Ope AS was started by two Norwegian furniture designers, Lars Urheim and Eirik Høvik Helgesen, whose vision was to reshape the furniture industry to create more ”living”, sustainable homes. The idea was based on simplicity; to create a modular shelf system that could be customized for all types of rooms and personalities. Ope’s standard components are mounted without tools and can be reused in different ways over and over again. Unique for the industry, Ope put their money where their mouth is, by giving a 10% refund to customers returning their used components, helping ensure all parts return to circulation and cutting down on waste.
“Our system is designed for re-assembly and re-configuration, making it perfect for moving and redecorating again and again.”
Hi Lars! What does your business do?
We sell our own designer furniture system that can be configured to fit any needs, from space dividers to a simple stool, as well as book shelves, wall shelves, TV stands, benches and more.
When did the business start?
We started offering the system in 2014, and have recently launched our new web shop where customers can find inspiration and specific units, or contact us to get their own Ope-solution designed at no cost.
What inspired you to start your business?
I thought it was sad that so many large pieces of furniture were turned into waste because they were too big to move or could not be flat packed again. Our system is designed for re-assembly and re-configuration, making it perfect for moving and redecorating again and again.
How many people does your business have today?
We are a team of five, covering sales, business development, marketing and production.
What is the secret of your success or best business decision you made?
The secret of success is to relentlessly spread the word about your unique offer. My best business decision was to enter the market with an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) before everything was 100% perfect. Of course, in the years since we started we’ve learnt a lot, which has let us greatly refine and improve the quality of our products!
Biggest lesson learned or what advice would you give someone starting up?
Not to give in when times are hard. Everything moves in waves, and many entrepreneurs give up just as the market is becoming aware of their existence.
Which apps do you connect and how has it helped your business?
We have connected Shopify with Tripletex, letting our web shop and accounting system transfer data without manual input from us. As a small team this saves us hours each week so we can focus on growing the business, sales and product development.