The Dotzauer History
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