We had the good fortune of connecting with Ulrika Pettersson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ulrika, how do you think about risk?
I never think about risk as something I should avoid. It’s part of life and I think that when you start calculating or “examining” risk, the outcome is only different ways to develop your business.
By putting down on paper what can I win, what can I lose, what the best and worst thing that can happen is, a plan starts to form I can choose a path forward. If I choose to take a risk and loose, I already know the outcome and how to move on. It doesn’t feel like a loss. Same if I take a risk and succeed, things are going according to plan, it is not a big win.
It might sound boring, but it works for me. Since I started Unna Bakery my working life has been such a rollercoaster and doing it like this makes it a bit smoother. That said, of course you got to celebrate your success sometimes!
What should our readers know about your business?
At Unna Bakery we bake traditional Swedish butter cookies! I started Unna from the pure love of baking/eating cookies and the recipes are from my Grandma. We often baked these cookies and then enjoyed them together. Precious moments. I want the cookies to be as close to her original recipes as possible, hence we always use butter and never palm oil, soy, or preservatives.
So, Unna is straight from my heart, and I could not have done it any other way. It takes so much energy and conviction to start and grow a business it must come from the core. After many lessons learned my conclusion is that it takes equal parts great quality product, naïveté, endurance, and street smartness to be a successful entrepreneur. One challenge I did not overcome yet is raising money. I wanted to grow fast and was very impatient. When I realized raising money is a full-time job, I had to re-evaluate my business plan and now I grow as much as possible without investors, which is around 25% a year. Having a plan and being able to adapt and re-think the plan has been key to Unna’s success.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I wanna dedicate this shoutout to my Swedish family and especially my Grandma Rut who taught me how to bake these cookies among many things. When I made my transition from Sweden to NYC 10 years ago it was harder than I thought. For comfort and to feel close to my family I started baking an obscene amount of butter cookies. That is when I started thinking about my own cookie brand.