Interview by Austin Sailsbury
December 10, 2017
Photography by Lars Hauschildt & Morten Bonde
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Not long ago, Anders Forup left the security of his day job and launched Handcraftedcph, a line of custom and handmade jewelry made here in Copenhagen. Here at ARKK, we are no stranger to the joys and sorrows of the startup game, so when we met up with Anders, we wanted to hear what inspired him to ‘take the leap’ into the entrepreneurial unknown, what keeps him going each day, and what advice he has for aspiring innovators.
So, clearly, you are a busy guy these days...
That’s right. Besides Handcraftedcph, I also own three shops around the city that deal in vintage furniture and Danish Design pieces. Work is a huge part of my life but, I have to say, for the most part I love what I do. I enjoy that each day for me is different.
Speaking of that, how would you describe a ‘normal’ day in the life of Handcraftedcph?
A ‘normal’ day has a bit of everything around here: a mix of customers and clients, working with my hands, as well as taking care of a lot of repetitive tasks that just need to get done. Honestly, I spend a lot of my day communicating - either face to face or via email, so I’m using people skills a lot, which makes life and work really interesting. Everyday is full, it's never boring.
So, no time for coffee breaks then?
There’s always time for coffee. In fact, I try to make a point everyday to go out of the workshop or showroom and take a coffee break at a café or meet up with a friend. Even meeting up for five or tens minutes is totally worth it. That little bit of distance from work always refreshes me and gives me a creative boost. Besides, I love experiencing Copenhagen by walking around, I try to get out and about in the city a little bit each day.
Hard for you to sit still is it?
Yeah, you could say that.
Career-wise, how did you end up where you are today?
Like a lot of people, I started out in a 9-5 job and that was fine for a while but, for me, it felt pretty limiting. I wanted to take more control of my daily life so that I could pursue a range of various goals and projects. In order to do that, I had to make a change. I had to take a risk and start something of my own. And so I set out as an entrepreneur.
What would you say to others who are inspired by what you’re doing and want to ‘make a change and start something of [their] own?’
I would say this: start as early as possible. If you can, start your new thing on the side while you have something steady to keep your life on a good foundation. It takes a while to make money doing what you love, and you need to do things the right way from the beginning. There’s a lot to learn. It takes time, so be patient and work as hard as you can: no matter how good your idea is, starting something new is always an uphill journey.
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How do you know a pair of kicks is right for you?
For me, it’s all about how easy they are to get in and out of, combined with how well they go with both dress and casual wear. They have to be cool but they also need to sturdy enough to keep up with me, whatever it is I’m doing.
Favorite Pair of ARKK Copenhagen Sneakers?
I love the look and feel of the Eaglezero Suede  S-E15 Off White, it’s just so clean.
What has kept you moving forward on this journey?
What helps keep me moving forward is some combination of stubborness and positive thinking. I believe in what I’m doing, so I literally can’t stop. Again, I think it comes back to this belief that hard work plus patience will pay off in the end. At least, that’s what’s made the difference for me.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
That is so hard to answer, actually. But I hope that I still have my shop, and I hope the brand has grown even more stable and more well-respected. For me, building a brand that is Danish in essence and that has craftsmanship at the core is very important going forward. So, it won’t be enough to simply grow in size, I need to stay true to who I am and why I started in the first place. That always has to be there.
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STORY 02 anders
STORY 03 Alasdair