Victoria Carlsson is founder and CEO of Denjo Dogs. She’s been an entrepreneur for 10 years, and many people surely recognize her as the entrepreneur that introduced frozen yogurt to Sweden with her former company Yollibox. Since 2017 she runs Denjo Dogs together with her business partners Kenzo 🐶 and Robin Grann. So how can a regular day at work look like for Victoria? What is the company vision? And how did Victoria come up with the idea of Denjo Dogs?
Find the answers in the interview below!
Hi Victoria! Who are you?
Hi! My name is Victoria Carlsson, I’m 32 years old, born and raised in Uppsala, and now I live in Stockholm together with my family – my fiance, our two kids Hugo (2 years old), Bianca (soon to be 3 months old) and our four legged kid Kenzo 🐶 (7 years old).
You’re one of the founders, and also CEO – how can a regular day at work look like?
Yes, I’m one of three founders and also CEO at Denjo Dogs. In small businesses there are no such thing as “regular days” at work, since all days look very different, which I love! Some days I work with budgets, contracts, and sales analytics, and some days I help customers in the customer service department, or I’m doing store visits at the Åhléns Department Stores (where you can buy some of our products).
You’ve been an entrepreneur for 10 years now, can you please tell us about the journey?
I’v always been interested in entrepreneurship and to start and run a business. My father has been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember, so he’s been an inspiration for me. In High School, I started my first business and I think it was at that time I realized it was something that suited me very well. It was very fun!
After High School I started to study economics at Handelshögskolan in Stockholm, at the same time I started my next business – a frozen yogurt company called Yollibox. Yollibox grew fast in Sweden and the business went very well. We (me and my business partner Sofie Stenmark) started Yollibox in 2012 and only a year after we got awarded as The Young Entrepreneurs Of The Year by HKH Prince Daniel – it was such an honor!
After some years in the trade, a new idea came to me, and it was time for new adventures and challenges. Me and Sofie sold our part of Yollibox to some other entrepreneurs, and the journey with Denjo Dogs soon came to start.
From frozen yoghurt to dog supplies – how did you come up with the idea of Denjo Dogs?
Since I’m born and raised on a farm, I’v always been surrounded by animals like horses, cats, dogs, etc. Among all animals, dogs have always had a special place in my heart. The idea of Denjo Dogs actually first came to me when my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel came into my life. This was the year of 2014 when I still worked at Yollibox. Kenzo, instantly became a beloved family member and my best friend, who followed me everywhere. When I became a dog parent, it was like a new world opened up for me. Kenzo and I needed dog products to our new lifestyle, but when I started to look for dog beds, collars, leashes, bowls etc I had a really hard time to find the right products for me and Kenzo.
The majority of dog products I found had a design with bright colors, cheesy messages and symbols. The dog beds I found lost their shape within just a few weeks, and the collars and leashes were not made for best comfort, neither a stylish look. When I talked to other dog parents and friends about this, they all agreed with me – there was simply a lack of dog products on the market combining the elements of beautiful design, function and a sustainable mindset. So I came up with an idea – what if I could create a global destination online for dogs and their parents, where they could find premium dog accessories with focus on sustainability and eye catching design. A place where dog parents can shop functional, yet stylish dog essentials that would fit into their everyday lives and also their homes.
Kenzo and I realized we needed a business partner – a person with competence within design and product development. So I reached out to one of the most talented persons I know when it comes to design – Robin Grann. At the year of 2017, me, Kenzo and Robin launched the webshop, and denjodogs.com was born.
What’s the vision of Denjo Dogs?
We aim to be world’s most loved and sustainable dog brand.
We want Denjo Dogs to be a trustworthy brand that dogs and their parents love, and want to be a part of. We want to bring the dog and human together, and connect them through physical items and emotions. A product from Denjo Dogs is more than “just a product” – it’s something that brings joy and happiness to the everyday dog life, products that brings the dog and human closer together.
It’s been 3,5 years now since the launch of denjodogs.com – what have happened since then?
Oh! I think we could write a book of all things we’ve experienced. From classic entrepreneur challenges to historical happenings. We manage to be the first dog company every to open our own store at Nordiska Kompaniet in Stockholm. What I’m most proud of though, is that my team and I have created a company where quality, design and sustainability are the essential parts. Also everything we do, from production to customer service, we do with true passion.
How about the future – what’s up next?
As Denjo Dogs aim to be the world’s most loved and sustainable dog brand, that is always our main focus. A part of that includes product development so we can offer an even bigger and better assortment of high quality products, and also to open up for the global market. In a couple of months, we’ll have a bigger assortment with new fantastic dog products, and hopefully in the end of this year we’ll have four legged customers from countries like Norway, UK, Germany in our webshop 🐶
Finally, can you please name your top 3 products from the assortment.
- Dog Bed Nest Superior – This one is my top 1, since there are so much research and work behind this dog bed, which makes it one of the most comfortable, durable and sustainable dog beds on the market.
- Poop Bag Dispenser – The best life hack for dog owners! A stylish, functional bag for poop bags, to attach on the leash. Say bye bye to those awkward moments where you’ve forgotten the poop bags.
3. Denjo Dogs Name Tag– This one is special to me, since it was our first very own product. A beautiful and functional name tag made from solid brass, with engraving at the back. It’s made in Sweden at the same company that creates the Nobel Medals.