The 2nd interview is with Fredrik Dawidsson, a Swedish entrepeneur in the automotive scene.
Fredrik has several companies such as coiloverkungen, an onlinestore for coilovers and imawesome which is his own brand of sunglasses.
The company he is probably most known for is DDESIGN, an onlinestore for automotive tuning parts and clothing.
You can see DDESIGN and their driftteam at most big driftingevents in Sweden.
After that short intro Fredrik, Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your company.
My name is Fredrik Dawidsson, 23 years old from Örebro in Sweden.
I went to upper secondary school as a mechanic and that’s where it all began. During the time I went to school the “Fast and the furious-culture” was born and evolved very quickly into an interest that most of my friends and school mates shared. And of course, I was stuck with it too. Bought a 4-doors Honda Civic (of course) and started to modify the inside a little bit. Speakers in the dashboard, Suede door panels and so on..
The summer after I bought it we cut the whole car apart and made it a 2-door and wide body. The car was never 100% finished but I still have it hidden in a barn. But it is dope as hell! We´ll see if we ever finish it.
I have always cared about execution so when I started the Honda build I made a homepage for it, made videos, clothes and created a “brand” for it. And that’s how the name DDESIGN was born.
Around the summer 2010, I founded the business. First it was a simple webshop with universal tuner parts, like BOV, air filters, gear knobs etc. Funded with my own money from my old bedroom. I always have had DDESIGN on the side on some other jobs,(still under my business license but doing other jobs than the car parts shop.) I think this Is a great way to start a business. (first tip!)
The first big step in my business was when I opened the store in Örebro. It was a small store with maybe 200 different products in stock, a clothing section and a little café. I think this step formed DDESIGN into what it is today so I’m very glad I did it. Meeting all of the customers face-to-face and building a network of partners, customers and new friends.
In the autumn 2012 I decided to close the store and focus on our fast growing webshop. This is the best move i’ve done in my life. Perfect timing! The store had built a great network, made DDESIGN into a social brand and gathered a lot of experience from customer requests and demands.
So we switched to a bigger and better eCommerce platform, moved to a new office in the middle of the city, bought some storage space and opened the new DDESIGN 2.0 with a large release party in a night club the 15th December. And wow, what a night it was!
So the website you see now is around 6-7 months old and is growing everyday. We now have over 200 suppliers, 3 inhouse brands and more to come. So the webshop is just in the “baby-phase” of what it will become.
What made you start your own company?
I have always been driven and entrepreneurial minded. My teachers in upper secondary school told me early that I was going to start a business when I ended school. Not to be an employee. I guess I had made my mark already then.
That my business is in the automotive industry is probably because I love cars. But I think I started a business because I love the game of it. Nothing is more challenging than running a business.
Like Mark Cuban says; “-business is the ultimate sport of all. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and everybody out there wants to beat your ass.”
There are a lot of companys that sell aftermarket parts, what makes DDESIGN different that has made you so succesful?
Yes there is, but everyone is different somehow.
What makes us different is our vision. We don’t just want to be an auto parts supplier. We want to be there for the culture and be a part of every element in it. From the auto parts on the cars to the clothes on the people. We also want to be a brand that people wants to be a part of.
We have a couple of plans and new projects coming that will enhance this vision.
What does DDESIGN stand for?
DDESIGN stands for Dawidsson Design and it was founded along with the Honda build 4 years ago
Now it is a registred trademark. My head company name is Dawidsson Enterprises and under that we run and own DDESIGN, IMAWESOME and Coiloverkungen.
DDESIGN is most know for quality parts, but you also have a streetwear collection. Can you give us a hint on what products are in the making?
Yes, our focus and firsts step has been auto parts. And we are now starting to work on the “People” side of the company, like I talked about in our vision. And what better way to start than a clothing brand.
We have released sunglasses and a watch this summer but a lot more will come.
I can’t tell you yet what it will be though! But keep your eyes open and you will not miss it.
What must we not miss at DDESIGN this year?
We have partnered up with some new sponsors for the drifting team that will take the team to another level. We have also some cool new sponsor cars coming out later this year.
But our biggest thing is the evolution of our webshop. You will soon find some very nice products in there I can tell you!
What are your dream goals with the company?
I don’t have any goals set for the company really. All of my goals are personal as an entrepreneur. Though the business has doubled its revenue each year and maybe that’s a goal to keep. Keep this strong growth and keep pushing the limits forward. We are always aiming for the top here!
The people that have followed DDESIGN in one way or another know that you love the drifting scene. You make parts for driftcars and you have a sponsored driftteam. Are there any plans to branch out to other sports? Time attack perhaps?
Our starting point in this business was drifting but we have transformed into a wider selection of cars and styles, at the moment we are displaying products for relevant racecars like 200SX, BMW, Supra, RX7 etc.
But like I said earlier our plan is to widen the assortment and display more and more to a wider clientele.
For those who don’t know, we offer parts to almost every car out there. We have millions of products available so if you looking for something just contact us and we´ll get it for you.
Do you have any tips for people that want to start in automotive business?
I don’t have any tip for those who want to work in this business specific. But my overall tip is: Aim high, believe in yourself, self-educate along the way and take risks. Risk taking is half the game. Don’t be afraid to go for it!
Entrepeneurs like yourself often set high goals, i heard that you dream of a certain car. Which car is your dream car?
Yeah I have my goal standing next to me at the office reminding me to working harder every day.
But it´s in scale 1/18.
My primary goal is a Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera. (In full size!)
Lastly ofcourse the readers want to know what car(s) do you drive?
I work all the time so I don’t have time for my personal car interest.
Im driving an Evo 3 and a Ford Focus for the moment.
Even i have managed to capture one of their cars on picture. Here is an image from Elmia.