Only two years ago, Lisa Kjellqvist and Tara Derakshan set out to change the world of scent by launching their own subscription-service for perfume. The business has since flourished and this year the company launched in the UK and now has a stand at Harvey Nichols in Knightsbridge. The LINK spoke with the two founders of the SCC Member Sniph, about their passion for scents and the journey of the company.
What does Sniph do?
Sniph is a discovery subscription service for scent. In a personalised way, customers subscribe to a perfume collection. There is a new fragrance every month. We want to build every customer a “fragrance wardrobe” by providing niche, high-end perfume brands to their doorstep.
How was the idea of Sniph born?
It was a combination of our personal interest for scent and the wish to solve a problem that we saw; actually being able to discover the huge collection of fragrances in the world. We thought, let’s do what Spotify has done with music; where you can build playlists and listen to certain songs, instead of buying a whole album. We wanted to enable a bigger part of the spectrum of fragrances out there. We launched Sniph, just to make it easier for people as we could see that this was expensive and time-consuming for the customers.
Tell us about the journey of Sniph from being founded to where it is today?
We were very quick to launch. On 1 September 2015 we sat our first goal; we were going to launch before Christmas the same year. Instead of investing a lot of time and money on building the perfect product, we started with selling quite a basic product, but we still got about 100 customers the first month. Our motto was to grow fast or fail fast. After this, we got accepted into a start-up programme called Sting. After some help and coaching we piloted for a year and got investors we could never have dreamt of, such as Martin Lorentzon, the founder of Spotify. Right now, we are the power-duo behind this company, we have a team of eight people and we just launched in the UK!
What differences do you see between the Swedish and British markets?
The major difference between the two markets is the competition. In the UK, the market for fragrances is bigger, and there are more options for the consumer to choose from. The customers’ requests also differ because in the UK people are more specific. If we would have known the differences and difficulties beforehand, we probably never would have expanded to the UK. Today, we are proud that we took the risk, even though we have encountered difficulties.
What are your backgrounds before Sniph?
Lisa, CEO, has a master’s degree in business studies from Lund University and has previously worked as marketing manager at Viaplay. Tara, CXO, has a background in communication and marketing and has held roles with the advertising platform Kiosked and World Childhood Foundation in New York, after finishing her master’s degree in business studies from Stockholm Business School. Tara has always known that she wanted to run her own business someday, while Lisa always knew that she wanted to work with scents.
What have the challenges been?
Again, a lot. If you don’t make any mistakes you are not trying hard enough. We’ve done plenty of things wrong but we implemented a culture early on which was to fail fast, learn faster. Failing has been the way forward for us. By that I don’t mean that we fail on purpose, but that we try things and constantly evolve and grow as a company.
What are your future goals?
What we are currently working on is to make the service more customised. For this, we use the ratings that our customers give of their fragrance experiences every month, so that we know what they might like next time. We want to be the natural go to place for anything that includes scents. So, when in need of a new fragrance or home scent we want to provide the latest out there. Right now, we are more of a recommendation service for scents. In the future, maybe as soon as this year, we are hoping to launch our own products.
What is the best part of your job?
That work is non-stop. As entrepreneurs, we do everything that needs to be done. We are HR managers, store managers, staff managers, sales, marketing, designers, and accountants at the same time. Every day is incredibly various and self-fulfilling! Also, the fact that we step by step are doing something new, making an impact and changing the industry, makes us very dedicated to our plan. It makes every day meaningful. It is also good motivation to see results and feel that the business is growing.