Despite its ultra-modern trappings – Iceland has the highest density of internet and mobile phones in the world – the small country continues to be characterised by the breathtaking beauty of the island and a belief in natural spirits.
More than forty importers make it possible for Dr.Hauschka to provide skin care products to customers around the globe. In 2005, Iceland joined this group as the newest international distribution partner. Since then, the company Yggdrasill has been highly successful in marketing Dr.Hauschka Skin Care products on the island of elves, trolls and dwarves.
Life takes place at a much slower pace on the world’s largest volcanic island. With a population of some 190,000, Reykjavik is home to more than half of the total 300,000 inhabitants of Iceland; outside the capital city, the population density is only approximately three people per square kilometre.
Symbolic of the country’s affinity for nature is the belief in the “huldufólk”, the hidden people or elves. Natural spirits play a major role in Iceland; many inhabitants believe in their existence and even those who don't take great pains not to disturb or annoy these creatures. Even the Icelandic government and local planning authorities would never dream of building new streets or houses without obtaining professional advice regarding elves: as a recognised elf medium, Erla Stefánsdóttir helps prevent conflicts between humans and elves. After all, nature in Iceland is populated by thousands of these light creatures, in springs, waterfalls and stones – according to the world’s only elf school in Reykjavík.
So far, the elves are apparently as receptive to Dr.Hauschka Skin Care as they are to its Icelandic distribution partner Yggdrasill.
YGGDRASILL – The TREE OF LIFE
Although Hildur Gudmundsdóttir and Runar Sigurkarlsson have not yet consulted Erla Stefánsdóttir, the two owners of Yggdrasill would never dare to test the goodwill of the “huldufólk”. “No one would make an important decision without taking into consideration the natural spirits,” explains Runar with a wink.
This attitude may well have contributed to the success of their company: originally founded as a small organic grocery in 1986, Yggdrasill has since developed into a flourishing wholesaler and retailer. Hildur and Runar provide six stores and pharmacies in the capital of Reykjavík as well as in Akureyi in northern Iceland with the complete assortment of Dr.Hauschka Skin Care products. One of these locations serves as Yggdrasill’s retail outlet in the middle of Reykjavik. Ideally situated directly in the Skólavördustigur shopping district, the store attracts tourists and residents alike. Local politicians also shop here, while Icelandic stars from the film and music industry, including singer Björk, purchase Rose Day Cream here.
Dr.Hauschka treatments have also recently been added to the repertoire: next to its main retail shop, Yggdrasill just opened a cosmetics studio where a trained Dr.Hauschka esthetician works. Hildur and Runar plan to open an organic supermarket in 2008, which will of course also carry Dr.Hauschka Skin Care products.
Yggdrasill certainly lives up to its namesake: named after the great ash tree from Norse mythology – the tree of life – the company is growing steadily, and the natural skin care line from the Swabian Alb enjoys great popularity. In light of this, only one thing remains to be done: thank the elves!