What color are you today?

Swedish Happy Plugs have been promoted on social media by the likes of Justin Bieber and Kendall Jenner – but the company has much more humble beginnings

Andreas Vural was raised in the small town of Sveg in Sweden. His father owned a restaurant, and his mother worked as a nurse, with several other jobs on the side. And the entrepreneurship of his father and hard work of his mother would soon be the normal state of Andreas Vural.

Early on, he discovered his passion for design, and was hired as a web-designer for Vattenfall. But he was bored in his job, and tried launching web-companies on the side. In the end, after many setbacks, he abandoned the idea of a web-firm, and decided he wanted to work with physical products instead.

- I developed the concept "What color are you today?" where the idea was to sell classic fashion accessories such as jewelry, sunglasses and watches. The price would be so good that you could afford to buy the products in different colors, Anderas Vural explains to Entreprenör.se.

Colourful earplugs was it
Eventually, he discovered a hole in the market. His girlfriend complained that the iPhone headphones were only available in black or white, and Andreas saw an opportunity.

The ambition to present a simple physical product could not be more clearly illustrated: headphones in different colors with stylish Swedish design. The company soon got the name Happy Plugs, and the first products landed in the store on December 15th of 2011.

After some time, he found an acceptable supplier and December 15, landed the first headphones in the store. They sold out immediately and Happy Plugs have made a profit since that day – in the first year alone, Happy Plugs sold 10.5 million headphones.

Global ambitions from day one
It took a year before he hired his first employee. Today, Happy Plugs 34 employees.

- From day one, I wanted to go global. The process was accelerated at significantly while a Belgian distributor by chance saw our earphones in a Telenor store. We had a meeting that led to him launching Happy Plugs in Belgium and from there the expansion started for real.

Nowadays Happy Plugs have offices in Stockholm, Hong Kong, Singapore, Helsinki and Vancouver. Altogether there are retailers in 70 countries and last year the company had sales of SEK 86 million. The stated objective is two billion in the foreseeable future.

Although being boosted by celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic plays a central role in spreading the brand, Andreas has refused to put a dime on marketing. It will take longer, but it is hoped that the company thus will grow organically.

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