Interview with Michelle Lundqvist, Co-Founder of Skoy

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about yourself? How did you get started?
Michelle Lundqvist: I am a proud mom of three and live in Encinitas, Ca. Encinitas is a coastal town about 30 miles north of San Diego. I have been happily married for 16 years and my husband is Swedish. We lived in Sweden for 1.5 years back in the late 90’s and pre-kids. This is when I discovered a cleaning cloth that was better than anything I ever used. When we moved back to the USA – I missed it! Every summer we would go visit my husband’s family and I would always bring some home to last me until the next summer. My family and friends would ask me to get them some, too!
Fast forward to 2007…
I met a group of great moms at the preschool that my kids attended. And one of them, Karen Petersen, my business partner today was just as passionate about this product as I was. We began to source the product and we ended up with a manufacturer in Germany. We created our brand Skoy and had the idea to print designs on the cloth to make it more FUN. Our first product we started with was the Skoy Cloth and the word Skoj is a Swedish word that means “just for fun”.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about Skoy Cloth? What is Skoy Cloth?
Michelle Lundqvist: The Skoy Cloth is a 100% biodegradable, reusable cleaning cloth that is used in place of paper towels, sponges, rags, washcloths, or whatever else is used to clean up messes in the kitchen (or anywhere else in the house). One Skoy Cloth can outlast 15 rolls of paper towels and can be easily cleaned in the washing machine/dryer, dishwasher, or moistened and put in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. The microwave essentially sterilizes the cloth. The cloth is super absorbent and does not leave behind streaks or lint. It is also compostable at the end of its life (which is a long time – probably 50 washes or more). It is an environmental product and it saves money! It is sold as a 4-pack and retails at $6.99.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the other products, Skoy Rail and Skoy Scrub? Michelle Lundqvist: Both the Skoy Rail and Skoy Scrub are relatively new products for us. We came up with the Rail solution as a complimentary product to the Skoy Cloth. And the scrub is hands down better than anything we have ever used. We search for products that are unique and actually have better functionality than what is currently on the market.
Skoy Rail:
The Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail is a stylish stainless steel rail designed in Denmark which adds appeal to any kitchen sink. Unlike most sink rails with suction cups that harbor bacteria and turn black, the Skoy Sink Rail is magnetic and allows for easy cleaning. The Skoy Magnetic Sink Rail with its sleek design is the perfect dwelling for your Skoy Cloth so it dries fast and is visually pleasing. It attaches easily to most sinks, including stainless steel, granite porcelain, ceramic or iron. It uses two strong under sink magnets, eliminating the need for screws or other hardware. Retails at $24.99
Skoy Scrub:
The Skoy Scrub is a new concept in kitchen scouring pads. This reusable scrub made in Poland from cotton and non-toxic hardener outlasts traditional scrubbers and in turn saves money and controls waste. The Skoy Scrub comes in a variety of colors and designs which adds fun as well as function to any kitchen. These scrubs will replace the old green scouring pads or scrub sponges. The Skoy Scrub is not limited to the kitchen and works well on most surfaces, including non-stick cookware, glass, and ceramic stovetops. The scrubber is easily cleaned on the top rack of the dishwasher. 2-pack retails at $5.99

Sarah Velasco: How long does Skoy Cloth last?
Michelle Lundqvist: This is a difficult question as people really do have different habits, especially when it comes to cleaning. I can say that I have some that are years old that I do not necessarily use in the kitchen any more, but they have been down-graded to other jobs like cleaning the bathroom or cleaning the outdoor furniture. I have friends that I had given a sample to and 6 months later they were still using the same cloth. Now I change mine more frequently – probably once a month I take a new fresh one in the kitchen. But then again – I have an entire garage, storage unit, and warehouse full!

Sarah Velasco: How is it different from other ones on the market?
Michelle Lundqvist: The Skoy Cloth is different than other sponge cloths on the market because it is made with cotton and cellulose. The cotton makes it very durable and it does not rip or shred. The cellulose is what makes the cloth very absorbent and it can absorb 15x its own weight. Other sponge cloth products on the market are made of just cellulose and they begin to fall apart – the same as a cellulose sponge that you buy. Our Skoy Cloth is unique as to the way it feels in your hand when you are using it – almost like a cross between a sponge and a paper towel – yet extremely durable. Oh and we have cool designs on our cloths!

Sarah Velasco: Why is reducing the use of paper towels important to you?
Michelle Lundqvist: This is extremely important to us as everyone should be thoughtful of what is being put into landfills and respecting our Earth in general. One Skoy Cloth outlasts 15 rolls of paper towel. Using the Skoy Cloth saves space, money and our landfills. There are currently 2.5 million tons of paper towels collecting in our landfills annually. That is a shocking number!

Sarah Velasco: Can you give readers some tips for caring for the Skoy Cloth?
Michelle Lundqvist: The Skoy Cloth is always used wet or moistened. It can be used with popular household cleaners, but works just as well with just water. After use be sure to rinse under water and hang in a good place to dry. It dries really quickly so it does not get smelly like other sponges or rags. If you ever have any concerns of the healthiness of the Skoy Cloth, clean in the washing machine, dishwasher, or pop it into the microwave.

Sarah Velasco: What kind of designs do you have?
Michelle Lundqvist: We have a variety of designs including the flower, inspirational text, word clouds, holiday which include a snowman, snowflake and angel, and the larger cloth with pet paws. The great thing about our cloth is that we can print anything on it. We do a lot of promotional custom printing that allows companies to put their message or logo on it. This is really great promotional giveaway because it is a useful product, not a tchotchke that gets thrown in the landfills. And the message or logo is also viewed daily while cleaning!
We also have a fundraising program using a 6 pack of Skoy Cloths - 5 flower ones with a custom print top cloth of two children holding hands and it says, “Children are our future – REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE. This has been getting a lot more momentum lately.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers purchase Skoy Cloths, Scrubs, and Rails?
Michelle Lundqvist: All our products can be purchased on our website, www.skoycloth.com. We have a retailer map on the website showing all the retail and e-tail outlets that sell our products. Also another easy way to purchase is on amazon.com. The Skoy Cloth is sold at all The Container Store locations, too. We are growing so look for us soon at other larger retail places.