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Where Are They Now

Originally featured on Springwise in November 2010, we're taking a look back on how MyKea has developed and grown over the last nine months.

For the first time, we’re taking a look back at a company previously featured on Springwise. We will see how they are progressing, and examine the reasons behind their success (or failure!) In November 2010, we first featured Dutch startup MyKea — a service that enabled customers to customize and decorate IKEA furniture units with printed vinyl stickers. Just nine months later, the company has already expanded to become an international distributor, having introduced a range of new services and an enhanced website. When we first covered the launch of MyKea, the company was already offering a range of services. As well as choosing from pre-supplied designs, customers could submit their own photos, which MyKea would convert into vinyl stickers to cover IKEA furniture. The company also offered a downloadable Designers’ Kit, which customers could use to create their own graphic cover designs. Since then, MyKea have been busy. MyKea founder Gert van de Cappelle told us “after we got published on Springwise we were picked up by so many other blogs and magazines from around the world and the reactions to our Mykea website was so positive that we decided to go more pro!” A kids section was introduced soon after, and partnerships were established with graphic design manufacturers Avery Denisson, online advertising agency Vesper, ,and with Shop Around, who now provide MyKea with a network of designers and artists from around the world. Further developments included the introduction of a new vinyl sticker, which doesn’t leave any residue or marks when removed. Perhaps the most significant development for MyKea however, was the decision to start shipping globally. As well as requiring increased logistical capacity, the company also shifted their communications to reflect their new global positioning. This international expansion has lead to a recent partnership with Blik, who now produce MyKea products in the US. Furthermore, the expansion made it necessary to invest in a new website, enabling MyKea to provide an improved customer service system and incorporate international printing options. In their own words, “We started our Mykea website as a more local platform. But with the international attention and demand for our product we are now representing ourselves as a more international website and designers’ platform. We work together with artists from around the world and are starting international partnerships with printing facilities out of The Netherlands.” Looking ahead, MyKea told us they have plans to begin creating design work within the US, and, in response to consumer demand, to expand their services further with the introduction of a range of wall designs. When warning of the perils encountered after the initial startup phase, Gert told us how easy it was to become distracted from his original vision, and stressed that one way to remain focussed on the original concept was to continually “listen to the audience and try to get as much feedback as possible”. MyKea’s success can partly be attributed to the widespread appeal of the concept. In fact, the company has even fielded enquiries from countries such as Brazil and New Zealand, where IKEA has no stores. However, the team at MyKea must also take credit for the way in which this demand has been met, and for their ability to consistently adapt and meet consumer demand. Mykea’s journey so far is a testament both to Gert’s flexibile approach and to his conceptual focus. Both of which will become even greater challenges as the business grows. Valuable lessons here for any entrepreneur! Read our original article on MyKea here or visit the website here.