ROF goes Scandinavia!
Shame on us, but we have never been to Sweden. Denmark is familiar terrain (Leo used to work there briefly) but a trip to Sweden had been long overdue.
And so we took our Camper out of the shed for the ultimate EU road trip. Easier said than done as this ROF on Tour mobile needed some TLC. Yup, car trouble is becoming a vast part of our road trips nowadays.
But when we had our engine going and started driving I looked at Leo, and saw he had the same big grin on his face as I had. We almost forgot how much fun this adventure camper was! That same night we said to each other that we could seriously live minimal like this. You need so little, and more stuff only means more worries, plus it breaks (story of our lives).
A short adventure on the beaches of Denmark
Our route was divided in a few parts. Denmark was first up, and fun fact; here you can drive with your car on the beach. If you remember our motto: adventure starts here – No question: we were taking our camper on to that beach. For a few fun minutes… (yes someone towed us out, let’s leave it at that) and we were on our way again.
En route to surprise the Boysen family, Leo used to go here whenever he was in Denmark for work. It was so good to see Saskia, Jan and their daughter Suzanne again. I can’t name an animal that they don’t have roaming around here and they are so welcoming. And crazy about our Tankwa boots, so it seemed, as the whole family and their friends became part of the ROF community.
How could we say no to this
And whilst I write this down, I realise this is what we set out to experience here in Scandinavia. To feel if what we want ROF wearers to feel and experience when they wear our shoes, really does match with the values in these countries.
Of course we got feedback from our Swedish retailer Verkstan, but we wanted to feel it for ourselves. So when Anett (owner of Verkstan) invited us to come and see the country, the shops where our boots are being sold, and meet our community – we said yes.
Those of you who follow us on Instagram, know that we met Anett 1,5 years ago in Cape Town and had an instant click. She is an extremely successful entrepreneur that we admire deeply. Anett started Verkstan a few years ago with 4 other women (something that not many women can do) and now they have 6 stores. Hoganas (in the South of Sweden), 4 on Gotland (where all of them live) and 1 in Are (a populair ski area in the North of Sweden).
We got to tell our ROF-Style story
We were surprised when we saw what these shops had to offer! We’d seen pictures, but lifestyle shops like this, we have rarely seen. Everything here was picked so perfectly for their target group. And our boots were standing there, on full display in SWEDEN! We felt so proud.
The day after we visited the shop in Hoganas to meet some of the staff. We were made aware that it’s so much easier to sell our ROF boots if you know our story, how vegetable tanned leather works and the way sizing works.
Anett and her colleagues went out of their ways to create a fun program for us that day. We went for dinner at Holy Smoke<, an authentic BBQ experience deep in the Swedish countryside. We are not big meat eaters but this experience was very special. Lisa (store manager of Verkstan Hoganas) is good friends with owner Johan, who sat with us to share his story and inspiration with us.
Camping in one of the few vineyards that Sweden has
We ended the evening in one of the few vineyards that Sweden has, for a night of ‘camping in the wild’. For a moment we were back in South Africa. In this moment we agreed that our Tankwa Boots are officially made for people that love the outdoors.
By the way: wild camping really means, in the wild… where you shower in the sea and all… Anett took us out to experience how she lives during the summer. She crosses Sweden with her car (with roof-top-tent) and her Ridgeback. We have so much admiration for this!
From South Africa to the world
Our whole experience in Gotland was mindblowing. From the stretched out land, the nature and all the inspiring people we met.
Like Patrick and Sara (check out her work here) a super nice couple who live in the most beautiful house we have ever seen and that inspired us for the ROF guesthouse that we want to build in Riebeek Kasteel.
But also, when we spotted the exact same Mercedes 508D and it turned out to be the Beelzebus (insta link) of Bjorn and Katja that Leo had been following on Insta. Give them a follow if you want to improve your technical knowledge about old campers. We agreed to meet each other again next year in Gotland.
We never thought we loved it so much here, and for the Swedish to love our ROF boots so much. We were practically sold out by the third day. It was so valuable to interact with our customers face to face instead of only online. This way we really got to know them and understand why introducing a handmade boot from South Africa in Scandinavia was a great decision!
Our trip started out in Denmark, which we loved but Sweden really captured our hearts. We said on multiple occasions that we could live here at some stage…guess you never know where the next adventure can take you.
Want to see some more about ROF on Tour through Sweden? Click here