The Dotzauer History
1977 : The End and the Beginning (S1E14)The new year was just 24 days old and already the family was surprised by a sad event. Franz Dotzauer, the company founder, died after a heart attack in the hospital. Only a few years after the tragic death of the mother, the brothers now lost their father. But Franz Dotzauer was not only a father, but also the head of the now small business grown company in Brunn am Gebirge.
They had to act quickly and partially reorganize the tasks in the company. Franz's second wife Hilde took over the payroll. Manfred's wife Irene, who still looked after the two small children at home, now took care of the bookkeeping and almost the entire administrative part of the company, and Heri's wife Mathilde helped in the production. When task areas have to be taken over so spontaneously, of course, there is chaos and it took the utmost effort of all involved to overcome this difficult time.
The competition did not make the situation any easier either. As so often the demise of Dotzauer was predicted, now that the company founder was no longer there and no one gave the company great chances of survival. Of course this spurred the young team even more and the success is still more than clearly visible.
As you know, you grow up with the task and as true as in this case. Existing partnerships were deepened and long-standing customers visited in person. Much time for mourning was therefore not, because now had to prove the 2nd Generation and lead the company further into the future. The third generation was still very young and went to kindergarten and school, but was a very important reason to take all the effort and suffering.
Franz Dotzauer has achieved a lot in his life and many of his crystal lights are shining signs of his work. One of the most well-known hangs in Vienna in the hotel Intercontinental at the city park. The huge crystal chandelier above the Intermezzo Bar is known far beyond the borders of Vienna and is still a popular meeting place for young and old. Highly recommended is one of the jazz evenings that take place there regularly. It would certainly make him very proud to see you in the light of his luminaire.
1976 : The Sultan of Kelantan (S1E13)1976 was a landmark year in many ways. Working with Mr. Linau, a very experienced export man, has not always been easy and a new experience for everyone. Business on the doorstep is one thing, but that had and has its own laws beyond the borders of Austria and that these are often not in line with the existing structures, was in some places of the company more than clearly noticeable.
Nevertheless, or maybe even because of that, the still young team managed to get the biggest order in the company's history and deliver it to the complete satisfaction of all involved. The customer was none other than the Sultan of Kelantan in Malaysia. Over 50 different crystal chandeliers in various sizes were produced, hung, packed and loaded. It was the beginning of a great story of many more exports that are still going on today.
You have to love your business very much and be fully behind it in order to fulfill the tasks and duties of such projects. The communication was not usual only through visits or telephone calls, but often also via teletype and sometimes poorly translate notes. What was true tonight was outdated every now and then the next morning, because the time difference made direct communication virtually impossible. Messrs. Dotzauer pushed to their limits and were more than required by their partners.
When the specially made wooden boxes and cartons were then loaded onto the truck with a borrowed forklift truck, calm came for a little while, and general satisfaction showed in the faces of everyone involved. The moment when something is done, another hurdle was taken, is always a very special and even in this case made you want more.
And another passion was established this year. Swarovski launched the first crystal figure on the market. This "original mouse" was made from existing crystal components such as ball, drop and rosette. Here, too, the foundation was laid for a naturally much larger success story.
But one thing the Dotzauer Family combined with the members of the Swarovski family back then: The love for crystal. Without this very special trait many later successes would not have been possible and we are happy and proud that Dotzauer and Swarovski more than 40 years later, are still satisfied partners.
1975 : The large Department Stores (S1E12)In the middle of the golden seventies the economic upswing in every area was felt. It was a great time for diligent entrepreneurs and of course the locksmith Franz Dotzauer benefited from this boom. The first ten years were over and a solid basis was created. The economic situation was still tense, but with the opportunities available, looking to the future was very positive.
And so it turned out that the two then largest department stores in Vienna, Herzmansky and Gerngross, expanded their assortment with crystal lamps from Dotzauer. Both houses were then owned by the Swiss Jelmoli Group and the Creditanstalt Bank Association. Large quantities of chandeliers were supplied for all areas. From the antechamber to the living room to the bedroom sparkling chandeliers were very much in demand. To call such a chandelier was something special and absolutely not self-evident. Even then, the artisan artworks were valuable individual pieces and not affordable for every family.
The deliveries to the two houses not only laid the foundation for a later cooperation with Jelmoli in Switzerland, but also created the basis for the ensuing decade-long partnership with other department stores and furniture stores. Especially Manfred Dotzauer was able to prove his talent and skill in sales here. The cooperation with such large partners was relatively new and took some time to get used to, but already quickly the hoped-for success was established. Flexibility in production and responding to customer wishes are important pillars for the operation then and now.
Moreover, nothing is better for a producing company than medium term or even long term planning. Purchasing and many other areas can be streamlined and optimized. Another plus was the increased awareness and the resulting new opportunities for sale. As so often before, on one of his many visits to Mariahilfer Strasse, Manfred met Mr. Linau by chance, who will be very helpful next year in another breakthrough on a completely different market segment.
1974 : The Life is beautiful (S1E11)In addition to all the strenuous tasks around the management of the manufactory, there were always wonderful moments and 1974 even a very, very beautiful. Daughter Evelyn was born in February and Manfred and Irene were overjoyed with their small family. Since time immemorial, two children have been the dream of the young Dotzauer family, and it was very gratifying that this was fulfilled so quickly.
And the business continued to develop, and soon the original workshop in Goldschlagstraße was only listed on the business card. In Brunn am Gebirge one crystal lamp after the other saw the light of day and the workforce grew constantly. More and more people have been hired to meet the growing demand for beautiful chandeliers. It was also the year when, for the first time ever, a lady of her own was hired just for the crinkling of the crystals. She has been with the company for almost 30 years, making her one of the company's longest-serving employees.
In addition to the work but also had to be a little relaxed. Excursions were made to dear friends in Austria and festivals were celebrated in the company, such as the baptism of the newborn daughter Evelyn or birthdays within the family. It was a great time spent together and the two brothers and their dad were a great team.
It was impressive how often changes in the company were noticeable and how rapidly developments on the markets took place. The need was huge and the people longed for the beautiful, the noble and a crystal chandelier was a sparkling symbol of fine taste and success.
1973 : The new Center of Life (S1E10)The new factory in Brunn am Gebirge was the pride of the Dotzauer families and gradually the hall was filled with many different machines, as was to be expected of three men in love with technology. There was finally enough room to organize and rationalize the production of the crystal chandeliers.
The new company headquarters was not only the central place of professional life, but became more and more the basis for all private activities. The rare free time spent in the countryside was new for the families and was extensively used. Almost the entire private life took place from now on in the backyard of the workshop and many great festivals were celebrated there. This "tradition" has not changed until today. The company headquarters in Brunn am Gebirge is a popular starting point for various activities and gathering point of the "new" families.
The business was very good and more and more customers were supplied. The expansion made it possible to plan very differently and there were completely new possibilities in production. Of course, there were no roommates left who could complain about the noise. In the industrial area there was very little neighborhood and a lot of green meadow.
Today we are glad to be located at one of the major junctions of the Vienna periphery with the best connections in all directions. For a flexible company like us, it is immensely important to be able to react and act quickly, and Brunn offers us the perfect infrastructure.
However, everybody was still living in Vienna and big celebrations such as Christmas were, of course, celebrated together at home in the Wienzeile. In addition, the next great surprise for the year 1974 was announced under the Christmas tree.
1972 : The Relocation (S1E9)It has been known for some time that the space in the cellar will be too small and therefore there were always ideas to move the production to another location. Due to the great cooperation with Josef Palme GmbH in Voitsberg and the recently concluded agreement on the purchase of large quantities of rosetted arms for Maria-Theresia crystal chandeliers, a relocation was inevitable.
As so often, it is the coincidences that determine the next step and so it was this time. Franz Dotzauer's first wife met in the hospital a lady from Brunn am Gebirge, who told her about industrial areas, which were sold by the local government. The thought had existed for a long time, but it took some more years until the family stood on a green meadow in the industrial area of Brunn am Gebirge.
With much risk and even more trust from the banks, the property was bought and a simple hall built. There was enough space now and the enthusiasm of the whole family was huge. From the narrowness of the city into the generosity of the then little cultivated Brunn am Gebirge was of course a major change. Even today we enjoy the luxury of our location and are always happy to spend just a few minutes in the garden under the trees as compensation to our daily worklife.
But it was also clear that this decision was a big challenge for everyone. The small locksmith's shop in the 15th district became a company that had to be feeded with orders. A regular amount of orders had to be ensured and thus the sales had to be boosted. The Opel Rekord Caravan was now much more on the move and the young Manfred Dotzauer played his strengths in sales more and more and more.
1971 : The Family Business Grows (S1E8)Like many formerly small family businesses, the locksmith Franz Dotzauer grew and in 1971 already had four more employees. The purely male-run business since the death of the mother also hired the first female employee this year and for the first time in history the crystal lights were finished by delicate female hands and hung with crystal.
But not only this detail is worth mentioning, but also the fact that the cooperation among the Austrian manufacturers of high quality crystal lamps was very good at the beginning of the seventies. Steyr, the hometown of the displaced Dotzauer family, was something like the center of the Lusterbauer and so it happened that the sons of the companies Dotzauer, Kraus and others played together in the sandpit on the main square. Later, the paths parted, but then again lead to each other.
For example, it turned out that the grinding boxes of the company Kraus completely burned down and their glass grinding stopped completely for several weeks. The new boxes were made, delivered and assembled by Mr. Dotzauer in Vienna and soon the finest crystals were cut and delivered again.
Speaking of crystal, which was obtained exclusively from the company Schöler, Mr. Görner, from Kremsmünster. Schöler is still an extremely important partner for us today and we are still in the best hands. The fine hand-cut hangings have a worldwide reputation and are the hallmark of finest Austrian workmanship. Who has been a supplier to his side for almost 50 years, can justifiably speak of partners and friends. Many thanks to the team of the company Schöler around Mr. Pamminger.
1970 : The Year of many Extensions (S1E7)The entire team at the Schlosserei Franz Dotzauer did an excellent job and the order situation was accordingly good. Slowly but surely the place in the basement became a bit cramped and as if by coincidence it turned out that the ice cream shop in the same house was abandoned due to the divorce of the owners. There was not much time to think because the landlord wanted to find a successor as soon as possible.
And so it happened that Franz Dotzauer and his sons simply took over the ice cream business, including all the ice machines and the rest of the equipment. Of course, they had other plans than to produce ice and so they tried to sell the high quality equipment piece by piece. Some of them even visited iron tractors in the backyards of the area, which were visited years ago, showed interest and thus the ice cream shop gradually became another permanent establishment for the finest crystal lights. However, the small little shop was also used for the first time to show finished crystal chandeliers and already in the first year a few pieces could be sold.
But not only the workshop was expanded, but also the families. By a merry coincidence, the widower Franz Dotzauer met Hilde Alexander months ago. Not only the name parity with the wife of Peter Alexander was unusual, but also that she had the same name as his deceased wife. The two got along extremely well and since a living together in wild marriage was completely out of the question, and so they married on May 22 of the year. Hilde continued to work for Feromontan GmbH where she was responsible for various administrative areas. She will work in the company of her husband only many years later, after her retirement.
Shortly before Christmas, there was probably the nicest surprise, if you can call it that, this year. Son Christian was born on December 14 and made his proud parents very happy. Christian was the first child in the entire relatives circle and was thus naturally expected with great joy. The third generation was born, but it will take a few more years for them to get noticed in the company.
1969 : The Marriage of the Year (S1E6)Of course, a three-man household in the late sixties was not really able to survive, so it was up to the young Irene to spoil the three men. For a barely 20-year-old, this was an almost impossible task. Faster than she thought, she grew into this role more and more and managed to fill the gap created by her mother's death.
Manfred, always a man with a good eye, recognized this of course and decided on the only right thing, he stopped for the hand of Irene. He did this quite traditionally and with great charm by driving to Irene's parents in Andau im Seewinkel and asking her father for his daughter's hand. At that time, Irene's father Josef had to give his written consent and dismiss Irene from the parental household, so she and Manfred could marry.
In retrospect, it was probably one of the most important decisions in the company's history, even though at that time absolutely no one was so aware. Irene and Manfred were and are the foundation and the pillars on which the history of the next decades will be built.
There was a wonderful wedding and all the families were happy for the young couple. And so on the 21st of June 1969 not only the summer began but also a new era in the company's history.
Business was good and the small business could look forward to a regular workload. More and more customers trusted in the craftsmanship of locksmith Franz Dotzauer and the tasks became more and more extensive. The small workshop in the cellar was slowly but surely too small.
1968 : The happiness and the sadness (S1E5)Although, of course, the company has always been a dominant topic in the house Dotzauer, but there were also events that outshone the business bustle. Manfred Dotzauer had met his Irene Schmidt some time ago in the Tenne in Vienna. The Burgenland monastery student and the Upper Austrian toolmaker were immediately on fire for each other and formed a strong couple even then.
After some time, in May 1968, Irene and Manfred announced their engagement. Of course, there was not much time to celebrate, but there was a small party. Irene still lived with her aunt in Vienna and Manfred with the rest of the family in the Wienzeile.
Soon, the joyful event was overshadowed by the mother's deteriorating health. The problems with the heart were already so great that cooperation was unthinkable and even housework was no longer possible. Even then, Irene provided the whole family with the bare necessities in her spare time and was a wonderful support in these difficult days.
Hilde Dotzauer's condition became worse and worse and worse, and so came the unavoidable, she died of heart failure in June 1968 and left the whole family in great mourning. Of course, this tragic incident turned everything upside down and Irene and the three men had to reorganize completely to master these difficult times.
1967 : The Workshop in the Bedroom (S1E4)The business was going pretty well and yet there were always problems that no one would have anticipated. So there were always complaints from the house parties when the directly against the wall standing grinding blocks were in operation, because the noise was audible to the highest floors. But it was even worse when the friction press did its job and the flywheel with more than 100 tons was blown down to press the slots into the blanks for the Maria-Theresia lights. Then the whole house and even parts of the neighboring houses wobbled. At the end, it was agreed that the press would only be in operation for half an hour a day.
Completely unexpected, Hilde Dotzauer became seriously ill. She has always had a weak heart and that was causing her massive problems now. Work always came first, even in Steyr when she pulled a washing machine through the village on a rickety cart and people were able to wash their laundry for a fee. But now she was tied to the bed and could no longer help the men everywhere.
However, the desperation and the indescribable will of the family made them find a solution and so they simply moved parts of the workshop into the bedroom on the Wienzeile. Hilde Dotzauer processed thousands of crystals in bed, put rosettes on the wire and completed smaller parts. Hundreds of boxes carried the two boys up and down the five floors, for the mother was eager to do her part for the survival of the company.
Particularly noteworthy was also the idea of Manfred Dotzauer to photograph the first crystal lights. Necessity is also ingenious here and so the apartment was converted into a kind of "photo studio". There it was clean and the crystal lights could sparkle in the appropriate frame. The first leaflets were created and more and more customers could be reached.
1996 : The difficult first Years (S1E3)It was not an easy time and especially not for a yet unknown manufacturer of decorative lights and crystal chandeliers. The money was tight and so of course only small steps could be planned and implemented. The machinery had used up all the savings and so sales had to be made urgently so that the new company survived the first few years.
But there were other problems that had to be dealt with and one would not have expected. In the backyard next to the cellar workshop, a butcher had his meat processing plant and rats repeatedly tried to penetrate through the walls of the locksmith. Only when another wall layer with metal shavings and steel nails was raised, the problem was solved.
Thankfully, Franz Dotzauer had an excellent reputation within the industry and that was of course a big advantage. Many of his customers of the first few hours knew he was reliable and therefore awarded small and large orders to him. While the first two years were mainly producing components for crystal lights, the third year of the company's existence was completed chandeliers, which were supplied to various dealers.
As said, both sons were now working in the factory and were used for more and more difficult work. Leisure was a foreign word and every evening, the three men returned tired and exhausted in the apartment in the Wienzeile at the Naschmarkt. There they were already expected by their mother and eat a little something. The topic of conversation during the dinner together was of course always the company. So there was very little time just to relax.
It was a hard year and yet it were the smallest and small successes that gave the whole family the strength to continue and to believe in success.
1965 : The Family (S1E2)Franz Dotzauer was now an entrepreneur and the whole family had to help, of course. As so often before, it was fate that dictated the way of life for the little family. The parents of Franz Dotzauer came from Sudeten Germany, more precisely from Rothau, and were expelled from there after World War II. Their house and many other things had to be left behind and the entire family moved to Steyr in Upper Austria.
Franz Dotzauer's father was a violin maker and so it was not surprising that his son took the same path and also used his craft skills for the construction of violins and accordions. The area in and around Steyr was known not only for the construction of musical instruments, but also for the production of crystal lights. Many still existing Austrian manufacturers have their origin there and today's senior bosses played together in the sandpit at the playground.
Franz Dotzauer soon got the offer from the big Stölzle company as the production manager to manufacture the finest crystal chandliers and of course accepted with thanks. A few years later he was transferred to the production site in Vienna and so the whole family moved again. For many years Franz Dotzauer had the opportunity to learn and perfect the production of crystal chandeliers, but here too fate set a decisive turning point again. Due to business decline the company was restructured and Franz Dotzauer's department dissolved. As a man of action, he quickly decided to become self-employed and put this idea into reality in 1964.
His sons Manfred and Heribert were only young boys and still in apprenticeship. Manfred at the well-known model railway manufacturer Liliput as a toolmaker and Heribert learned the craft of the chandelier maker. Of course, both sons had to actively help out in the new company right from the start and did every single step of help they could. It was never easy, but Hilde Dotzauer, the mother, kept the strings in her hands and the family together in those difficult times, and yet she had big problems with her heart.
1964 : The Opening (S1E1)
„Hereby announce that I am opening a locksmithery today."With this sentence Franz Dotzauer informed his future customers about his new start as an independent locksmith in April 1964. This was the beginning of an adventurous journey starting in the 15th district of Vienna in one basement workshop in the Goldschlagstraße.
He had quit his senior position at Stölzle Kristall and left everything behind him. The last work with his old employer was the production of the well-known crystal chandelier above the Intermezzo Bar in the Hotel Intercontinental Vienna and with this masterpiece he sat down one last memorial before venturing out together with his family to show the world what craft and business skills were in him.
It all started slowly so there were only a few machines standing on a damp clay floor, a few tables and shelves and many, many ideas. At that time, there was no question of finished crystal lights, but he focused on the production of components for the lighting sector and of course much more.
Dotzauer Kristalleuchten manufactures Crystal Chandeliers and decorative Lamps for Appartments, Palaces and Hotels worldwide since 55 Years. #FortheLoveofLight^jg