Scandinavian Mind X Trade Partners Sweden
Trade can be complex — but important help is just one click away
We speak to Helena Waker, CEO of Trade Partners Sweden, on why a strong network of experts is key when growing a beauty brand.
29 Jun 2023

Trade Partners Sweden is the leading members organisation for agents and distributors in fashion, shoes, textiles, and interior design trade. Its most important purpose is to create the right conditions for the member companies to be successful in their business. 

— We do this by actively carrying out important efforts in law and digitization as well as participating in and influencing the development of international trade, says Helena Waker. 

— We offer all our members expertise within the legal and business field and act as support in export and import. Furthermore, we always work to safely create stronger and new business opportunities both in a national and international business environment. 

What are the three main reasons companies should become members?

I would say three things: 1) Our extensive business network that consists of our members as well as important national and international contacts within trade. 2) Our own lawyers and experts operate and stand for security and business advice. 3) And member benefits that are specially selected and adapted to benefit our member companies’ operations, such as logistics solutions, insurance, and business- and legal consulting.

An outcome of the organisation’s good purpose and cohesion gave the opportunity to, together with the members, found the Stockholm Fashion District. It offers all industry players access to 140 showrooms in Stockholm’s largest fashion area, Nacka Strand. 

— The purpose of the district is to promote trade and provide members and other players in the industry with a business meeting place. As a complement to the meeting place and to reach out into the industry, we also arrange several large events and fairs both in and outside the district throughout the year. Our strong cohesion and all the joint expertise we have to offer to provide great security for our members. 

How do you specifically service beauty brands?

— Today we have a number of brands and companies in the beauty industry and we have noticed that they have many of the same challenges and questions as other industries we work with, such as the fashion industry. Over many years, we have built up our organisation’s expertise, which means we can offer beauty companies a lot of help and support at a low membership fee. This is especially so if, for example, you want to develop your sales channels and expand nationally as well as internationally. 

Helena Waker, Anna-Karin Abdon, and Vanessa Leporati at Trade Partners Sweden.

What are the main challenges that you see in the beauty industry today?

— Finding suitable business partners and keeping up with all aspects of a business when expanding are two of the areas where we and our network can greatly facilitate. 

Can you give some examples of how you have helped beauty brands in the past?

— Among other things, we have helped a Swedish brand that wanted to enter both the German and British markets with agency contracts, Waker explains. It can be challenging to navigate around agreements, especially when the laws differ in different countries. As a supplier, it is important to have a good agreement and we can help there as well. As a member, you have access to some of our standard agreements at no cost and to some at extra favourable prices. 

— We have also helped a Swedish beauty agent who, for several years, has built up the sales of an international brand but was dismissed with immediate effect. Our federal lawyer became a secured party and was able to ensure that she received her severance pay, which allowed her to have the financial means to continue the work with her other brands.

What are the most common questions you get from your members today?

— Questions about commission percentages, logistics, new rules in various industries as well as help with agreements and negotiations. 

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