Kristof joined the team, inventory grew, and the 200m² warehouse became so cramped that you had to walk sideways like a crab just to pick and pack orders. We'd practically turned most of the warehouse into one-way streets and cul-de-sacs.
So we had a team meeting, discussed things until late in the night, took a life-changing, earth-shattering decision, painfully pulled our roots from the ground, said goodbye to our beloved home...
… and moved to the other side of the street.
We moved into our current headquarters with space for go-cart races, ping-pong tables, and room for big thinking.
The days of the bachelor pad and sleeping in the living room on a mattress were officially over.
And you'd think, "Okay. This is where they become professionals, right?" Well... not quite. Not in the traditional sense, anyway...
One of our core values is Loosey Goosey, and this is something that everyone at Trendhim holds close to heart. We decided a long time ago that we never wanted to become "professional" just for the sake of professionalism. Not as a company, and not as individuals. That we were always going to talk to our customers on a down-to-earth level, human being to human being. That our employees were going to be part of a team, of a family. That we would always try to grow as people and as a company.
We've always wanted to build the most awesome company, both for our customers and employees.
Well, that escalated quickly!
Aaah, 2016... what a year to be working at Trendhim. So many amazing and challenging things happened, it's hard to choose which ones to tell you about.
But I'll start with countries. At the beginning of February, after we'd spent a month recovering from Christmas and researching our beloved European neighbors, we all sat around our lunchroom table. We were wracking our brains trying to decide which 2 countries to expand to out of the 11 candidates we came up with in our research, when someone said, "Well, why not expand to all of them?".
So that's what we did. Two weeks later, 43 translators were working on translating the entire website, including 3,000 products, into 8 languages, covering 11 markets.
Meanwhile, our customers told us they needed even more awesome accessories to choose from, so we set ourselves the goal of going from 3,000 to 5,000 unique items before the end of the year. After all, we now had all that warehouse space we needed to fill up! We finally did it by the middle of November. Nowadays, the warehouse is now filled to the brim. It's funny how we thought 1000m2 would keep us covered for years... Boy, were we wrong!
But wait, there's more! In the beginning of September, we decided to open a brick and mortar store by Christmas. To say that that was more difficult than we expected would be a ginormous understatement! Designing the place, getting the displays, shelves, racks, glass covers, and everything else made... finding the right location... deciding on which products to showcase in the store... actually setting up everything in a presentable way... hiring staff... everything was so time-consuming, I get exhausted just thinking about it... But we managed to pull it off, and the store has been very well-received by our hometown of Horsens!
All that being said, the most rewarding part of 2016 has been the people. We feel immensely fortunate to be surrounded by more hardworking, caring, responsible, and thoughtful people than ever before. As a matter of fact, Trendhim team now consists of more than 50 amazing people. Some part-time, some full-time... and all equally fantastic. We tried getting everyone to the office for a good picture, but it was impossible, so you'll have to settle for just 26 of us for now :-)
Big plans, with a pinch of sillyness
We've got big plans for 2017 :-) Among a whole bunch of other things, we want to create the world's best customer shopping experience.
Does that mean we're going to work our asses off this year... again?! Yup... but it doesn't mean we can't have fun while doing so! Combining work and fun is a part of daily Trendhim life, as seen in our new 404 page, featuring this awesome gif :-)
That's it for now. But stay tuned, because there's much, much more to come!
Thank you for reading our story, and thank you for being part of Trendhim in one way or another.