In May we meet Jonatan Rosdahl. After graduating he started his own company with focus on e-commerce. Today he is CEO of both Decisive Beachwear and Blvckout accessory and enjoys the role of entrepreneur.
Name: Jonatan Rosdahl
Current work and location: Founder and CEO of both Decisive Beachwear and Blvckout accessory in Malmö.
What did you study at Linnaeus University and when did you graduate?
– I am a business administration and economics graduate from the spring term 2015.
What industry do you work in or with?
– Both companies are in the fashion industry but I tend to work more alongside the e-commerce industry in terms of company model and structure. My first entrepreneurial venture was with Blvckout which I started immediately after graduating. After that, I researched new markets and founded my second business; Decisive Beachwear.
What is most fun about your job and what are the biggest challenges?
– The best part of this line of work in e-commerce is the fact that my products reach customers in 44 countries across the globe. It’s incredible how many people are fans of the beachwear, bracelets and other accessories that my companies provide. However, I do also face some challenges in this line of work. Most specifically, there is a lot of competition in the fashion industry and even more so in e-commerce. I constantly have to be innovative and try new things, even with the danger of failing. Taking risks is necessary in order to succeed.
How did you establish your career after your studies at Linnaeus University?
– As I previously mentioned, I founded Blvckout right after graduation. I can pinpoint my introduction into e-commerce management to the summer before graduation, when I ran a friend’s company. This friend of mine, who had been on an internship in London, needed someone to take over his business for a few months to keep it afloat. As I hadn’t been able to land an adequate internship, I volunteered and did a lot of the management and running of the business for a few months. This experience had such an impact on me that when time came to resume my classes and write my thesis, I just knew that e-commerce was what I wanted to be involved in after my studies. Blvckout came into being after I had learned about these bracelets, which I thought were a great idea to market and I just said “Hey, you know what, I can do this!” So, I ordered about 750 of them and took it from there. Having worked with my buddy’s company the previous year, I already had some experience in web marketing and online shopping, and combined with the skills acquired at Linnaeus University, I was able to build on that.
How was your student life at Linnaeus University?
– I did my studies entirely on the Växjö campus and it was fantastic. As a student, I was highly engaged in the student community and worked with different councils and clubs. For a while, I was also on the board of both the school of economics’ student council (EHVS) and Sivans. For two terms, I worked with EHVS as chairman of the social committee and for one term I was the head of finance at Sivans. Besides the rigor of the courses, I remember my time at Linnaeus University fondly and had a wonderful time.
How did you come into contact with the labor market during your study time?
– Even though I participated in internships outside my studies, I believe that the experience of managing my friend’s company that one summer proved most valuable. I did, however, do an in-depth research study for my thesis with Tillväxtanalys,a small government agency from northern Sweden that I came into contact with through my supervisor at Linnaeus University.
What do you take with you thanks to your studies? Is there anything special which you’ve been able to do thanks to your education?
– My favorite and most memorable chapter at Linnaeus University would have to be my term abroad in Bangkok, which I did during my third term. It was the fall term of 2013 and it was very apparent how much Linnaeus University wants its students to travel and go abroad. That was my favorite part, although it wasn’t exactly on campus.
What is your relation to Linnaeus University today?
– Unfortunately, I have not had the chance to stay in touch with the people I know at Linnaeus University in recent years, but the past alumni interviews have increased my interest in staying involved. In the future, it would be interesting to consider having a student from Linnaeus University as an intern at one of my companies. This is something I’ll be looking into in the future.
Is there anything else you would like to mention to our readers?
– Don’t worry if you don’t know. It’s truly fascinating how much there is to learn about any venture or idea that you may have. For example, I’m generally not so much of a big online shopper. I didn't even know that it was such a big deal to buy online versus in stores. Then, when I started doing research and developing my business strategy, I learned just how to make my products sell well, how to brand my companies and what markets to focus on. I had had no idea that the UK of all regions would turn into my biggest market. So, whether you get your inspiration for an idea through your studies, an internship, or an experience abroad always try to go for the unknown. You must realise that it’s fine to not know because that’s how you learn.
Can you give some career advice?
- Throw yourself out there but don’t be naive about the product, business model or market.
- Don’t be afraid to try new ideas but rely on the advice from friends and family before going all in. Try it, but be smart.
- If you’re interested in e-commerce, try everything but on a preliminary smaller scale.