Like most small businesses, Swedemom began with a dream. Cami Nyquist, the 'Swede Mom' herself, began the company in 1999 with the intention of using her big Swedish heart to reach out to her community. Many of the women she knew were stay-at-home mothers and were often seeking ways to make extra income. Knowing this, Cami brainstormed different ways she could help.
Through a new online selling portal known as eBay, an opportunity arose for Cami to help the women around her. Already, just as a fun hobby, Cami and her friends were making a ritual out of garage sale hunting - routinely going to the sales early Friday mornings, but without the intention of reselling their finds. But soon enough, it was evident that selling online was not only a possibility, but very much within their reach, as Cami knew she had enough resources around her to do it.
One resource Cami knew she could count on was her incredibly supportive family. She recruited her brother Jonathan, who knew how to set up a website, and her son, who was eight years old at the time but had an incredible grasp on some of the intricacies of the internet. Through these family relationships, she was able to learn enough to upload photos of the treasures she found at these sales. They also assisted her in setting up an account on eBay and naming her store ‘Swedemom’ - derived from her first email address. After all, she was a Swedish Mother!
Cami quickly acquired the eye for the treasure amidst the junk, and after a few months of experimentation, she practically became an expert in the field of online selling. Without any intentions of starting a business, Cami discovered the idea of selling online was something she enjoyed doing. Not only was it new and exciting to make each sale, but she was also able to give jobs to the people in her own community. In fact, as her business began to grow, she was able to obtain more computers and set up shop in her own home, completing the shipping process on her own kitchen table.
Throughout the experimentation period, Cami spotted trends and concluded that they'd have more success if they worked with wholesale distributors and began ordering the best -selling items from them directly. She developed relationships with the distributors of these items (mostly collectibles), and created more sales than ever anticipated.
Cami loved to teach others how to use technology to gain some extra income for themselves. She went on to teach eBay instructional classes and maintained an active role in her community - volunteering her time to direct Christmas pageants at her church, planning and hosting annual functions and serving the homeless at the local shelter, all while being a wife and a mother to her four children.
Cami often jokes that Swedemom is like a 5th child to her, and that is not a far-off analogy, as she has been mothering it for more than a decade! She is continually supporting it through its ups-and-downs, its struggles and its growth. Swedemom is now a Powerseller on eBay, and has almost 200,000 positive feedback ratings from buyers all over the world and over 6,000 listings on its website of unique and rare collectibles.
Through her strong ambition to help others find passion and fun in their work, Cami has inspired many in her community and has made a difference in the lives of countless customers who have trusted Swedemom with their purchases. Offering a variety of thousands of collectibles and other unique and hard-to-find products, Swedemom is giving the gift of nostalgia with products that may have been forgotten about until our customers find it on our eBay storefront.
From small beginnings come great things, and that is certainly true for the future of Swedemom.