From hobby project to Christmas adventure

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Camilla Jacobsen
by Camilla Jacobsen 28/11/2020

Jule-Sweaters has grown from being a small, cosy hobby project to a successful webshop in just five years. Read the story here.

From hobby project to Christmas adventure

Behind the popular webshop Jule-Sweaters, which is Denmark’s largest producer of Christmas sweaters, are Jesper Ahm and Christoffer Sloth Henriksen. The idea for Christmas sweaters arose in 2015 in an apartment in Aarhus, when Jesper’s brother discovered a gap in the Danish market, as it was impossible to find matching Christmas sweaters for couples. The following year, Christoffer and Jesper acquired the company and, since then, it has been a crazy journey for the young partner couple.

Christmas is full of cosiness, love and celebration with the family – but also shopping and gifts. To the great joy of companies, nothing is spared when consumers around the world celebrate Christmas - and Jule-Sweaters is an excellent example of this.

The Christmas sweater, as Jule-Sweaters’ sales show, has become more and more popular in recent years. When Christoffer and Jesper acquired Jule-Sweaters, they did not expect it to be something they would make a living from, but instead they saw it as a hobby project. But, in just five years, sales have gone from 450 to more than 120,000 sweaters, and in fact they have become so busy that they have a hard time keeping up with demand. Moreover, in addition to Denmark, you can also buy the Christmas sweaters in Sweden, Italy, France and Spain.

Christmas online

Jule-Sweaters started exclusively as a webshop, but the company has also been to Christmas markets and set up its own pop-up shops in a number of Danish cities. However, the conclusion is that the right path for Christmas sweaters is through e-commerce.

It takes a lot of time to have your own stores, and it is a bit difficult. Instead, we’ve got more dealers. And we found out it's just a lot easier to run it all through the webshop, because it works very efficiently – and Shipmondo also plays a big role,” says Christoffer.

The webshop is built on Shopify, and for Christoffer and Jesper it is important that their webshop should be tuned to perfection, because it has a crucial importance for their sales. But it is not only their webshop that has to run smoothly.

Our entire company is based on the fact that Christmas is fun - that is what we sell. We want to give people a good experience - and that should be reflected throughout, both in terms of how fast we ship things and how we handle customer service and everything,” Christoffer explains.

To get a smooth and efficient workflow, Jule-Sweaters uses Shipmondo, which has been around right from the start. They use the order integration for Shopify, so that the orders are automatically imported into the webshop’s Shipmondo account. In addition, Christoffer says that Shipmondo works well for Christmas sweaters, because it is easy and straightforward, which is essential when you are a busy and growing company:

We use Shipmondo because of the ease of use. Undoubtedly! It's so easy to find your way around. Every time we've onboarded new employees in our Shipmondo setup and the system, it's taken about 15 seconds - and then they are fully able to manage orders in the system.

At the same time, Jule-Sweaters uses various different carriers through Shipmondo and has set up several own shipping agreements in their account. Christoffer and Jesper always spend time analysing the markets they want to enter, and here they have found that freight plays a significant role. Therefore, they make local adjustments and choose carriers that are popular in a certain country. This is why, for example, they use DHL in Sweden, which is one of the most popular carriers.

Christmas all year round

Even if you run a niche business that depends on annual Christmas sales, it does not mean that you don’t have anything to do in the remaining months - quite the opposite.

Marketing, webshop and so on should be optimised long before sales peaks. We’re only relevant in three months during winter times, so it is important that everything works 100 percent,” says Christoffer.

The two young partners behind Jule-Sweaters are busy all year round - especially during the Christmas months, when several thousand packages are shipped. That is clear when visiting the company’s warehouse, which is filled with the popular Christmas sweaters. See their warehouse here:

Warehouse at Jule-Sweaters

But when the Christmas sale is over, it does not mean that they can relax until next Christmas. There is an enormous amount of planning work, where new designs are created, status is made, analysis is carried out and agreements are formed with partners and dealers – and, in addition, the two partners travel to Bangladesh or China to visit suppliers.

(Christmas) advice for other companies

Christmas is a busy time of year, and therefore it can often be a tough month for business owners to get through. That’s why Jule-Sweaters have some good advice:

To be successful at Christmas, it’s about solid planning work - because there can be a lot of unpredictability. That said, Christmas is a stressful time and therefore it is also about having fun. Have fun. Drink some hot cocoa.

If you can’t get enough of good entrepreneurial stories, you can read all our case studies in our blog - including the story of how KiMs sells chips online and the story of The Christmas Factory, Julefabrikken

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