The passion for environmental issues grew too strong. After nine years in telecom, Telavox veteran Filip Johansson decided to set all aside for his vision.
"My background in tech is beneficial. I've created a gardening app that is a fun and valuable tool for environment and cultivation enthusiasts", says Filip.
The telephony provider is Telavox, obviously. The startup, called Gardenr, is directed toward gardeners with a passion for all things green but who don't quite know where to start digging.
"IT tools are great at sorting and ranking information. This app helps you get started. It prioritises so you don't become stressed and paralyzed. You get a better overview, and you get positively encouraged with a healthy amount of challenges."
From city life to country life
Just a few years ago, Filip was a city-dweller, living with his wife in a studio apartment in Lund. But when they expected their first child, they grew tired of city life.
"The traffic, noise, and need for shopping didn't thrill us anymore. We weren't looking forward to spending another weekend at a mall just to have something to do", says Filip.
When Filip and his wife realised what they could get in the countryside compared to the same price range as a small townhouse in Lund – the choice was simple.
"We ended up in Lunnarp outside of Dalby. We bought a walled Skånelänga (a Scanian housing type, usually built before 1850 with special architectural features and proportions) from 1830 with 1,5 hectares of land", says Filip.
From watching Netflix to getting your hands dirty
Life changed drastically for the couple: Netflix was exchanged for cleaning out the slough and making cultivation beds, and the idle surfing for repairing the barn's roof.
"We’ve never thought twice about the decision. My wife has room for a leather workshop, me for a garden in the kitchen. Our three-year-old daughter Ebba now has her own hut, slide, sandbox, and wild strawberry land", says Filip.
As the plantations grew and thrived, Filip's interest in the environment and nature grew more assertive.
"Every year, there is more life. It's amazing to see!! Reducing the carbon footprint is good but hard to grasp. But working for biological diversity through various things, such as bee hotels, is tangible. Suddenly there were bats, buzzing bees, and birds of prey that took voles on our plot, and our pond is full of frogs", says Filip.
The vision turned into reality
With such clear results, Filip realised that he could make a difference, and his vision became more evident every day.
"Betting on a startup again after Telavox and reducing my income has also motivated me to reduce my consumption. I look on Facebook Marketplace and Blocket for what I really need. Decorating with what you have, cooking, and being creative is not only cheaper – it's more fun too!"
“I know how much you get for your money”
When Filip began working on his startup, his obvious first choice for his technological needs was Telavox: the IT company where he spent almost a decade and held many different roles, from a support manager to a finance manager.
"I know the Telavox telephony solution inside and out and how much you get for your money. Ease of use is the best. I can handle all the administration myself, like setting up the PBX and adding licenses. It saves a lot of time for a self-employed person."
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Increased need for video conferencing
"When the pandemic hit, I needed a video and telephone conference immediately. I have always been a big proponent of holding meetings online because of the environment and the fact that it saves travel time and money. A work trip to Stockholm by train costs thousands of SEK. If you have five travel days a month, that's about ten thousand SEK in slow time you can't work and probably the same amount in travel expenses. Now that everyone uses these services extensively, it's fun to see how well it works in practice to skip many physical meetings."
Filip is fascinated by how well it works as most people have started using digital communication tools.
"It's great to see that it works in practice and that many choose to skip physical meetings. Just being able to pull a link in an email or SMS to a customer or partner is gold. They just click, and then you are up and running in the video conference. Precisely the non-existent threshold required for it to spread widely".
No need to give out your private number
There are 2.7 million gardens in Sweden alone. Filip went live with his company in the spring of 2020, and it has gone really well.
"When you're on your own, it's easy never to disconnect because it's so much fun. That's why it's good to easily set the PBX, avoid receiving direct calls on your mobile phone from customers and partners and be able to close down sometimes. I don't have to give out my private mobile number, but I can refer to a fixed company number that can be found on all websites, registration forms, and so on. It saves me many unwanted sales calls in the evening", says Filip.