By Students Emily Levin, Mitchell Johnson, Mackenzie Loftness, Mackenzie Kohn, Tristen Guelig, Jayme Getelman, Samantha Strupp, Juannan Jia, Christopher Wilson, Cara Naimi, and Blake Kobak
You probably know Fiskars as the company with the orange scissors, however they are much more than just this iconic product. Fiskars is the second oldest company as it was started in 1649 and it is still recognizable today. It is a very successful company that has continuously been growing. In the Retail Leadership Symposium course, we were very fortunate to learn about the brand with Paul Tonnesen, President of Fiskars Americas, operating out of Middleton, Wisconsin.
Tonnesen started by presenting us with background information of the brand and how Fiskars Village-an ode to the brand’s seventeenth century origins- is located in Finland. The company owns multiple brands such as Gerber, Royal Copenhagen, Waterford, Wedgwood, Gilmour, plus many more. The ultimate goal of Fiskars is to make every day extraordinary. Their mission statement reflects this: to deliver lasting innovative designs for enthusiasts that empowers achievement and self-expression. Tonnesen emphasized how it is important to focus on the moments and little things, and this vision has been successful in that the organization hopes to be the undisputed leader in iconic lifestyle tools that create a better life.
Being that their products are in major retail stores such as Home Depot, Target, Michaels, Walmart, Lowe’s Ace, True Value, etc, Fiskars is an extremely popular, relevant leading company. Tonnesen also mentioned how more than half of United States households (63%) own Fiskars brand products. Remember the scissors from your Kindergarten school supply list? Fiskars’ products are of high quality and because they have been around for so long, consumers are loyal and buy what they are often familiar with. Tonnesen explained that Fiskars has been able to grow their success throughout time by following their key steps to success: consumer insight, strategic partnerships, and hands-on consumer trial. They have been able to better improve products throughout the years just through the consumer insight that they received.
Later in his presentation, Tonnesen shared with us what he views to be the top ten most important factors of success in our lives and careers. Some include doing the right thing, always networking, practicing your social responsibility, being energetic and accountable, and many more. One rule in which he greatly emphasized was to be great at W.I.N-What’s Important Now.
It is important for us to ask ourselves what we are willing to do in this moment that can lead us to success.
We believe these were a huge takeaway as college students searching for internships and job opportunities, and we appreciate Paul Tonnesen taking time to share these important words of wisdom with our class.
Improving the Educational Experience
Courses like the Retail Leadership Symposium give students the opportunity to gain insight on current retail trends and connect with industry professionals. Annual gifts provide immediately available discretionary funds to support student experiences, like the Retail Leadership Symposium. Your support will make a significant impact to help today’s Badgers become be the leaders of tomorrow.
Click “All Ways Forward” to start making a difference.