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In late 2021, Hedgehog founder Bjørn Holte met with Stig Førrisdal (@DroneStig, @stig_forrisdal), founder of DronePodden (@PoddenDrone), to discuss a variety of interesting topics. These spanned being a serial entrepreneur, living in New York City, losing a loved one to cancer, developing the Hedgehog Dryer series, never giving up, and much much more. Interview in Norwegian.
Episode nr. 9 - Innovatør og SerieGrunder Hr. Bjørn Holte inviterer @DroneStig på besøk til Hemsedal Dronepodden sin administrasjon med venner, piloter og teknologer inviteres til FYRI Resort Hotell i Hemsedal av Innovatør og SerieGrunder Hr. Bjørn Holte. @DroneStig koser seg på bilturen opp Hallingdal til vakre omgivelser i Hemsedal og området rundt Hemsedal sentrum. Bjørn "åpner seg opp" om "berg-og-dalbane reisen" fra å møte suksess, ære og berømmelse, sykdom, død og et nytt liv med familieforøkelse og nye innovasjoner. Bjørn gir aldri opp! Han forsøkte også bekjempe kreft!Dette ble veldig bra, Bjørn! #TheOneAndOnly #TheMan #EnHverdagsHeltBjørn Holte sin nyeste satsning: www.hedgehogdryer.com#GodStemning #ExtremeCombInnovation #DronesAreGood #Look2Norway
When I was a single woman living in New York City, I would wake up to my alarm clock, throw on an all-black outfit, curl or straighten my hair, apply makeup, and head out the door. The whole process could take 15-20 minutes if I hustled – I was super efficient. I walked 3 kilometers to work every day and would grab a coffee and a snack from a coffeeshop and take a leisurely walk through a couple of Manhattan´s beautiful flowery parks on the way.
Fast-forward five years. I am now a mom to four kids, ages 1, 7, 9, and 11. (My husband had three kids from his previous marriage and is a widower, so we have all the kids full-time.) Between changing diapers, preparing and cleaning up breakfast, brushing kids´ teeth (“Are you sure you used mouthwash, Martin? Let me smell your breath!”) and making sure the kids are dressed for the Norwegian weather (“klær etter vær,” as the Norwegians say), the morning has not always been a relaxing time of the day.
On top of that, I am a perfectionist who hates the house being disorganized or arriving anywhere late. In the past, I wondered, Am I doomed to a life of late child drop-offs? Why do we have 23 single gloves and each pair has lost its partner? Will I ever have time to change out of my pajamas before throwing on a coat and driving our baby at the daycare?
Parents, does any of this sound familiar? (Can I get a “Heck yeah!?”) If so, over the years, I´ve developed several tips and tricks I will share with you to help make the mornings less chaotic and less stressful. Here are a few of them!
Establish a get-home routine with the kids. When our kids walk in the door after school, they hang up their jackets and gear and take out their lunchboxes and put them in the dishwasher. This is an important time to make sure their shoes and gloves are dry and stay together.
Make the kids´ lunches the night before, rather than in the morning. This one tip has created so much more space in our mornings – my husband thinks it´s been life-changing for us. The kids often eat sandwiches for lunch, but if we have leftovers like pasta from the night before, sometimes I include this instead (depending on the meal, sometimes the kids can heat up their food at school). It´s easier to make healthy food for the next day when it´s not so urgent and I have time to slice apples, pears, cucumbers, carrots, etc.
Better yet, get the kids to make their own lunches! This isn´t possible with the smallest kids, but most school-aged kids can make their own lunches or at least help. If they make their own lunches, they are more likely to eat everything because they have picked out exactly what they enjoy.
Lay out as much as possible the night before. The less thinking you or the kids need to do in the morning, the better! This could include:The kids´outfits for the next day. In Norway in the wintertime, that often includes several layers of wool thermals, sweaters, and thick socks.The kids´ “outside clothes.” For us, that includes their snow or rain jacket, pants, or winter suit; a beanie or warm winter hat; a scarf or neck warmer; dry gloves and shoes or boots. I lay these down on the floor in the kitchen in little piles, each pile for a different child.Homework, schoolbooks, school iPads all charged up, instruments, diapers (for our little one in daycare) – anything that might be needed for the next school day.
Keep breakfast simple. If possible, I recommend having a no-mobile-phone policy at the table to focus more on family time and minimize distractions. Set a good example with the kids with healthy breakfast options. Sometimes I even set the table and grind our coffee beans at night, so they are ready to go in the morning.
Establish an out-the-door routine with the kids. Before leaving the house, I check that the kids have done 3 key things: “potty, teeth, and hair.” (“potty” = use the toilet) I learned this from my mom, who was the oldest of 11 children, had 4 children herself, and was an elementary school teacher. (In other words, she knows a lot about getting small kids out the door!) “Potty, teeth, and hair” is super easy for the kids to remember themselves. This helps make sure the kids are fresh and put together and your smallest kids don´t have any accidents after leaving the house, which would surely add time to the morning routine.
Look, we don´t accomplish all these activities every single day, but they are goals. I also try not to be too hard on myself or the kids when someone forgets an iPad or doesn´t take a lunchbox out of his or her backpack when arriving home. However, implementing any of these tips and tricks is better than nothing and helps make the morning run just a bit more smoothly. Some days, I can even sit down and enjoy drinking an entire cup of coffee while knowing all the pre-work has paid off. ☺
One last tip: Hedgehog Dryer, especially the Wall version, is very family-friendly and is both a drying and organizing tool (never lose a glove again!). Everyone in our family uses the dryer for our shoes and gloves, in both snowy and rainy weather. With super-speedy drying capabilities, it also helps make the morning more efficient.
What tips and tricks do you have to help make the mornings go smoothly?
The Red Dot Design Award is one of the world’s largest design competitions. The Red Dot Label is one of the most prestigious marks of design quality globally.
According to the Red Dot Award website, “Every year, the Red Dot Award: Product Design sets out to find the year’s best products. The products selected by the Red Dot Jury to win an award may be aesthetically appealing, functional, smart or innovative, but what they all have in common is their outstanding design.”When we developed the Hedgehog Dryer series, we initially researched, purchased and tested the existing shoe dryers on the market and discovered that the industry had not advanced in several decades. Low air flow and a clunky design were the norm, with limited functionality. It seemed ironic to us that Scandinavian families, which value product design as well as functionality, had such widespread use of these antiquated dryer products.
“We didn´t want to make a product that was a little bit better than the other dryers out there,” Hedgehog founder Bjørn Holte said. “We wanted to create the best shoe dryer in the world.” Bjørn worked with engineers and industrial designers to create a new product series with improved functionality that also looked great. More powerful technology, multiple time settings, multiple heat options, multiple fan speeds, materials to enhance safety, and increased capacity are a few of the key features that set Hedgehog apart.
Our team was honored and excited to learn this spring that the Hedgehog Dryer series won a Red Dot Award: Product Design 2022 in the category of Innovative Products. As noted by the Red Dot Award jury, "The Hedgehog Dryer offers sophisticated functionality for drying shoes, boots and gloves and offers enhanced user safety."
Team Hedgehog is proud of our award-winning dryer series and is pleased and privileged to be a Red Dot Award winner.
Team Hedgehog was excited to participate in this year´s Startup Extreme, based in the mountains of Hemsedal, Norway on April 26-27, 2022.
Startup Extreme began in 2015 to highlight and support the Norwegian startup scene. Since then, Norway has become one of Europe's fastest growing startup ecosystems.
Startup Extreme´s mission is “building a more connected startup ecosystem,” particularly following the intensity and isolation of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The event is not only an opportunity to listen to speaker panels and network with other startups, funders, and corporations, but it is also at its core an opportunity to connect outside of Zoom calls and office meeting rooms by participating in the best that the Hemsedal outdoors have to offer. Alongside conference sessions, there are amazing activities including dog sledding, hiking, ice bathing, snowshoeing, skiing, yoga, coffee tasting, and more.
Startup life and extreme sports are integral to Hedgehog founder Bjørn Holte´s way of life. He started “extreme” sports at age 14 when living in Australia, at a time when skateboarding was a crime in Norway, then bought a used hang glider and tried teaching himself to use it at age 18 (note: it did not go well). Since then, he has done bridge jumping, water skiing, and his favorite – kite surfing, both on the water in the summer and the snow in the winter. Bjørn is also a serial entrepreneur, starting his first company at age 16, building and exiting several tech companies, and now changing the world with Hedgehog Dryer, one dry boot at a time.
Bjørn, a Hemsedal local, kicked off the Startup Extreme opening dinner with parallels between entrepreneurship and sports. Entrepreneurship is like surfing, he said, plenty of chaos, a huge amount of work, lots of ups and downs, and you need to take risks in order to reap rewards. His key advice for entrepreneurs:
Bjørn and Team Hedgehog are grateful to the Startup Extreme team for fostering a sense of excitement and collaboration in Norway´s startup scene. We had an extremely good time!