Welcome to Sögne Home AS
Warm values –
Sögne Home is a Norwegian supplier of brand products, and we also design and sell interior design items for ethically-minded Scandinavian customers.
We are passionate about designing sustainable products that are good to use, stylish to look at and based on good values!
At Sögne Home, we design honest interior design products of the highest quality. The products have a modern Scandinavian expression, yet are timeless and stylish, and of a quality that is designed to last for generations.
The products we make are developed by our small team in Søgne in Kristiansand, and they are produced in close collaboration with our manufacturers in India and Bangladesh.
We ensure that our production lines are safe and sustainable, and we strive to be a company that can be trusted by our customers, partners and manufacturers.
We hope that you will appreciate the items that we make – and that they will give you pleasure for many, many years.
It all began on an ordinary Tuesday in 2011. Kristin and Linda were colleagues in an interior design shop in Søgne, when Kristin asked: “Shouldn’t we just start up on our own?”
Linda said yes. And that was it.
A few days later, Kristin, Linda and a third colleague, Vibeke, and their husbands, sat down around a kitchen table and discussed what would later become Sögne Home. They knew they wanted to make interior design products, but not what exactly.
Since Søgne is a coastal municipality in Southern Norway, with long maritime and fishing traditions, it seemed natural to think along those lines. Anyone who travels by sea knows how dark it gets in the evening, so the ideas started to revolve around a lantern.
“We found someone to help us whittle a lantern designed to hold a candle, and that became our first prototype,” Kristin remembers.
“They believed in us from the very beginning”
The founders’ journey had begun. The girls took the lantern in their hand luggage to a trade fair in Frankfurt, which is a meeting point for designers and manufacturers. They wandered around, not really knowing how things worked, terrified of letting the lantern out of their sight.
But suddenly the ball began to roll. The founders from Søgne made contact with a couple of manufacturers in India, and for a few hectic months that autumn, drawings of lanterns and cushions, and samples of materials shuttled back and forth between Søgne and the East. They were in such a hurry because Sögne Home was due to meet its first potential customers at the interior design fair in Lillestrøm in January 2012.
The prototypes of the lanterns and a sample collection of cushions with a characteristic ‘ö’ taken from the logo arrived just in time. In just a few days at the trade fair in Lillestrøm, the girls managed to sign contracts with several shops all over the country. Their former workplace, the Gave- og interiørhuset shop in Søgne, and a few other interior design shops in Southern Norway also agreed to accept their products. That turned out to be important.
“They believed in us from the very beginning, and we will be eternally grateful for that,” said Linda.
Both she and Kristin recount that they were shaking with excitement when the very first container containing their products was safely on the ground outside a barn in Søgne, which would act as their temporary warehouse.
“It felt quite unreal that these were our products. It was amazing,” says Kristin.
To keep costs down, the bleak attic barn was to remain their warehouse for several years. They heaved the products up onto a tractor themselves, but got someone else to drive it and the products up the ramp and into the freezing building. To stay warm in winter, they usually resorted to insulated coveralls while they sorted and packed products for customers.
“It wasn’t exactly luxury. We had a few years that were tough, but also great fun,” says Linda.
Humps in the road
These days, Sögne Home is based in warm, modern premises in a different part of the village. The product range has changed and expanded, and includes tableware, leather bags and wooden chopping boards. However, the company is best known for its iconic mugs with words and quotations, which are now sold by around 300 distributors all over Norway.
It was to be many years from that Tuesday in 2011 until they knew that Sögne Home would be viable. For the first few years, the founders made no money, and had to take on second jobs. It felt like a brave step when they dared to pay themselves NOK 5,000 a month each, and downright presumptuous when they were able to increase that to NOK 15,000. Things were hand to mouth for many years, and in 2016 when Vibeke had to pull out of the company for health reasons, Kristin and Linda found themselves at a crossroads.
“We had to ask ourselves: do we want this, or don’t we?”
The big crossroads
They decided that they did. Then things started to get easier. More and more people discovered their stylish mugs with meaningful words. It suddenly became popular for school classes to buy a mug bearing the word ‘thanks’ as an end-of-year gift for their teacher.
And then when they started to make mugs printed with the meaningful texts of the poet Trygve Skaug, the figures kept climbing.
“It is probably the mugs that we are most proud of, but we have gradually built up a large range of different products that we really believe in,” says Linda.
Caring deeply about others
Sögne Home is now a well-run business with several employees, and its production line is professional from start to finish. Partnerships with the manufacturers in the East are stronger than ever.
The founders care deeply about those who manufacture the products, and have visited them many times.
“It’s a mixture of pleasure and pain, because there is so much suffering there, but we also see how much better their lives become when they have access to school and work.”
One of the results of this is that every year, Sögne Home donates money to what is known as a slum school in north India. And all the income from the mug bearing the text ‘smil tilbake’ (‘smile back’) also goes straight to the school.
“Now that we are financially able to help, it feels like the right thing to do. We also think that the customers who buy a product from Sögne Home think it’s a good thing that there are such positive ripple effects that go well beyond our country’s border.”