Classic Clog – maker Building its Brand through Swedish Talent

The clog-maker Sandgrens is the growing, high-end yet timelessly functional, shoe brand that is reinventing the traditional clog with a modern appeal. With the brand being closely tied to its Swedish heritage anno 1846, Sandgrens has for years brought Swedish talent to the U.S. to embrace a vision of what Swedish quality entails. While all products are made in Sweden, the Minnesota team serves the international market. In effort to build a strong brand mirroring Swedish culture, Swedish trainees help reflect the culture externally.

Swedish trainees are vital for the clog-maker to remain on track with its heritage. At an early stage, Sandgrens placed Swedish talent on tasks mainly within finance, sales and logistics but more recently they began to explore untapped fields where young Swedish talent could add real value. The company has capitalized on the millennial generation’s tech-savvy nature. As Sandgrens marketing shifted towards online, the SACC Trainee Program has helped them speak to consumers in their own language – increasing sales. Sandgrens offers its trainees stipends, easing living costs, and the program is rigorously focused on the training aspect. David Giese, Director of Sales, says the return on investment to their operations is exponentially higher because of trainees’ eagerness to learn and contribute. The obligation to train its young talent is embraced, and Sandgrens takes great pride in its commitment to Swedish culture.

“When trainees walk out of Sandgrens, they know what they want to do in their respective careers,” says David. The selling point for any host company is undoubted: Swedish trainees can add unparalleled attitude and motivation. “You are simply not going to get that same passion out of a hired employee,” says Nick Sieberg, Operations Manager. After 12 or 18 months of intensive training, several trainees have gone back from the Minnesota to Sweden to work for Sandgrens there.

SACC-USA annually places about 100 Swedish trainees at host companies in the U.S. Because interest has grown over the years, our efforts as a national chamber to promote talent mobility and serve the growing number of members of our 20 regional chambers has increased. SACC-USA provides coordination for any company looking to bring talent to the U.S. and the talent mobility program has been a key service of SACC-USA for more than a decade. As Sandgrens is not only a leader in telling the story of Swedish craft tradition and values through its products, the shoe-maker is also a pioneer in adding Swedish talent to its American team. Sandgrens builds its corporate culture through SACC-USA’s Trainee Program, which helps companies bring Swedish talent into the core of their business.

About the SACC-USA Network:

SACC-USA consists of 20 Regional Chambers across the U.S.
For more information on the SACC-USA Trainee Program, please visit: www.sacc-usa.org/trainee or contact us at: sacctraineeprogram@sacc-usa.org
SACC Minnesota helps corporations and professionals tap into the valuable business resources in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, as well as access to the powerful Swedish-American business network. For more information on SACC Minnesota, please visit: www.saccmn.org

Photo:
Trainees Natalie Hartman and Ajla Rustempasic.                                                                             
Photo courtesy: Emmy Richardsson