Gstove AS is a family business established in 2015 that consists of people who love the outdoors and who take every opportunity to get into nature. We talked to Robin Sveen, CEO of Gstove AS.
“Results are only created by you and the right people around you who works equally determined.”
Hi Robin! What does your business do?
Gstove AS designs, develops and distributes products for outdoor activities and hiking equipment in Norway and abroad. We currently sell in 18 countries and expand every year. Our main product is ovens for use in a lavvo (a traditional tent used by the Sami people of northern Scandinavia) or tent, cabin or caravan. We focus on innovative solutions and accessories for our ovens and hiking equipment. In the future we will launch self-developed lavvos as well as solutions for portable power, clothes and more. This gives people a reasonable alternative to a functional residence, whether it’s difficult in society or just because they enjoy being in the outdoors and like to do it comfortably. Our plans and objectives are long-term where we work daily towards the next goal.
When and where did the business started?
In 2007 I started in Vestfold with the design and development of the first lavvo oven ‘Lavvo and Klær’. In 2009 the first version of our Gstove lavvo furnace was made, which included many improvements and continual testing. In 2013 we launched an online store with a variety of products to find out what the market was most interested in from lavvo ovens, walking gear, clothes and other categories. This gave us insights into which products were most important for our company to grow. After 2 years of operation, we had the information we needed and launched the company Gstove AS, so in 2015 launched the first lavvo oven with an integrated stove, which was very well received. We have since released several versions, upgrades and accessories that provide more comfort and flexibility for use out in the nature.
What inspired you to start your business?
Inspiration comes from being from Finnmark, being in the nature without mobile coverage and enjoying the tranquility and calm the nature gives you. Being able to work with something I burn for, developing a product other people appreciate and need, while working to help many people at home and abroad is probably what gives the most motivation and inspiration.
How many people does your business have today?
Today we are 3 employees and have another 2 people in our warehouse that expanded in August.
What is the secret of your success or best business decision you made?
The secret to success is to not listen to everyone who thinks they know better or tell you that you won’t succeed, which many people do. Have a good plan, follow this and give 100% whatever obstacles you encounter. The best decision I have taken is not to give up, but rather sleep less and work more. Results do not come by themselves, you have to create them and have the right people around you who work just as well as a good team.
Biggest lesson learned or what advice would you give someone starting up?
The biggest lesson to learn is that the paperwork and costs of one company quickly become overwhelming and take a lot of energy and time. I would therefore recommend making a good plan and get everything on paper that can also be updated over time and as things change. Get an overview of programs, systems, equipment and everything you need in your company before starting up and make an appointment with those who deliver this so you can control costs before you start and avoid unforeseen issues. Another very important point for anyone who wants to start up their own company, do not plan to be profitable from the beginning, it costs money to grow the business.
Which apps do you connect and how has it helped your business?
We use ConnectMyApps as a very important part of our business between our e-commerce and accounting system. We highly recommend it to save time while providing increased control between your two major ecommerce applications, the webshop and accounting systems. Choose the right systems and you will save a lot of time and money.