Today, we want to introduce you to an amazing woman, without whom Rawnice would never have been created! Meet Helene Arvidsson - the founder of Rawnice company.
Who is Helene?
I’m a 35-year old mom of one (38 weeks preg with baby no. 2) living in Stockholm, Sweden. I’m married to Jesper, who is the big baws of Rawnice when I’m not around (I let him think that at least, we all know that moms are the real bawses).
When I’m not inventing awesome foods and taking care of babies, I work out, crochet, cook, chill with my dog Krankelberry, drink wine and play WoW.
Helene, where did the idea to start selling superfoods come from?
Back in 2015, when I founded Rawnice, the superfood scene was lame AF. You know the boring green spirulina and chlorella stuff that makes your food taste and look like what comes out of a lawnmower. I came across a picture of a Pink Pitaya smoothie made with fresh fruit and realized that I had never seen that in Sweden (where I live).
So long story short, I figured that selling the powder would be a lot easier than importing the whole fruit. It took me around 7 months to get the Pink Pitaya out on the market and we were the first company to launch rainbow superfoods to the world. A couple of months later, I read a very interesting study on Phycocyanin (the blue pigment in spirulina), its health benefits and its amazing color. I couldn’t find that on the market either so a couple of months later, Rawnice released the “Blue spirulina”.
After the success with blue and pink superfoods, I was on a roll and I became obsessed with sourcing the strongest and healthiest pigments straight from mama nature.
Getting started is not easy, how did it look with Rawnice?
AHAHA it looked like a complete shit show. Let me tell you that my strength is on the creative side and the rest was CHAOTIC. I was lucky enough to have a boyfriend (now husband and baby daddy) to join me a couple of months in with an amazing sense of organization and structure. With my creative brain, skills in branding, and communications we have been able to create the Rainbow magic together.
We had our warehouse in our apartment in central Stockholm and I was taking all the packages to the local post office in a blue IKEA bag every day. It was a grind but I’m so proud we managed to do all of it without any external capital or help.
How much effort was needed to start this company?
My belief is that if you have a strong vision, it doesn’t make it feel like an effort in the traditional sense. I mean waking up every day and working for YOU is awesome, even when you have to deal with the millions of problems of a start-up.
The biggest effort though was living in financial uncertainty. I mean, I didn’t start Rawnice to become rich and if money would have been my motivation I wouldn’t have lasted long. (I’m still not financially rich after six years if anyone is wondering haha).
What is the Rawnice vision?
The vision of Rawnice has always been to show people that eating healthy can be awesome. Regular health food brands use skinny chicks as models and promote unrealistic ideals. I wanted to create products that would not only attract people who are skinny, white, tanned, and 20-years old. The Rainbow that we use as our symbol is not only about our superfood colors but also represents the diversity we want to see in the world of “health” and our Rawnice team.
Your brand has gained a solid position in the market. Customers from all over the world buy your colorful powders. What makes Rawnice different from your competition?
Well, I’m trying to put this in a humble way. Rawnice invented the Rainbow superfoods and for that reason, I don’t look too much at what other companies are doing. What I heard from customers is that our quality is amazing and that we are very straight up and don’t exaggerate the health benefits of superfoods. I’ve seen companies claim the weirdest shit but it is straight-up immoral to lie about cancer-curing effects and eternal youth. We value honesty and transparency over everything at Rawnice.
What advice would you give other people who would run their own business?
Do your thing and don’t copy others. Also, look at your hobbies and what you are passionate about. You will be successful if you grind, grind and grind. It takes passion to stay motivated when times are hard.
Find a mentor in your industry. It is invaluable to get input from experienced people.
I love to help women in startups so hit me up if you want to connect. I’m pretty nice and I know a thing or two about running a company:)
How has your relation with Rawnice changed as you become a mom?
Well, I can’t be active on a daily basis so I need to make sure that the energy I put into the company will help us move forward. I put all my time (which is not a lot at the moment) into product development, vision, and mission for the company.
Also on a more emotional note, now that I have a daughter (and soon a son) It’s even more important for me to fight the dangerous beauty ideals and unrealistic expectations on women through my work at Rawnice. We really want to be the rebel standing out from the crowd in the world of fucked up norms.
Where do you see Rawnice going in the future?
We have so many cool things coming up and we have just scratched the surface. Can’t wait to share more with you guys. Buuuut I can’t tell you exactly what secret stuff we’re up to at the moment since I’m a pacifist and I don’t want to kill you.