Photo / Pink Iceland

Pink Iceland is back in business

Pink Iceland is back in business offering their boutique wedding services to LGBTQ+ couples from around the world after a challenging year of COVID-19. At one point, owners of the company had to let everyone go—including themselves—and cross their fingers that a vaccine would bring an end to the toughest restrictions.

“It was incredibly tough,” says Pink Iceland co-owner Hannes Pálsson. “We got these restrictions on March 16th of 2020, and then we had this avalanche of cancellations and postponements. We were in the same boat as everybody else. We started postponing things for two or three months, and then four months, five months, six months, thinking that this would blow over. But then it became more and more clear that things were not going to work out. Because we were just pushing this problem down the road two or three months at a time, we were sitting here accumulating debt. We were getting zero income but we had all our staff.”

“We started getting inquiries again. […] At the same time, now we’re coming back with a mountain of debt, most of which we owe to the government.”

At a certain part we were able to retain staff at 25% capacity, so we would pay them 25% of their salaries and they were only allowed to work 25% of whatever their work ratio was, and then the government subsidized the rest. But with seven or eight staff, even 25% of their salaries is incredibly expensive when you’re making no money. So it came to the point when we actually had to let everyone go, including ourselves. We the owners, we’re just salaried staff at the company. So we had to let all of us go.”

After vaccinations began being rolled out in Iceland and across the world earlier this year, things slowly began returning to normal.

“We started getting inquiries again, and with a government resource we were able to hire ourselves and most of our staff back,” Hannes says. “Our salaries are being subsidized for a period of time, so we’re back to seven full time staff members, which is more than what we could have hoped for. We couldn’t have done that without this government subsidizing salaries for those that are coming off unemployment. So this has been an incredible safety net for us.

A wedding at the volcanic eruption at Fagradalsfjall. Photo / Styrmir and Heiðdís

“I really feel that people are choosing a destination and spending more time in it than before the pandemic, because flying is a bit more tricky but then once you arrive you get to really enjoy yourselves.”

At the same time, now we’re coming back with a mountain of debt, most of which we owe to the government. I think we’re probably close to 25 million króna in debt to the state and our bank. I also tried to calculate how much we’ve given back to the state over the past ten years. This is just a very loose calculation, but we’ve given back as a company and through our clients between 250 to 300 million króna. So what we get in terms of support we’re incredibly grateful for, but we also want to acknowledge that we have given 10 or 15 times that much back to the mutual funds of our country just in taxation.”

Since COVID-19 restrictions started being lifted in Iceland, Hannes says Pink Iceland has been flooded with calls from people who want to get back to travelling. In September and October of this year alone, he says the company is planning 43 weddings.

“There’s pretty much zero effect on how a wedding is celebrated,” Hannes says about the current restrictions in Iceland. “The restrictions allow for 200 people gathering, and we rarely have more than 200 guests. So that’s not something that affects our business and wedding planning at all. So people can come here and enjoy just full freedom. They can hang out with their guests, they can go to a reception where nobody has to wear masks. The only difference is that everything has to close at around 1 a.m. But wedding receptions typically end at around 1 a.m., so it’s not a huge thing. We just start the day earlier and we make sure that everybody has time to enjoy a good meal and hang out afterwards.”

Photo / Styrmir and Heiðdís

Despite the fact that tourism’s hardly affected by these restrictions—except for an extra hour or two at the airport—Hannes says he’s seen how the pandemic is changing the way people travel.

“People are staying longer than they did before,” he explains. “There’s a slower pace of travel. People are immersing themselves more. I really feel that people are choosing a destination and spending more time in it than before the pandemic, because flying is a bit more tricky but then once you arrive you get to really enjoy yourselves. We’ve seen so many people, rather than come here for three days, stay here for a week. And they’re really splurging as well, which is fun. People feel like they’ve been held back for so long that they finally get this amazing opportunity to travel and they really want to splurge a bit and enjoy their time.”

Although vaccinations have quickly been rolled out in many parts of the world, and a “new normal” seems to be on the horizon, concerns about future pandemics remain in the minds of epidemiologists and public health officials. When asked if these concerns are affecting the way Pink Iceland conducts its business, Hannes admits they may be “subconsciously.”

“I don’t think we will start investing heavily,” he says. “Rather than grow, we’d like to sustain ourselves as a small boutique travel company for people who want to spend some time in the country. Rather than focus on the possibility of a future pandemic, I think what we’re more focused on thinking about is how we structure our business. How we approach everything that we do from here on out is much more to do with environmental responsibility and sustainability. It’s a fact that tourism contributes 10% of greenhouse gases in the world, and we need to address that.

Owners Eva María (far left), Hannes (in the middle) and Birna (far right) pictured with Naomi Smalls and Brian.

I think we all want to continue traveling, but how can we do it in a more sustainable way? We can do that by spending more time in each country that we visit. And that’s how we want to do things here and how we’re structuring our company. We’ve always been carbon neutral in terms of contributing to projects that get us to carbon neutrality, but we want to do more than that. In the future we’re working on contributing to projects that lead us to becoming carbon negative. Neutrality is no longer good enough. We don’t want to just be planting trees and patting ourselves on the back. For example, there’s a wetlands program here in Iceland that is capturing carbon, and we want to start buying a carbon quota as well. There’s also a brand new project here looking at grand scale reforestation, which is really interesting.

“I don’t think we will start investing heavily,” he says. “Rather than grow, we’d like to sustain ourselves as a small boutique travel company for people who want to spend some time in the country.”

We are an LGBTQ company, and we are held to higher standards than most other companies. We also hold ourselves to higher standards because we serve a community and because we are a values-based company. We have to make money—that’s just a fact. But we also want to leave some kind of legacy behind in terms of our environmental impact or lack thereof, and our contribution to and for the queer community. So I think that’s where we’re going to be focused.”

Á. Óskarsson
Á. Óskarsson

Á. Óskarsson offers a variety of products and services to sports centers, swimming pools, schools, kindergartens, and the general public. The company specializes in sport-related products, activity-focused games, and a wide range of solutions for sports facilities.

Á. Óskarsson has been involved in numerous big projects related to building sports facilities and has made it their benchmark to offer good quality products and equipment since the company was founded.

See links to social media in the upper left-hand corner


Á. Óskarsson selur fjölbreytt vöruúrval fyrir íþróttahús, sundlaugar, skóla og leikskóla og einnig ýmsar vörur til einkaafnota. Fyrirtækið selur vörur til íþróttaiðkunnar og leikja ásamt því að bjóða upp á ýmsar lausnir fyrir íþróttamannvirki.

Á. Óskarsson hefur komið að fjölda stórra verkefna við byggingu íþróttamannvirkja og hefur frá stofnun kappkostað að bjóða vandaðar og endingargóðar vörur.

Tenglar á samfélagsmiðla eru í efra horninu vinstra megin.



    Blush was founded in 2011 when it started selling high quality sex products. The goal from the beginning was to change the market and take the discussion about sex products to a higher level. Today Blush provides professional services in a pleasant environment that fulfills different needs, both for individuals and couples. Blush respects diversity and wants to set a good example in all of its messaging to target audiences. Sexual health and equality in sex is important and Blush wants to focus on those issues through education and open discussion. Blush works in a socially responsible manner for society, their customers and the environment.

    Check out Blush’s website:

    Omnom Chocolate
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      Omnom Chocolate is an Icelandic craft chocolate company based in Reykjavík. We produce handcrafted chocolate from organic cacao beans sourced ethically and sustainably. We’ve developed direct relationships to create premium chocolate with fine flavor cacao beans.

      Our creative flavors are carefully crafted by meticulous chocolate makers. The cacao beans are roasted, winnowed, ground, and refined into melty-smooth chocolate.

      Omnom’s process is one of constant exploration, invention, and experimentation. If it doesn’t please us, if something isn’t absolutely delicious, there’s no reason to be doing it. So, we always start with our taste buds and follow our instincts. Our team searches for the finest ingredients in the world and new ways to improve chocolate. This obsession with knowing where our ingredients come from has led us around the corner to dairy farms in the Icelandic countryside and all the way to rainforest cacao farms of Nicaragua.

      In only a few short years, we’ve grown from our 50 sq. m. petrol station space and become an award-winning chocolate maker. Now, with our headquarters in 101 Reykjavík, our chocolate is sent out around Iceland and all over the world.

      At the end of the day, our goal is to make chocolate.




        Nasdaq (Nasdaq: NDAQ) is a global technology company serving the capital markets and other industries. Our diverse offering of data, analytics, software and services enables clients to optimize and execute their business vision with confidence.

        With over 4,300 employees in 39 offices around the world, at Nasdaq we all contribute to the success of the company and its culture, and each one of us has the ability to make a difference. When it comes to our core mission and values, we embrace the role of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) as a fundamental driver of our corporate growth, workplace culture and market development. We strive to create a culture that embraces the power of different perspectives—a culture where people’s unique backgrounds and different experiences helps us fuel innovation and support our clients around the world.

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        Blue Lagoon
        - One of the 25 Wonders of the World

        Named by National Geographic as one of the 25 Wonders of the World, the Blue Lagoon is a shimmering expanse of warmth, relaxation, and rejuvenation. Its unique geothermal seawater
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        From its humble beginnings in the shadows of a geothermal power plant, Blue Lagoon has evolved into a world of wonder, now encompassing two hotels, three restaurants, three
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        Achieving harmony with the volcanic landscape, the lagoon and its surrounding architecture embody the unification of the man-made and the natural, and adhere to the highest principles of sustainability.

        The Blue Lagoon. A wonder of the world. A world of wonder.

        - leading financial institution

        Landsbankinn is a leading Icelandic financial institution. It offers a full range of financial services and is the market leader in the Icelandic financial service sector with the largest branch network.

        The present bank was established on 7 October 2008 but the history of its predecessor dates back to 1886. The bank is owned by the National Treasury of Iceland, which holds 98.2% of its share capital, and other shareholders who own 1.8%.

        Landsbankinn’s strategy is to provide comprehensive financial services that meet customer’s needs. It emphasizes providing exemplary service to customers, developing e-banking for their convenience, increasing the efficiency of support functions, modernizing its technology and ensuring effective utilization of its balance sheet.

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        Special emphasis is placed on promoting a performance-oriented culture in the bank. To follow up on the implementation of this strategy, the bank has defined key goals which are measured regularly to determine progress. These goals include, for example, customer satisfaction and loyalty, profitability, cost efficiency and the correlation between risk appetite and employee satisfaction.

        Landsbankinn wishes to lead the development of a sustainable society in Iceland by integrating economic, social and environmental concerns in its operations. The Bank aims to ensure that both its owners and society at large benefit from its activities.

        It intends to achieve this aim by building solid infrastructure and a strong team of 1.100 employees, by listening to its customers and by respecting and encouraging its employees to actively participate in their community. Landsbankinn was a founding member of Festa, a Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, and is a member of the UN Global Compact.

        Landsbankinn has been a proud sponsor of the Reykjavik Pride since it was first celebrated in Iceland.

        - get inspired

        Dohop allows people to find the cheapest flights available with just one click. Founded in Reykjavik in 2004, it is the only Icelandic company of its kind and quickly became the go-to tool for finding cheap flights among the locals. Dohop finds the best deals among hundreds of different airlines and online travel agencies, to make sure that the user is getting the cheapest price. Dohop also offers hotel and car rental search engines, so users can make all of their travel bookings from a single website.

        Dohop‘s specialty is finding so-called “self-connect” flight options, which can save travelers money by booking a ticket through two or more different airlines. The ability to look for these self-connect option is what sets Dohop apart from its competition, as it can save people hundreds of dollars on certain routes.

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        VSÓ Ráðgjöf


          VSÓ Ráðgjöf er alhliða ráðgjafar- og verkfræðifyrirtæki sem leggur áherslu á trausta og faglega þjónustu sem tryggir viðskiptavinum hagkvæmustu lausnir hverju sinni, skilar raunverulegum árangri og stuðlar að samkeppnisforskoti.  Á skrifstofum VSÓ í Reykjavík og í Noregi starfar yfir 80 manna samhentur hópur verkfræðinga og annarra tæknimenntaðra starfsmanna.

          - for all your Apple needs

          From starting out as a proper startup with only a good idea and the need to change things, to becoming an established company with 6 employees. Starting from scratch and expanding organically has allowed us to love our expansion and take our customers on the ride with us.

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          Ísey skyr
          - once tasted never forgotten

          Our Story
          Once upon a time, 1,100 years ago in fact, Nordic settlers began arriving in Iceland. They brought with them the skills and knowledge for producing skyr. As time passed, the know-how and recipe for this nutritious food slowly faded out elsewhere in the Nordic region. Luckily, the Icelandic skyr-making tradition continued.

          For centuries, Icelandic skyr formed a cornerstone of the national diet, helping to keep people strong in living conditions that were often harsh. On family farms countrywide, it was the women who nurtured this dairy and passing on both the recipe and the original Icelandic skyr cultures from mother to daughter.

          Ísey skyr builds on this remarkable legacy. It was some of those very same women, the recipients of their mothers’ expertise, who, around 90 years ago, taught Icelandic dairy scientists the art of skyr-making. The production process is more high-tech these days, and the quality standards more rigorous. However, the basic recipe and the use of original cultures to ferment the skimmed milk remain the same. Protein rich, fat-free, creamy and delicious – Ísey skyr is as relevant to consumers now as it was all those centuries ago.
          This is our secret and you are in on it

          You can read more about Ísey skyr on our website.

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