In 1995 our founder, Michael Odqvist, came across an age-old secret - MayaSticks. He was fascinated by the sheer brilliance of this resinous kindling. Not only was it a quick, easy and reliable way to get a fire going, the sticks were also completely natural, produced from waste - the stumps left from felled pine trees - by locals in Guatemala. By starting fair trade production on a larger scale, Michael helped 400 of these descendents of Maya Indians make more money so that they were able to start sending their children to school.
A year later the fire-starters were launched in Sweden. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't right, nobody really understood the product, and we didn't have enough money to market it. It was a complete flop. Extremely frustrating, since we just loved our MayaSticks and truly believed that more people would do so too if they only discovered them...
But it's not in our nature to give up.
Instead, we started investigating alternative ways to sell the MayaSticks.
And in 1996, we found the perfect match - the magnesium fire-starter that was developed and used by the Swedish Army. All of a sudden, everything fell into place. Not only was the Swedish FireSteel a great product in itself, it also was an unbeatable combination with the TinderSticks.
One plus one equaled the ultimate way to start a fire in any weather, at any altitude.
Finally, we had a firm foundation for our future. But we also realized there was a lot more potential in the outdoor field. Most equipment was plain and drab brown, black and green. With the help of the legendary brand specialist Claes Andréasson (Absolut Vodka) and the successful copywriter Steve Strid, Light My Fire turned into a brand concept. At the same time, Calill Odqvist, Michael's daughter, who had worked for the company since the early days, became our CEO. From then on, premium-quality outdoor products, designed with a smile and a whole palette of color, were our business.
In 2004 Electrolux relocated to Hungary, and our production, headed by Bertil Andersson, moved into their plant in Västervik. The first product from our new factory, the MealKit designed by Joachim Nordwall, was presented to the market in 2005. A set with five clever, practical pieces - everything you need to eat outdoors in a civilized way. But one part of the MealKit attracted a lot more attention than the rest, and we realized we had a star on on our hands...
The Spork is a huge hit. Fans send us love letters and pictures of their Spork's adventures. Today the Spork family has grown with Spork XM, Spork Little, Spork Large and Spork Titanium. A grand total of more than 21 million Sporks have been sold. The Spork is also the key to Light My Fire now being distributed in 50 countries. You can buy our products in more than 7800 stores. And this is only the beginning...
Our lives have become digital, time-efficient, mobile and programmed. Yet when we dream, we dream of candlelight and romance, campfires and freedom, bonfires and celebration. Everyone longs for fire. Fire is life.
We sell fire.
We develop unique, low-tech, premium quality outdoor products with the design, color and function that make them just as attractive to use in the city as in the wild.
Winters are long and summers are quite often chilly in Sweden. And yet, we Swedes love spending time outdoors, in the woods, on the beach, in the mountains. We're blessed with a country that isn't just breathtakingly beautiful and varied, it's also open to everybody. This makes us very aware of nature - and the environment - from an early age.
Swedish design has always been known for quality combined with functionality. At Light My Fire we're doing our very best to continue this tradition and develop new exciting products that let you make the most of the outdoors, whether you're in the city or far from civilization.
We love color. We love design. We love functionality. We love the outdoors. And we love having fun.
That's why our products are such bright ideas. In every aspect. Simple - sometimes it's amazing nobody's come up with them before - and yet, completely irresistible.
Nature is full of beautiful shapes and colors. Why shouldn't the things we bring into it be the same?
We're a Swedish company and have chosen to manufacture our products at home. The reason is simple: Having a factory completely dedicated to our products gives us full control over quality matters (and believe us, we're very picky), shorter lead times and fewer unnecessary transports. It's good for the end product. It's good for the environment. And we must admit, it does feel good to be a local hero in Västervik.
Would you like to visit us? Every summer fans of Light My Fire witness the birth of a Spork at our factory.