The Swedish Greaser Culture Explained
What differences does the American and Swedish culture have? What’s so special about the Swedish Greaser culture? Mattias; It’s the Greaser culture. Sweden was the first in the world to have Greasers. Ove; It’s hard to compare if you haven’t been there and seen their culture. Mattias; There they have about 99% of Rockabilly people. Ove; It’s much more display of the cars in the US while here, we use the cars.
Who are you? And how come you started with all of this? Mattias; My name is Mattias, I’m 43 years old and I’ve had this in my blood my whole life. It started very early with the motorcycle culture, then I jumped to the Greaser culture and then back. I’ve jumped back and forth. Then I got more into Rockabilly.
How come you started selling Rockabilly merchendise? Mattias; It was an idea me and my partner had that we would start something. We didn’t sell Rockabilly from the start. We sold more fantasy things but then of some weird reason we bought in some paintings with pinups on and it started to sell much.
Then we stopped with fantasy and ordered more of those. It started with small things then we continued with clothes and an own clothing line. It’s grown extremely fast the last year.
And here we have Ove, born and raised where? Ove; Outside Urvalla here in Sweden.
Has it always been in the blood for you to? Ove; Yeah, you can say that. I’ve been more oriented towards the Wild West though, clothes and accessories from the West.
How did you guys meet? Ove; We met here in Rättvik about 5 years ago.
What’s the main goal with the arena here in Rättvik where you got all these Rockabilly merch? Ove; It’s a big Floor ball hall that is empty the whole summer where we have small events. Mattias; There were no events this year since they are re-building. Otherwise it’s our event that’s the big thing and it’s getting bigger every year.
For how long have you been doing this? Mattias; This is the 3rd year. Together with all of our partners.
What kind of things gets sold in there? Mattias; Everything within this cultures from tattoos to clothes, accessories, things within the Greaser culture and Western culture.
Ove; And we’re also trying to get more car parts retailers. Mattias; We’ve already gotten some ‘til next year and we are planning to expand more for next year.
Does this type of concept exist outside of Sweden? Ove; Well, it exists elsewhere, especially in the U.S.A. Over there they have many swap meets with car parts but it focuses more on car parts and second-hand things for sale and It’s very expensive. It’s cheaper going to a market here in Sweden then in the U.S.A. It’s also more of a mix here and a little more vintage than in the U.S.A.
Who is your typical customer? Mattias; It’s usually those in my age. Like 40+.
Who is the typical Western apparel customer? Ove; It’s quite a few people that has an interest for it and buys those shirts, it’s very nice shirts trust me.
Is it mostly old people or young people? Ove; There is people of all all ages. Mattias; For me it’s people from 6 years up to 80.
What’s the craziest memory from all of these meets you’ve been to? Ove; I had one crazy customer that bought the whole outfit with shirt, hat, revolver and revolver belt. Then he went to the city and said to the cops: Let’s get outta here! They pushed him against the car and confisticated his weapon replicas.
What’s your favourite place in Sweden that you attend except Rättvik? Mattias; There is one place we used to sell on, and that’s the A-Bombers in Uddevalla. It’s a straight up Rockabilly meet. They don’t let in cars newer than 1954 I think. There’s many good places we go to, for example Power Big Meet in Västerås. It’s classified as the worlds biggest market and meet today. Ove; That’s a difficult question. I go to small events like country festivals and a few car meets that are close to home.
What kind of products sells? What’s the bestseller? Ove; My bestseller is probably the cowboy hat. Mattias; I have many products that sells much to both men and women. Our flannel shirts and dresses sells really good. But It’s mainly clothes that sells the most.
Do you sell online? Ove; No, I don’t have the capacity just yet. Mattias; It was 5-6 years ago we started our website and it has grown extremely much, we have many customers every day. In the beginning it took us 3 months until we got our first order and now it varies, some days it’s 10 orders others 20 or 5.
Do you ship internationally? Mattias; We’re gonna start shipping to Norway, Finland and Denmark this year.
What are your plans for the future? Mattias; The plans for the future is to get this venue to grow as much as possible. Ove; To get it to grow and expand a little bit more.