Wellemöbel through the ages
Every era has its own style. And so as every decade passes, the way in which we live also changes. Wellemöbel has written furniture history since 1896. Because we have always moved with the times, a look back at the company’s history is also a journey back through the different style eras. Discover a truly traditional company with a lot of history.
In 1896 Johann Philipp Josef Welle founded a joiners shop in Paderborn and started in a 12m2 room. Soon the company was flourishing and had employees and was making all kinds of furniture: most of all, bedrooms, cupboards, tables and chairs for the “front room”. In 1928 35 employees were making furniture for private customers.
In 1935 the two sons, Josef and Johannes, took over the company and in 1936 the new factory on the Wollmarktstrasse was built. 200 people were to work here and mass-produce for the trade market. Wellemöbel expanded, but was to caught up in the terror of war, on the 10th of March 1945 nearly the whole of the factory was ruined through an air-raid.
In the years after the war, there was not much space, often enough there was not enough space that living room and kitchen could be seperated. To this effect Welle created the “living room wardrobe”.
Started in 1949, the „Welle-wardrobe“ began to take off in the 50’s. This universal piece of furniture offered space for clothes and washing, and everything that belonged in the living room. The first model came in 3 different styles, with an impressive price tag. A success concept with long-life: more and more models came with different wood types and it was loved by all. The universal wardrobe was continually updated till 1965, there were to be 28 different models. In 16 years about 500.000 wardrobes were produced in Paderborn.
As the germans experienced the industrial boom, the living conditions improved constantly, the Welle wardrobe held its ground. At the same time another piece of furniture was making its mark: the wall-system. Cupboards by themselves or joined together are now all the rage, a boom that Welle was soon to get hold of, in all sorts of combinations. So now there was the perfect furnishing possibilities for all rooms, primarily for youth, student or guest rooms.
In German houses in the sixties, the music revolution started, first the Beatles, then the Rolling Stones. Posters of Mick Jagger or John Lennon hang on the wall next to Welle furniture, and Welle reacted with many different combinations, and because of the value-for-money factor the demand was high.
The youth in Germany are now called „Twens“ and so Welle produced the room „Twenzimmer Cheri“ that was produced till the mid 70’s. First of all, in the trendy colour white and then in other versions. Even the universal wardrobe is still there, modern and up-to date, it was to remain a focus point in the order lists in Paderborn.
Hippies demonstrate for peace, Disco-Music is on all the dance floors and the first VW golf was built. Welle is by now a player in the furniture business and is producing living-room units, wall units, youth bedrooms, appartment furniture, bedrooms and „daughter guest bedrooms“.
Trendsetter and bestsellers of the colourful decade are the bedrooms „Lady Barbara“ and „Cosima“, and still the youth bedroom „Cheri“ and the functional kids bedroom „Natalie“. Especially by “Natalie” the signs were there for future development that eventually Welle would bring to perfection: an innovative, space-saving kids bedroom.
Neue Deutsche Welle (new German wave): Wall units have even more impact in the product range in Paderborn. The most important, however, is the youth bedroom, and a concentrated effort will eventually bring Welle to become market leader. No miracle considering the many ideas: for the first time a room can be planned with roof slopes, due to the fact that “Ronny”, for example, has high and low pieces.
Home computers become affordable and so the demand, for home offices, grows. Grounds enough for Welle add office furniture to their ever growing range. The series „Junior“ turns out to be the most successful. Towards the end of the decade the baby room is added, and the model “sven” is produced from solid pine. Even the textiles for the babies are taken care of with the addition of „Bebino“ – everything for the child.
At the beginning of the decade the wall unit „Padova“ was born: part-solid and singularly stackable. At the same time a concept was being planned, that would become the most successful baby and child series: the first „growing“ bedroom „Alina“.
In 1995 the youth room „Allround“ is added and is still today a permanent fixture at Welle. In den 90’s the bedrooms at Welle were given a break and it is only in 2006 that this segment will be given a re-birth.
In exchange the baby bedrooms would get more successful and the number of ranges even bigger. In the office segment, things are happening, the first Professional Office is born: „TOPDIN“, takes into account all the DIN standards and makes sure that ergonomics play a more central role in the office world.
What began with 12 square metres, is now, after 100 years an international operating company with over 1000 workforce, 4 locations and its own logistics company. In the youth bedroom segment we are still market leader, and the innovative “All around in Concept“ is constantly being refined to create perfect bedroom solutions for children, even in bedrooms that at first glance seem impossible.
From year to year the baby bedrooms become more lineal and more modern, and the baby bedroom „MIA“ is at a peak due to the fact that it was given the best grade from the magazine “Öko-Test“ (Ecological Test). The young princesses out there can also be thrilled with the new Barbie bedroom where dreams come true.
Working up-to-date: the office system „TOPDIN 2“ is still THE Welle Office and is being continually developed. Working at home – the system “HYPER” is the home office system from Welle and integrates discreet living room units for the office solution at home and also for the open office at the workplace.
2010 and beyond
As quickly as Sebastian Vettel in 2010 became the youngest World Champion, Wellemöbel expands the "bedroom furniture". The high gloss surfaces become the norm and can be found in every single range.
The new "star studded" Chiraz to the 184,00 different possibilities "Master Bedroom".
In 2011 „Premium“ is now spelt with capital letters, then wellemöbel becomes the licensed partner to "JOOP!". The high quality segment combines sleeping, living, dining and elements.
In the segment "KIDS & TEENS" Wellemöbel remains market leader The range Umlimited becomes the most successful introduction of a range in the history of wellemöbel. Also the 5cm logic of 5 Plus is introduced into the Teens segment and so the family grows! With the introduction into Office, the 5 Plus family gets even bigger.
From "Office 5 Plus" on one side and "Campo" on the other, the office furniture ranges cover all eventualities. And with the introduction of Hyper "profi Line" the professional offices are aslo covered. Just as professonal the Baby ranges. get a face lift and the qualities are new defined. After 2 market research projects, the baby ranges are born!
Even a 110 year old traditional like us can wotk with facebook, twitter etc ! After a complete reconstruction Wellemöbel has now 580 employees in 2 factories and the headquarters were moved to Bad Lippspringe.