We are happy to welcome Eikund as a new member of the NBCC! Although still a young company, they have achieved a lot in recent years. We had a chat with Jørgen Tengesdal, the co-founder and CEO of Eikund. 

 

Welcome onboard Jørgen, could you tell us a bit more about Eikund? Notably how it all began, as according to the rumours, there is a story to be told. 

Thank you, and we are delighted to be involved. The story of Eikund began as a concept in the summer of 2015. Through a discussion about the missing pieces in the Norwegian furniture and design market, we discovered that none had a specific focus on classic furniture from the 1950 and the 1960s. A lot of hidden treasures can be found from that era, and we began the quest of searching for these. It was all done in a very Asbjørnsen and Moe type of way (collectors of Norwegian Folk tales). We started travelling around Norway, visiting families who owned original furniture created by their fathers. It was a treasure hunt where we collected stories and designs that enabled us to piece together forgotten history and give new life to old icons from the Norwegian design legacy. 

Our desire is for the world to be more familiar with the Norwegian furniture industry – and its history. We hope we can be a spokesperson and a gateway into this market and history by being the providers of the best quality furniture from the 1950s and 60s. 

 

It all sounds like a fairytale! As Eikund is still quite new as a business, how have recent world events affected you?

The production of furniture didn´t begin until the summer of 2017, so when COVID came we had actually just about started. However, we delivered under tough conditions and have continued on our path and ambition of doubling our turnover each year. 

Despite Covid and the war we have been able to grow and expand. For example, in London we share a showroom with other Norwegian brands at Chelsea Design Centre, and we also attended ICFF, North America’s leading platform for contemporary furnishing design.

Are you currently working on or planning any exciting new projects soon? 

We are continually working on new projects as our strategy is to present 1-2 new products each year. Aside from that, we try to adjust our current products by taking part in exciting projects. As one of our main objectives is to increase attention around Eikund and Norwegian design, we cannot, as a furniture producer, be at a standstill or be stagnant. 

We recently had a marketing stunt and project with graffiti artist Martin Whatson. Together we created a limited edition version of the “Krysset” chair, initially designed by Fredrik A. Kayser in 1955. The chair is distinguished by its stretched leather backrest and crossed legs, and Whatson was given free rein to decorate the chair’s frame with spray paint art. The collaboration received international recognition and focused attention on the Norwegian furniture market. 

 

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Why did you choose to become a member of NBCC?

We became a member of NBCC due to the importance of the chamber´s work and the benefits we stand to gain. Being involved in different chambers of commerce allows us to learn from other members and attend events. Our goal is to be a part of the Norwegian Chamber of Commerce in all of the markets where we are present. The influence that members of chambers can have is immense and is undoubtedly essential in the mission of creating attention around Norwegian exports. 

 

Do you have views on the importance of technology, insight, ingenuity and talent as we aim to make a better future for everyone?

One part of Eikunds DNA is to be as innovative and modern as possible. This includes being sustainable and thinking ahead for every step we take in the organisation. Technology has been a crucial tool in that process. 

We aim for a sustainable corporate economy and a sustainable workforce, where our employees are thriving and producing our furniture in a sustainable way. Our products are made up of carefully chosen materials which are good for nature, but also for customers. 

Technology has allowed us to be more forward-thinking when it comes to consumer experiences and marketing. There´s no doubt that consumer practices have changed in recent years, and this has been accelerated by COVID. If we are to succeed as a business, we need to be where our customers are. That´s not necessarily in the shop anymore as the customer journey has become more digital and personalised. 

 

Eikund Norway furniture production. Making of a chair is shown here.

Finally, some quick Q&A.

 

If you were to describe Eikund with one word, what would it be?

Quality furniture with passion 

 

If you had two wishes for Eikund, what would those be?

Firstly, I would wish for a return to a normal life without too many externalities. Our everyday life and business have been unbalanced in the past few years. The pandemic changed our everyday life and ways of socialising. Now the war in Ukraine is affecting people’s right to life with a butterfly effect on the whole of society. 

 

Secondly, I would wish that every government building or the major Norwegian companies would choose Norwegian furniture for their buildings and offices. This would help to raise the profile of the Norwegian furniture industry which would be beneficial for everyone.