Erzstef Manufaktur - fine Bedwares from the Erzgebirge
Erzstef - Duvets are purely natural, handmade, quality products,
that satisfy all ecological standards and are 100% made in Germany.
A claim that is very important for our sortiment also.
We were very happy that Mr Hoertzsch, Erzstef's director agreed to an interview.
1. Mr Hoertzsch, the materials you are working with are nice to touch, but are they localy sourced also?
Yes, our wool comes from southern Germany, which is close by, and in our duvets it's from organic animal husbandry. Only for the woolflakes in our pillows we use „ordinary“ southgerman Merino wool.
2. You are not using wool from Australia or New Zealand?
No, it is important to us that our materials aren't shipped from half across the globe. They come from our local area and has special qualities, that suit our products very well. Our wool is softly washed in Belgium and then we traditionally process it to duvet fleece. Australian or New Zealand wool on the other hand is usualy used for clothing.
Preperation for quilting a duvet of new sheep wool
Automatic quilting of a duvet
3. Tradition is also a topic for Erzstef, also in combination with very modern manufacturing facilities.
We are still working with very mechanial „scribblers“, that with relular maintainance are very dependable to do their job. We invest however always in modern quilting automating and sewing technology.
4. Good distributors always belong to good products.
Yes, and aside of customer proximity, distributor proximity is improtant to secure our existence. It's necessary that all parties can live well from business. „Live and let live“ is more important to us than the last cent of the wholesale price, same with the local and regional supply.
5. Where is your wool cleaned?
There is a company in Belgium for wool cleaning, which is the first referral address in Europe - a company rich in tradition, that exists since 1899.
6. During our tour we got the impression that Erzstef is employing mostly women?
That's how it is. We with only 4 men we are in the minority. Das ist so. Wir sind mit nur 4 Männern in der klaren Minderheit. Everything is very family-like for us and I would also say relaxed. Quality is also more important to us than speed. We also have no performance-related pay. Although today's working world is no longer designed to be „endless“, we have employees who have been loyal to us for over 40 years.
7. Is this also proove for your company's knowhow?
Our model breadth and depth does indeed require good know-how. After 1-2 years you will be well acquainted with all the topics at our company, so it always takes patience, both as an employer and as an employee. We also have competition from VW etc., who can pay significantly higher wages.
Traditional „scribbler“ by Erzstef
Upholstery sewing and wool processing
8. Tell us something about the history of Erzstef the company.
We don't know exactly when the company was actually founded, since the haberdashery shop used to be a traveling trade. In July 1913, the first store was opened here in Ehrensfriedersdorf, which is then considered the company's origin. Bedding was already being sewn at the current location in the 1920s.
In 1959 the treat of nationalization came, which was avoided by fortunate coincidence. A Russian officer advocated for uniforms to be refurbished after the war, so that the company could prosper in the 1950s and so a VEB was only created later, which was then sold to our family by the trust in the 1990s.
9. You are now running the company in the 4. generation, what makes your company special?
First and formost: we love our niche with clean, honest solutions for our partners, often with customized products. The traditional orientation is much more important to us than jumping on fashion trends.
We want to offer good, sensible products and not deliberately override natural limits for example due to fleeces in duvets that are too thin.
10. How do you see the future of Erzstef?
If you are successful and good, then you automatically grow. We do not plan our growth, but rather try to resolve bottlenecks by investing in buildings, storage space and machine technology. Since reliability in supply chains has currently declined, intelligent warehousing is also a competitive factor.
We want to make natural quality tangible. Beautiful, credible products are an essential key. Erzstef will not only stand for this today, but also in the future.