Ann-Sofie Hermansson, an entrepreneur with a heart and brain.

Ann-Sofie Hermansson runs the companies Brilliant Business in Sweden AB and Brilliant Products in Sweden AB.
The corporations focus is consulting activity and clothing industry.
To the clothing industry, she brought a fashion accessory that is clear and visible.
Smart in the dark is the brand she is marketing for her reflexes under.
 
She has also been in the music industry.
Ann-Sofie was a part of the launching of a special guitar string; there were a membrane that covered it.
-”Up until this day, I can point out a musician from a distance.
But I am not a musician myself.”

When we’re on the subject, what was your first LP album that you bought?

Främling, with Carola.
Shaw as my big idol when I was about 8 – 10 years old.
I remember copying the record to a cassette tape played warm in my portable tape recorder.
I brought it everywhere.
We were a bunch of girls miming to her songs and charged people to see us perform.
That is how my entrepreneur journey started.

Foto: Lennart Sjöberg

Could you lease tell me about your journey to materialize Smart in the Dark?

There have been many turns.
I have goggled a lot.
Had some help from the European business and Business Sweden for guidance.
It has also been a bit of detective work to find the right partners, like finding a needle in a haystack.
Here I am, and I needed a new technique that no one knew about.
It has also been brinkmanship, is it possible to work with your competition?
I had nothing to offer in return at the beginning, so the question was, were they wiling to take a chance with something they didn’t know for sure that it was going to give something back at the end of the day.

Why did you place the manufacturing within the EU?

You see a lot of beggars from other countries within the union and I wanted to be able to offer a job instead, so that they can have a better life.
Naturally it has advantages as well; it is easier to travel to the factory.
If I would have placed the manufacturing in China, they demand very high quantities.

What is your drive?

To be an entrepreneur is my passion and I would like to contribute to a better world.
Reflexes are a product that can make a difference, heart and brain.

Do you have any good advice to new entrepreneurs?

Broaden your horizons, because it is very easy to end up within your own target group and keep the others out.
Work hard, obstacles are made to overcome. (The obstacles are a part of the charm to run your own company).
It is 2% idea and 98% accomplishment.
Ask yourself: do I want to play in the little league or do I want to play with the Olympic team?
Dare to claim your space, never mind the Jante Law.

Foto: Lennart Sjöberg

How does it work to be an entrepreneur and a mother?

Naturally it is challenging to have three children and run a company at the same time.
It is possible to combine but one has to accept that things are going to take a little longer to do.
It is all about the balance, but I have an advantage to be able to control my own working hours.
Then I have my husband as well, so I am able to lock myself in sometimes.

Isn’t there a risk of being isolated?

I believe it is individual.
To me, it is important to see friends and also other entrepreneurs.
We usually network over lunch.
Everyone has their own passion and it is contagious, a lot of positive energy.
One learns from others success and failures.
The most wonderful about that gang of entrepreneurs is that there is no prestige, everybody are themselves and everybody have both succeeded and failed, and we are sharing that too.

Right now I have a new project on the go. It’s starting to take shape, but you have to wait and see what will be.
I can say as much as that my husband is involved...
 
Svip.se would like to thank Ann-Sofie Hermansson for sharing your time and thoughts, as well as your advice.

Curious on her collection? Look at: smartinthedark.com