The beginnings of IKEA - Deepstash
The beginnings of IKEA

The beginnings of IKEA

The brainchild of IKEA is the late Ingvar Kamprad, a Swedish businessman. He envisioned a store full of functional furniture that's easy to assemble.

He started his first business at age five. He bought matchbooks in bulk and sold them individually. When he was 10, he was selling pens, pencils, seeds for flower, and Christmas tree decorations. Kamprad started IKEA in 1943 when he was 17 years old.

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MORE IDEAS FROM A brief history of IKEA: From cheap bookcases to Swedish meatballs

  • The name IKEA comes from Ingvar Kamprad's initials, followed by the name of the farm he grew up on and the name of his home village: Ingvar Kamprad, Elmtaryd, Agunnaryd.
  • Kamprad made a mail-order catalogue - an essential part of IKEA's business from a remote location.
  • At first, he sold small household goods like pens, wallets, and picture frames. Five years later, the store started selling furniture made by local manufacturers. The prices were so low that people questioned the quality, so Kamprad rented an old workshop to display his furniture.

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Ingvar Kamprad solved the problem of shipping large furniture when he disassembled a coffee table so it could be packed flat. From then on, as many products as possible were packed this way.

By 1955, Kamprad's manufacturers were boycotting IKEA due to its low prices. He addressed the issue by designing and producing in-house.

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IKEA expanded to other countries, Norway in 1963, Denmark in 1969. Over the next decade, IKEAs spread to countries like Germany, Japan, Australia and Canada.

There is a system to the unusual product names. Beds have names of places in Norway. Sofas are named after towns in Sweden. Kitchen tables get their names from geography in Finland. Rugs have Danish names. Chairs are named after men. Glasses and cups have adjectives as names.

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The Philosophy of The Nordic Design

Nordic philosophy has a deep respect for functionality, clean lines, and longevity. Nordic design is created to be in harmony with its environment and a direct result of the region's climate.

During the long winter, homemakers maximise the space to reflect as much light as possible. Minimal furniture allows light and air to move around the room freely. The furniture employed are made of natural materials, such as wood, that will last instead of being regularly replaced.

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History of the Beauty Business
  • Cosmetics have been used since ancient times. Often they were used in religious ceremonies - as seen in ancient Egypt - or as cultural identification. Egypt's influence impacted the practices and uses of cosmetics throughout the rest of the ancient world.
  • The spread of Christianity with its denunciations of pride and vanity coupled with a changing ideal of modesty also impacted the standards of beauty. While cosmetics did not totally fall out of favor, their use seems to have been greatly reduced and their use largely restricted to courtesans, actresses, the wealthy, and assorted "loose" women.
  • During the Renaissance high born women including Queen Elizabeth, used them to whiten their faces into an ideal of pale perfection.

Over time, cosmetics moved a little closer to more common usage.

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History of writing: Some of the first tools

Some of the first tools for writing were the hunting club and the sharpened stone. Cave dwellers scratched pictures onto the walls of cave dwellings. It represented daily events such as planting crops or hunting victories.

With time, systematised symbols were developed from their drawings that represented words and sentences but were quicker and easier to draw. The symbols became shared among groups.

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