Founder Facts: grums

This week, we spoke to Rasmus Nørgard, one of the founders of grums - the Danish sustainable skin care range that uses coffee grounds. Read on to discover the incredible skincare benefits of coffee, how grums have used their passion for sustainability and what's next from them... 

Tell us about yourself and the story behind creating your brand?
My name is Rasmus and I am one of the founders behind grums Aarhus. In grums we create sustainable skin care products made from recycled coffee grounds and natural ingredients.

We've always had a passion for sustainability and innovation which is why we established grums in 2016. We thought it was crazy that we, as a society, threw out a resource as useful as coffee grounds. A resource with a high level of antioxidants, many purposes and dermatological benefits beyond imagination.

We spent two years perfecting our recipes and building our business model. We wanted to build a brand which was green and transparent while having a unique story behind it. That process took a lot of time, and since nobody within this industry was working with a waste product such as coffee grounds at the time, we had to do it all step-by-step.

We launched grums in May 2018 and since then it has been really exciting - a journey with many ups and downs. But at the same time something I would do a thousand times again if you asked me. Today we are so proud of where we are! We are working with over 100 amazing retailers in several countries and we have the most fantastic customer base out there who helps us develop our brand every day.

What makes grums stand out to other skincare brands?
Four words: Sustainability, transparency, storytelling and quality. At grums, we work from a sustainable mindset in everything we do. For example, we reuse a waste product, we produce locally here in Denmark, use green packaging and recycled cardboard boxes for shipping. We translate all the ingredients we use into 'human language' on our website and we take 1-2 years to develop one single product - a process where we include some of the best formulators in Denmark while testing the products on hundreds of our customers in order to be 100% sure that every single recipe is as good and effective as possible. And last but not least, all of our products are hypoallergenic making them suitable for most customers.

Why did you choose to use raw coffee and what are the skin benefits?
Less than 1% of the nutrients end up in your coffee which means that more than 99% of all the good stuff are still left in the coffee grounds. Coffee grounds contain three key elements that makes it a great ingredients in skin care: natural fibres for exfoliating dead skin cells, oil for nourishing the skin, and sugar which works as natural transporters for active ingredients so they end up where they actually work.

Coffee grounds are a rich source antioxidants, caffeine and fatty acids that are beneficial for our skin and give a refreshed glow, firmness, elasticity, enhanced blood circulation etc. Read more on our website under ‘Why Coffee Grounds.’

What do you look for in your stockists and what values are important to you?
We look for retailers who can communicate the story behind our brand and our products efficiency while presenting the products in a professional way. We want to work with retailers that either sell green cosmetics and/or have a green lifestyle focus in general.

What types of stores stock grums? What area would you like to see the brand in or grow into?
We mainly cooperate with independent and natural clinics/cosmetic stores, green lifestyle stores, clothing stores and cafés! We've tried many sales channels, but these seem to work best with our brand. That being said, we are always open to exploring new possibilities!

What has been the biggest triumph since starting grums?
The biggest triumph has definitely been the feedback we've received. Our products have been extremely well received by our partners and consumers! When you are running a business you give it all you got, and it's amazing to see that our products and our way of working has helped people on the other side.

The second biggest triumph must be our new partnership with the Danish coffee brand La Cabra which is a company that we truly admire. We are extremely grateful and proud that we have made an exclusive cooperation with them and we have a million ideas on how we can use this cooperation to make grums stand out.

What do you love most about being a business owner in the beauty industry? Do you have any advice for emerging beauty brands?
I love the beauty industry - but I definitely also think that it could change for the better in many ways. We are excited to see the industry, and especially smaller brands such as us, move towards a green and transparent profile which I believe has been a big lack in the industry.

We are still quite a new brand and we have much to learn. But if I were to give advice I'd say; perfect your products and your concept - if you have good products you will win long-term. You can change your marketing but it's hard to change people's opinion on your products once they've tried them.

How has your typical working day changed since COVID-19 and how have you had to adapt?
The first months were really hard as many stores closed down - and while this is still the case in some countries, we have had our two best months now. Maybe because you are forced to think in new ways of running your business. For example, the Covid gave us the opportunity and time to take a step back and complete new initiatives that we've thought of in a long time without acting on them.

Do you have any upcoming projects you’re working on? Will there be anything new coming to you?
Yes we are working on many new products! We are launching our new hydra calm face cream and our bamboo hairbrush in September. Both products have received amazing feedback - we've worked on our face cream for two years and the result is truly amazing. It's built on an extract from recycled coffee grounds, hyaluronic acid, plant sugars, glycerin and bladderwrack extract.

Furthermore, we are working on gift boxes, cosmetics bags and a body lotion - but more on that later! 😉

To shop from grums visit their brand page here, and follow their journey on Instagram and keep up with their latest news and launches here.