Erik Rydingsvärd is the Country Manager of IC Companys in Canada, a leading wholesaler and manufacturer of Scandinavian fashion brands, such as InWear, Jackpot, Part Two, Matinique, Cottonfield, Tiger of Sweden and Peak Performance. The brands are sold in more than 40 countries, through over 500 retail and franchise stores, 10,000 distributors, and e-commerce. The group aims to be among the best developers of mid-market and premium sports and fashion brands.
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I manage the IC Companys’ Canadian subsidiary. My team consists of 22 energetic people based in Montreal, as well as agencies across the country. We work hard to promote, sell and distribute our seven fashion brands in North America.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I have always been passionate about fashion. My grandparents ran a clothing store in Sweden, so I was practically born into it. Today, 50 years later, my entire family still works in the clothing industry. My ambition was to work with Scandinavian brands in an international setting, so when I joined IC Companys in 2008, it seemed like the perfect fit.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
BEST: Working with fun and passionate people.
Challenging: Navigating our brands in a highly competitive industry. Finding the right people for the job.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Spending more time in the mountains, less in the office.
What does success look like to you?
It’s about hard work, happiness, and being passionate about what you do.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Two and a half years ago, when I lived and worked in Copenhagen, IC Companys called to offer me the position of Country Manager in Canada. It was a Wednesday when I accepted the offer, and two days later I was on a flight to Montreal with only two suitcases. I have stayed here ever since!
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
As Jim Tohn once said, “If you are not willing to risk the unusual, you will have to settle for the ordinary.” Also, learn another language; the world is becoming smaller and smaller.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Personally, I support One Percent for the Planet. I am a big fan of the outdoors and would like to keep the Earth in business for future generations. At IC Companys, our brands support different charities around the world.
What to you is notable?
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?