Ida Backlund was born in -85 and grew up in Grönåker, a small ”everybody knows everybody” farm town outside Umeå, Sweden.
The entrepreneurial side of Ida started with a cookie sale. She sold a small jar of home made cookies to the staggering price of 200sek. Yes, that’s quite the price for a small jar of cookies, but hey, they were home made and Ida made sure to get that point across in her marketing. It worked. At 16 Ida won a entrepreneur award (UF, School award) for creating a great service and marketing it successfully. After school her wanderlust grew and she wanted to travel and see the world. The desire to build a network and preferably in a warm, sunny country made her look for long distance tickets. She worked as a receptionist and marketing manager in Greece and Australia for 2 years. When she came home she was unemployed and bored. She wanted to be creative and work with hair and makeup.
After applying and finishing a hair stylist and makeup course while juggling a part time job, the idea of Rapunzel (now Rapunzel of Sweden) started to slowly take form. She ordered hair extension samples and had her friends try them to find the best quality and colors available on the market. The reactions to the products she was able to find and convince her friends to try said it all. They loved it. She had no doubts after coming up with the perfect name. Rapunzel. She had to give it a try.
The local bank denied Ida a start-up bank loan but she found an investor who believed in her and gave her the funds needed to launch her start up. Ida’s sleepless nights and hard work paid off, Rapunzel of Sweden was a hit from the start and the company grew incredibly fast. What started as a small team in a tiny office space quickly became a team of 65 hair extension experts, most of them sporting long extensions and the majority of the managers are female. Today Rapunzel of Sweden ship hair extensions to hundreds of thousands of happy, returning customers from their lavish HQ in Umeå, Sweden.
Hair extension lovers from all around the world got their favorite fairytale like locks from Backlund and her team, and soon enough Hollywood celebrity stylists wanted to use the Swedish hair extension brand on their celebrity cliental. Renowned celeb hair stylist Jen Atkin was one of them. Atkin, one of the Kardashian sisters favorite hair stylists praised Backlund’s brand and used her extensions religiously on her clients for their red carpet moments. Rapunzel of Sweden customers receive the exact same quality as the the A-list celebrity clients and that’s something the company takes great pride in. Backlunds focus was, from day one on growing the business. Rapunzel of Sweden is to this day a huge name in the business. Backlund got a great amount of media coverage and her road to success was coveted by just about every media outlet in Sweden, yet Ida prompts you have to stay humble and down to earth. Something she’s been known for all these years through ups and downs.
Her brand has been largely successful, but just like the kids story, the brand Rapunzel has encountered bumps in the road. When asked about set backs Ida said – It’s all about how you handle a bad situation, and that your focus is on how to recover after you take a tumble. Don’t dwell. Success is a easy come and easy go if you loose your sense of what’s important and if you don’t surround yourself with the best of the best. It’s a team effort and it’s important to share success and to learn from mistakes together. Something Ida has instilled in her team since day one. Ida still works with expanding the brand and taking Rapunzel of Sweden international as a board member. The fairytale of the girl who started with 0 and ended up selling hair extensions to hundreds of thousands world wide continues with Backlund Invest. Ida is always looking for start-ups to invest in, entrepreneurs to mentor, charities to contribute to and sharing her inspiring story as a public speaker.