WHO ARE WE?
The company Grodås Møbler AS (Grodås furniture AS) was started in 1983 by Oddvin and Anne-Lise Haugen (Håvard and Oscar’s parents) in the basement of their house. The business grew so rapidly that in 1985 they had to invest in a separate factory building. The company became well known for its high-quality products. Oddvin Haugen's passion and the company's smart and effective solutions became Grodås Møbler AS's business model. Both Håvard and Oscar - their older children - worked in the factory almost every day after-school, where they were taught young entrepreneurs' fundamental skills. Oddvin's passion was passed onto the next generation.
PASSION FOR HUNTING, PASSION FOR SHOOTING
Both Håvard and Oscar shared an early passion for shooting and hunting. Håvard bought his first guns and ammo magazine in 1985 – when he was just 11 years old. Both brothers read eagerly about weapons and developed a focused interest in the weapons industry. To this day, Oscar remains a passionate hunter, shooter, and fisher, while Håvard tends to prefer shooting. "He was never bitten by the big game of hunting that afflicts me," says Oscar with a grin.
After graduating from college, Håvard started working in the family company and - in the late 1990's - started to work with CNC programming and machining. The newer CNC technology was a game-changer in the industry, opening up nearly limitless possibilities.
Håvard’s ability to take an idea and convert it into a marketable product is overwhelming. "He surprises me again and again," says Oscar. "When challenged, he always delivers the best solutions I have ever seen." This uniqueness of the symbiosis between Håvard’s brilliant capacity for R&D and execution and Oscar’s field experience and business sense became the new GRS business model.
After graduating in 1997, Oscar worked away from the company for a couple of years and was called into the Norwegian Army in 2000 for the one-year mandatory national service. Oscar was enrolled in a specialist branch of the Norwegian National Guard just two days after ending his mandatory service, working - for 3 years - as an instructor of National Guard's Sharpshooters; he served as a QRF Sharpshooter Team Leader for 7 years, ending his contract in 2010. (Oscar remains active in the National Guard, with the rank of Company First Sergeant.) In March 2010, Oscar was nominated CEO and part-owner of the family's company, while Håvard took over the majority of the shares, with the first-generation owners keeping a minor share position. As with many other businesses during the financial crisis of 2008, we can summarize the period between 2008 and 2010 in two words: damage control. The Norwegian furniture market suffered a complete crash during this financial crisis, and we had to find ways to turn difficulties into opportunities.
THE ADVENTURE OF TRADEMARKING
GRS owned the CNC machines, and our workers were ready to help. We decided that we would launch our first rifle stock. The company was established as a trademark in 2011. "We took what we had - field shooting experience and expertise in CNC machining - along with a good handful of guts, and we never looked back ever since. We can say that we carved success through hard work, lots of traveling, taking on personal debt to keep the company alive, and the effort paid off. The company grew.
Both the industry and our customers recognized our stocks for what they were: rifle stocks with functionality, ergonomics, and aesthetics that improved their shooting.
As the word quickly spread thanks to the international web forums, social media, and a growing client base, soon we were shipping to every corner of the world. "We worked day and night to establish our distribution network, and we are now represented in 45 countries around the world. Our brand is globally recognized as an innovative premium brand. We still work day and night to keep that position." Oscar travels more than ever, constantly visiting our distributors and follow-up on new leads.
GRS presently has 16 employees: 15 in Hornindal and one in South Carolina. The growth has been excellent. "I smile every day knowing more and more hunters and shooters get to know us. GRS makes people shoot more accurately because the rifles fit them better -- what more could we ask for?"
"Much more to come," says Oscar while looking at Håvard, who grins and adds, "You ain't seen nothing yet!".