In dialogue with the founding family Fritsch: be open to change - a story about tradition and the future
The Fritsch family has been in the jewelry industry for 28 years, and the 2 older children have recently joined the family business
Jewelry creations with a sense of craftsmanship and fine materials. Sustainable Luxury-Production from the family-run jewelry manufacturer Capolavoro in Bavaria. Founders Gerhard and Andrea Fritsch and daughter Theresa talk about Werte, Visions and change.
Tell us a little bit about your family history, how did you get into the jewelry industry and what motivated you to found Capolavoro?
Gerhard Fritsch: Where do I start best?
Theresa Fritsch: I think as the founding father you should start from scratch.
Gerhard Fritsch: After high school I did a bank apprenticeship, then completed my business studies. The sale has always been a lot of fun - I worked alongside my studies at the Munich men's fashion house Hirmer.
The weakness for beautiful things I had received from my parents in the cradle. My father worked as a sales representative, initially for cosmetics - later for jewelry. My dream has always been to be self-employed. After completing my studies, I accepted a job as a sales representative at Schoeffel Perlen and set foot in the jewelry industry.
At Schoeffel, I learned a lot about our industry. Then, at the seemingly right time, I gathered my courage and founded the company - with the support of my wife but without financial support. One year later we got married and since then time has passed us by. We are lucky to have 1991 healthy children - the two elders are already working in the family business.
Theresa Fritsch: Capolavoro was founded in my younger brother's room. I can still remember exactly how we used to play with our cars in the cable mess when we were little children.
Gerhard Fritsch: Capolavoro has developed from a retailer with a small repair workshop to a recognized jewelry company that produces its products sustainably in its own factory in Inning am Ammersee and sells it in Germany and internationally.
What is special about your company?
Familypower, Italian frivolity and stylistic confidence clenched with German energy and business sense. In addition, the infinite attention to detail and an in-house factory, which is always in search of a new innovation and thinks outside the box.
What is 2nd-Life Cycle Gold, where do you source it from and what is the motivation to use it?
Gerhard Fritsch: 2-nd-Life Cycle Gold or recycled gold is the gold that is obtained through a complex precious metal recycling process. Old gold is made reusable here - in short, a sustained material cycle. In other words, no new gold is gained or skimmed off, no finite resources are wasted, but existing gold is used.
This ensures that the raw material needs of future generations can be ensured. Precious metal recycling is therefore closely linked with environmental protection. We procure the processed gold from the renowned Scheideanstalt C.Hafner from Pforzheim.
Andrea Fritsch: We did not choose "Recycled Gold", it was the only option for us from the beginning. Everyone can do something to protect our environment - this is our contribution.
Now, a breath of fresh air comes through the new generation, namely your children enter the business. What new impulses do you expect from this?
Gerhard & Andrea Fritsch: We are currently experiencing concentrated fresh wind. That's super important and good. There is a lot of questions and processes analyzed. On a small scale, you could even say that we are in the process of reinventing ourselves.
In addition, our children bring specific know-how with them that we have not even dared to think about before. It is a digital age that the boys have in their blood and that we elders should receive with open arms and approval.
Second Generation, children of the Fritsch family
How do you manage the balancing act between the well-tried and the new?
Gerhard Fritsch: For me it's not a balancing act between one and the other. Rather, it is a matter of attitude. The magic word here is: "be open to change".
What is your favorite personal jewel and why?
Theresa Fritsch: My favorite jewel is our Espressivo Highlight Necklace. I love the many little elaborate details, the delicate rose-colored design and the combination of the color stones (Rose Quartz, Topaz Sky Blue, Topaz London Blue, Amethyst, Diamonds).
Gerhard Fritsch: My favorite piece of jewelery is our Dream Snow Globe Lucky Stars. Our dream snow globes are a true technological masterpiece full of craftsmanship and show all the skill and self-image of our manufactory and includes our fantasies, dreams and longings.
Andrea Fritsch: My favorite piece of jewelery is a pendant from our Cielo line. A real flatterer made of rose gold set with 255 brilliants 0,90CT.
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
Theresa Fritsch: The upheaval in the jewelry industry could not have been more dramatic in recent years.
The biggest challenge we've ever faced at Capolavoro has been, or still is, bridging the gap between a very traditional industry - which sees "digitization" as the biggest enemy - and on the other hand to face our competitors by digitally positioning ourselves with the resources we have at our disposal - which are very limited.
Try to turn a medium-sized sailboat in full speed and let it go against the wind - that costs a lot of power. Some people go overboard in the whirl, others need to acquire new skills.
How important is transparency and sustainability for you and how do you implement this?
Gerhard Fritsch: In retrospect, we have always been sustainable, but until recently we did not declare it as such - it was more of a past, subconscious action. We only buy fair-source stones and process recycled so-called 2nd-Life Cycle Gold. Our manufactory building is a wooden house, the whole energy we get from solar panels, which we have attached to the roof.
Transparency is important to everyone at Capolavoro. I do not want to give away too much, but we are now considering how we can make the entire value chain or production chain more transparent for our customers.
How do you see the future of the jewelery industry, and how should it change to become more sustainable?
Theresa Fritsch: In my opinion, there will always be wealthy people who have the urge to afford something unique, luxurious and valuable. That is, the luxury jewelry market will not be smaller, there will certainly be changes in the buying behavior of our customers, or the focus will be directed to other markets.
Jewelery turns into little smart wearables - it should offer its wearers added value. Each manufactory is eager to create a masterpiece that stands out from the crowd and speaks for itself - that captivates the customer immediately and is unique.
We were looking for such a piece of jewelry for almost a decade. Now we have ours in September Billion Dreams Collection launched. Limited special editions and dream snow globes, which touch each and every person emotionally. They are small technological and innovative masterpieces.
And one last question: what does luxury mean to you?
Theresa Fritsch: Luxury for me means spending time with my loved ones - preferably in a cabin high up in the mountains, where it is very quiet and the cold clinking in the nose - and to know that my whole family is healthy.
Gerhard Fritsch: Enjoy time with my family - having a nice dinner together with all the kids, grandparents and with my loved ones.
Andrea Fritsch: We agree on that! Nice that we have passed on our most important values to the children - roots and wings.
Thank you very much for the interview.