/EIN News/ — California, April 24, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Skoy Enterprises, LLC co-founders Karen Petersen and Michelle Lundqvist launched their company 14 years ago with a simple mission: They wanted to provide authentic and environmentally friendly Swedish dishcloths for people to use in their homes.
The Skoy story began 14 years ago, when both Petersen’s and Lundqvist’s children were preparing to enter kindergarten. With their children out of the house, the two friends decide to embark on a new enterprise together.
Lundqvist’s husband is Swedish, and every summer she would travel to Sweden and return with Swedish dishcloths – a product that soon found an audience among her family and friends.
“I would get just enough to last me until the next summer,” Lundqvist says. But when her friends began asking her for more cloth, she couldn’t refuse.
“One summer, we brought 400 packs home,” Lundqvist recalls. “And then about two months later, we didn’t have any left.”
Lundqvist and Petersen knew that there was a market for original Swedish dishcloths, so they began sourcing different manufacturers. Now 14 years later, they continue to reach new consumers with environmentally safe, high-quality Swedish dishcloths.
And for the Encinitas-based company, there is a major emphasis on their brand’s Swedish roots.
“We were the first Swedish dish cloth in the United States,” Petersen says. In the decade since their opening, there have been many other companies who claim to produce authentic Swedish dishcloths – but there is truly only one original.
“There are many competitors out there, but a lot of them are coming out of China,” Petersen says. “It is important to know that ours are manufactured in Europe.”
Their commitment to integrity and safe labor practices are important distinctions for Skoy. Not only that, but they know that if you want the best Swedish cloth, you have to go to its source – even for the designs.
“These are being printed in Sweden because they have so many years of expertise,” Lundqvist explains. “This is the best guy in Sweden, and probably the entire world, printing on this cloth.”
Initially, helping people understand their product – as well as the best way to use it – was an obstacle that needed to be overcome. However, educating both consumers and tradeshow audiences became an exercise that allowed them to really highlight the benefits of their exclusive product.
“When we first started 14 years ago, there was nobody who even knew what this cloth was,” Petersen says. “They would say, what is this square piece of cardboard?”
This question was often the springboard that Lundqvist and Petersen needed to promote Skoy Cloth to a new audience.
“At first, people would say things like, ‘Is this arts and crafts?’” Petersen says. “Or they would ask, ‘What is this cute flower on here?’”
By educating their audiences, both Petersen and Lundqvist discovered that they were not simply introducing a new product into the marketplace. They were transforming the way people clean their homes.
“In the beginning, we were showing people how to use it to wipe your dishes, to wipe your counters, and to clean up spills,” Petersen says. “It can be hard to teach somebody that you have to wet it before you use it – for a lot of people, that seems counterintuitive.”
Despite the early hurdles, their hard work has ultimately paid off. Skoy Cloth was the first Swedish dishcloth in the United States and their company continues to grow. Although there are many different competitors now entering the marketplace, Petersen and Lundqvist are confident that consumers will continue to choose the original.
And although they have enjoyed considerable success with their flagship Skoy Cloth product, both Petersen and Lundqvist have discovered a new and exciting way to partner with companies around the United States. Now, they deliver custom-printed dishcloths that can be used for corporate branding and promotional giveaways.
“The big Swedish companies use these,” Lundqvist explains. “They have them in their break rooms or take them to trade shows, just as we would give away t-shirts or bags.”
The best part about custom-printed Skoy Cloths, however, is that they are durable, useful, and eco-friendly. And for companies looking to make a lasting impact on their clients, there are few better ways to get in front of an audience than to be in their kitchen.
“It’s a fantastic promotional item because it’s not something that just gets thrown in the landfill,” Petersen says. “It’s something that is usable, and if someone keeps the cloth near their sink for six months, your advertisement or promotion is in front of them for that amount of time.”
Skoy Cloth has already formed partnerships with companies in and around Los Angeles, and they are rapidly expanding their reach to help companies promote across the United States.
“We have custom printed cloths for Healthy Homes of Fort Collins in Colorado,” Lundqvist says. “And we have done prints for the Fabulous Food Show in Cleveland and other trade shows.”
“We have worked with the city of Torrance and a lot with the city of Los Angeles,” Petersen adds. “They have given them out when they are marketing green bins and recycling.”
Instead of giving away business cards or plastic items that are destined to pollute the environment, Petersen and Lundqvist recommend a product that is not only beautiful and practical, but one that will help the environment as well.
“We have worked really hard to change the behaviors and habits of people to try something different,” Petersen says. “We have never really focused on custom printing, and so now we want to do that.”
Skoy Enterprises, LLC was founded in 2007 by Michelle Lundqvist and Karen Petersen. They had a vision to create superior multi-use products that can be used in the kitchen and throughout the home. Skoy is a certified member of the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), a leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping women-owned businesses thrive.
Skoy products are available at many retail locations in North America. To learn more about how you can order Skoy Cloths and other household products, visit www.skoycloth.com.
Michelle Lundqvist and Karen Petersen