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Startup of the week: Varg and Stallion

In this edition, we speak to the Founder and CEO of Varg and Stallion, Hans Wolf. The company is on a mission to deliver the ultimate sleep experience in the Southeastern USA area. Learn more from Hans himself in our interview.

Tell us about your company.

Hans: At Varg and Stallion, we redefine luxury sleep by partnering with Hästens, the renowned Swedish bed manufacturer since 1852. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, our mission is to enhance your waking hours through superior sleep. We cater to discerning clients seeking not just a bed but an investment in their health, wellness, and overall quality of life.

As the regional distributor for Hästens in the southeastern United States, our showrooms will be sanctuaries for sleep education and wellness. Clients can experience our luxurious products and exclusive services, including private bed trials, exclusive events, and 30 years of product support.

Our team, led by Hans J. Wolf Sr., brings over 14 years of international business experience and a passion for health and wellness. Together with marketing expert Christopher Kampf, we blend strategic business acumen with innovative design, ensuring a holistic approach to luxury sleep. We are also joined by Dr. Walter James, a distinguished somnologist with over five decades of expertise, as our Medical Advisor for sleep.

Join us in our vision to elevate sleep to a transformative experience that unlocks human potential, setting new standards for sustainable luxury.

What made you become an entrepreneur?

Hans: I've always been drawn to entrepreneurship. No matter my position, I was always solving problems and seeking improvements. Working for a small distributor in Malta gave me my first taste of entrepreneurship, handling logistics, sales, and planning. It was an eye-opening experience that taught me more than structured education could.

I later became a distribution manager for Volcano Corp, managing 18 countries with a hands-off approach from management. This experience solidified my entrepreneurial spirit. Upon returning to the US, I founded a successful luxury interior design company, WOLFDENS, with my wife. This venture led to my current startup, Varg and Stallion. I doubt I'll ever stop being an entrepreneur, as I've already penciled down the path by which Varg and Stallion will lead to an additional two startups. Oh yes, there's that medical device I have to get going sometime too...

What is the most challenging part of running your own startup?

Hans: The most challenging part of running my own startup is ensuring we pace ourselves appropriately and not rush ahead at all times.

I dream. I see the picture of what will be ten years from now. It's how I know where I'm going and what I need to do today. However, knowing the path ahead increases the desire to charge ahead to that beautiful, tempting dream. But everything must be done in its own time and cannot be rushed. Yes, mistakes are part of the learning process, but many can be avoided by not rushing unnecessarily. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs are a driven species, and we don't like to wait, we don't like to go slow, we want to go, go, GO!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced when looking for funding?

Hans: The biggest challenge that I've faced when looking for funding has been my lack of network.

My network is all in the medical device space and in Europe and the Mediterranean. I've been working to expand my network into where investors lurk, but cold outreach is a fractious beast at best and organic network growth is necessarily slow. But in both of these, I have faced my second most difficult challenge.

Staying in your lane is very much a motto of wise investors. Finding investors that are in Luxury B2C retail is a challenge.

But what is life without challenges? Pretty boring, if you ask me.

What is the most rewarding aspect of entrepreneurship?

Hans: It's hard to define the most rewarding aspect. There are so many to enjoy. But I would have to say the most rewarding aspect has been my growth.

One of my personal mottos is a simple statement that I heard many years ago, "growth begins where your comfort zone ends." As I've become an entrepreneur, I have very rarely been in my comfort zone. I have done things I never imagined doing and learned about subjects and facts that I had no clue existed. I've had to learn new ways of connecting with others and how to overcome fears that I had no clue were shaping my decisions.

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