Written by our founder @rafaelvonhertzen
2017 - The Beginning
21 years old, fresh from completing a year of mandatory military service, I had just moved out from my parents, and was now living the bachelors dream in central Helsinki. The task at hand was to find a good barber in my new area. I found a shop by the name of Mr Jack Barbershop, it was a bit further than I had wished to venture, but thanks to some very good reviews, I made the journey. Upon entry, I was greeted by the most masculine decor I had seen in my life. Instantly, I was taken aback. I was impressed. On my way home after a great haircut, I googled "Masculine home decor." This is when I realized I was a fan.
Mr Jack Barbershop
2018 - The Community
Stunned that not a single page on instagram was showcasing home decor specifically for men, I decided to stand up to the occasion. I founded a page under the alias @homecavern and quickly my hunch was proved correct. There was a huge demand for 'masculine' home decor and as a result our community grew very quickly.
2019 - The Brand
I realized that I should find a way to monetize all this following that I've gained on social media. The obvious answer would be to post advertisements on our feed, like most of the other instagram pages. But I realized that over time the community I had spent countless hours on growing would eventually die, since all of our followers would grow tired of constant ads.
This is when it hit me. We needed to become a brand. Despite showing the world there was a demand for men's decor, there still wasn't a proper home decor store that was geared specifically for men. I rebranded to Percept Helsinki, and started work on setting the store up.
2020 - The Year of Learning
Unsurprisingly, setting up a business for the first time was challenging. Doing so during the peak of the coronavirus pandemic? Doubly challenging. My personal life was turned upside down by the pandemic and the end of a long relationship. As a result I suffered from depression for most of the year. On the business side, all of our suppliers were having issues with supplying orders. Not an easy environment to enter into business.
Nevertheless, I knew entrepreneurship was the right path for me, and at no point did I seriously consider giving up. Instead, I chose to learn from these months. And boy did I learn, both about business and of myself as a person. By December I had snapped out of my depression and started to make lifestyle changes. Among the most important, renting Percept's first office cubicle, as I had learned working from home does not suit me. I am mentally much better prepared now, and I have a feeling 2021 will be good.
Percept's modest first office
2021 - The Next Step
This was our story so far, now let's see where this year takes us. Will you be a part of our story?