In the corner of one of the busiest streets in Stockholm, you will find a small but well-equipped oasis of wellness. Gryningen has been setting a high bar for Stockholm's health community for many years now!
With a selection of well-curated products, friendly and knowledgeable staff and a true passion for sustainability and bringing health in people's lives, Mickey and her husband Goran are running a mini-empire that will inspire anyone to become a wellness entrepreneur. We are super honored to have Bare Origin stocked in their store and we sat one day to talk about values and the journey of building Gryningen, dive in...
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background and what inspired you to take over a health food store?
I became a mom quite early in life and now at 52, I have three kids and a 16-year old grandchild. When I became a mom I started to be interested in healthy food and mostly organic farming. I grew up in Gnesta which is close to Järna where the anthroposophy philosophy is strong from which I've learned a lot.
I own and run Gryningen together with my husband Goran for almost 17 years now (17 years of Gryningen but much longer of Goran :))
Throughout the years together with our talented staff with made Gryningen to what it is today. We are very interested in personal development and we jokingly say we have health as a hobby.
In your beautiful store, you always have such interesting and varied products. How do you decide what to bring in and what to leave out?
Our mission from the very beginning has been that mostly everything for healthy life should be found at Gryningen, everything that you can buy which is organic (not meat and fish) should be available at our store. I love getting tips from our customers and traveling abroad to keep myself updated with new trends and products. The best thing is hearing a customer say "if it’s not at Gryningen it probably hasn’t arrived in Sweden yet".
The products that we take in are usually products I myself am missing or think they look or smell nice, are packaged beautifully or are necessary for a healthy life. In our store, you will never find weight-loss products, conventionally grown GMO soy and products with suspicious ingredients list.
We are also working towards taking out all products that contain palm oil we have a few left and we try to replace them as soon as possible!
If someone is just starting to look into a better diet and taking care of themselves what are the top 5 things you would recommend them to get from your store?
It might sound strange but I always talk about what should be eliminated first. Like, habits that don't serve us, negative thoughts, bad products, chemicals on the skin or other hormone altering ingredients, radiation from mobile phones in our bed, and so on. Then we can start talking about what should be added
- organic fruits or vegetables do not buy conventional it’s both bad for your health and for the planet. I often say it's better to buy organic no matter where it is grown then buying local but chemically sprayed veggies (maybe the chemicals used in locally grown produce also come from abroad and have been shipped to Sweden anyway) The best is, of course, to buy organic/biodynamic and local - then I’m in heaven when I eat :)
- good supplements intake addressing your needs. We might need to supplement with more than just taking D vitamin. My goal is to be vital and alert and live over 100 years, how about that? :)
- good skin care products, hair, soap , shampoo, creams, oils, toothpaste, cleaning products and so on.
I realize now there are only three categories instead of five but I can add two more both completely free: clean air and some kind of exercise!
What is your view on "health" and "wellness" and how do you incorporate it in your life?
I believe there are some parameters that should work if one could say one has a healthy life. Are you waking up with energy in the morning? Do you have the energy to work throughout the day? Are you mostly rarely sick or catche a cold often during the winter? Do I make space for exercise or some kind of movement during the day? Do I have the energy to do fun things, spend time with friends, sex or new challenges? Do I have the tools to manage difficult situations? Do I sleep well during the night? If the answer is yes to all these questions YES then I am close to living how I preach. This is true for me right now and I feel very happy about it.
Do you have some advice for women going into the business of health and wellness? What were some of your lessons learned that you feel others should know?
To be successful as a wellness entrepreneur my most important advice is: practice what you preach. That way you get an understanding of how this lifestyle really works how it tastes, how it feels on the skin, how you feel when you take supplements and so on. And if your ambition comes from your heart and not making money then you’re a winner. Another advice, when you start hiring people read about everything that seems boring like their vacation and sick leaves and other personal questions. It saves a lot of frustration in the long run. I didn’t have enough knowledge when I started hiring and it took a lot of energy. Today I know better and things work much smoother.
What is your definition of success?
My definition of success...when is one really successful? When you wake up in the morning and you feel: YES now I’m going to work or do something else for that matter and at the same time feeling of happiness during the day in the small things with the family, with friends and others near and dear. I feel like I’m in the right place right now. It’s not about dreaming and making goals, of course, that’s important as well but feeling happiness over the things you have - for me that success!