Since opening its first Australian store in Melbourne during the world’s longest lockdown, Trollbeads has continued to go from strength to strength.
A bead-on-bracelet concept by Danish jeweller, Lise Aaagaard, has been led by Danish expat, Mikkel Monberg and his Australian business partner, Jono Gelfand, following a proposal by the Trade Council of Denmark to launch the brand in Australia in July 2020.
Trollbeads Australia co-CEO, Jono Gelfand said, “Mikkel is a Danish expat living here in Australia and is part of the Danish expat Facebook group with the Danish Consulate. In July 2020, the Trade Council of Denmark put out a request for people to express interest in a brand that was looking to launch into Australia.
“They were looking for a Danish expat and a local retailer with marketing knowledge. Mikkel thought it might be good for the two of us to look at. The Trade Council of Denmark gave us the brief. We put together a presentation along with a lot of other hopefuls.”
They were shortlisted and presented to Trollbeads in Denmark, which selected them as the distributors and co-CEO’s of Trollbeads Australia.
“Trollbeads is a collectible, so not only is it the best quality, a heritage brand, an affordable luxury with over 4,000 doors around the world, but it also had a customer who wasn’t just going to buy one thing and then not come back,” Monberg said.
Upon undertaking brand research, the pair found that Trollbeads customers tend to become brand advocates, as well as astute and avid collectors. “We knew there was potential to connect with them and provide a full range,” Gelfand said.
The Trollbeads Australia website launched in August 2020 and the first physical store in Westfield Fountain Gate shopping centre opened in November 2020, while Melbourne was still in lockdown. In February 2021, the store moved to Chapel Street, which became the permanent site.
“We learned a lot of things by opening during lockdown. We learned how to operate a Trollbeads store, which sounds strange, but I had never been inside a Trollbeads store in my life, and it’s a specific product to sell,” Gelfand said.
“We learned that Trollbeads is not a product for which you stand behind a counter, so we developed spaces within the store that allowed us to stand next to customers, work with them and design with them.
“Our customers come in and want to show you what they’ve got. They want to explain why it’s important to them. You spend a lot of time with a Trollbeads customer, learning from them so we can show them pieces that are right for them. Often, they’ll bring in their collector’s cases and buy things to match and to build. Trollbeads is not just jewellery; it is a whole story.”