Saying yes to the dress — and continued success
Based in the historic fishing town of Fosnavåg, Norway, nestled in amongst large maritime companies, lies the headquarters and warehouse of Ko:ko. What began as one woman’s dream to bring a fresh take on women’s fashion with timeless Norwegian design has become a one-of-a-kind, family-run success story.
With a background in floral design that began in her mother’s flower shop, founder Stine Goksøyr struggled to find the perfect dress for her wedding. Dissatisfied with the options available in stores, she ended up designing her own — which led to even further frustration when she realized that everyday dresses to her taste didn’t exist either! She longed for dresses that were of suitable comfort, quality, and design to suit not only her work as a floral designer, but that could also be worn everyday. Beginning with 18 new designs of her own, the seeds of Ko:ko’s first dresses were sown.
Even with a healthy dose of skepticism from her husband (and business partner), Øyvind Rekkedal, Stine persevered. Recognizing that her designs could be a perfect fit for other women too, she was determined to launch her own brand. But when no banks were willing to back their vision, both Stine and Øyvind had to take a leap of faith and sold their previous businesses in order to finance the venture and bring Ko:ko to life.
Slowly and steadily, Ko:ko saw stable growth with consistently increasing sales as they grew their brand with new collections that grew in size every season. With Stine on the creative side continuing to work as the designer, Øyvind took on his own role in the company, tapping into his experience as a chef to bring mise en place to their warehouse and logistics operation.
Working to their advantage was a unique quirk about their remote geographic location — Fosnavåg is a maritime town, with an abundance of shipping companies located nearby. This meant that they were able to get their shipments out the door and into customer’s hands as quickly as if they were in a more traditional industrial park.
As smooth as things were going, their steady growth meant that they were no longer able to keep up with their fulfillment needs in a single workday and they no longer had the work/life balance that had previously been a perk of their independent venture. Øyvind found himself looking for ways they could take their operations to the next level, without needing to relocate or bring in additional staff — who aren’t so easy to come by on an island with a population of around 3,500 people.
Enter Pio: the only warehouse automation solution designed for and tailor-made to suit businesses like Ko:ko — growing brands that want to continue their growth while remaining independent.
Let robots solve the warehouse
In 2018, Stine and Øyvind invested in their new, multi-purpose facility that serves as their warehouse, showroom, offices, photo studio, and home away from home. It’s inspired design is a remarkable expression of Ko:ko’s brand ethos; a kind of quality and versatile space suitable for any function — not unlike the dresses found inside. By installing a Pio, they will be able to continue not only growing, but thriving in their beloved home.
“Previously, we would’ve had two people picking all day,” says Øyvind. “Now there’s just one person doing it, and they’re normally done by lunch time.” And he’s right — when we went head-to-head with their manual picking process before Pio was installed, it was not a close contest. See for yourself!
Not only are they able to pick, pack, and store their inventory many times faster than they previously would have, but thanks to Pio offering up to 10x greater storage utilization, they can also store much more inventory in their warehouse then they would’ve been able to without the system.
Officially founded in 2011 and in their current home since 2018, Ko:ko has been able to not only survive, but to see steady and stable growth, despite their remote location. A true realization of an ecommerce dream — founder Stine Goksøyr followed her dream to bring quality, Norwegian-designed women’s fashion to the world with the help of her husband and their son. Now empowered by Pio, they can continue to enjoy their continued success without being bogged down by a logistics nightmare.