What is happiness?
What does happiness have to do with a factory? And with fig muffins? Attention, here comes information and my personal advertising about a great museum; a well-established company that I was honored to visit with enthusiasm and happiness per se!
Can you touch happiness? Can you hold onto it, ask for it, borrow it, gamble with it, trade it, or simply hope to have it?
What happens when it leaves us? Is all the happiness simply gone? Are we automatically unhappy? Or do we not even realize it?
How much are we trapped in the mill of life, so that we do not even notice if we’re happy or not? Can we really appreciate it?
A few weeks ago I was invited, along with Harriet from Lexiconlove.com, to have a look at an actual and impressive Glücksfabrik (Happiness Factory). The company koziol had the doors of the museum open for us. Exclusively, outside of normal opening times. I had been looking forward to this since the Tendence 2016 trade fair…
Each of us knows koziol,
or at least its products. But do you know the story, the idea behind the big plastic goods manufacturer from Erbach im Odenwald? Do you know why koziol is unique? Why the Glücksfabrik bears its name rightly? I certainly did not, I must confess honestly …
Completely different from the all well-known manufacturers of plastic kitchen equipment from the United States, the company koziol is family-owned. Founded by the potter Bernard Joseph Koziol, who was social, creative and committed to giving employees a “we” mentality.
Bernhard Koziol was born in Silesia in 1878, and in March 1912, searching his personal fortune, moved his family to Erbach im Odenwald. He had been offered the chance to take over the Count of Erbach’s pottery workshop. His experience from the imperial majolica workshop in Kadyny, along with creativity, curiosity and courage made him an innovator of his time often far ahead. You can see original pieces from this period of his life in the museum.
A few steps further, a few years later in the timeline, you will find yourself in the world of ivory carving. Because Erbach was not only famous for pottery. Erbach was known, thanks to Count Franz I of Erbach (1754-1823) as the „German ivory city“. People had been working with the natural material for over 200 years there.
After he learned about the art of ivory carving, Bernhard Koziol remodeled a sewing machine in his bedroom and converted it to be able to work with the white gold. His sense of the market and his own creative drive, mixed with a bit of luck, led him to ivory carving. On November 27, 1927 Bernhard Koziol founded a one-man ivory carving company. It is impressive to see the raw material, the tools, the jewelry and miniature figures made out of ivory from this period. I can’t help but think about how he must have felt at this time – probably unsure whether or not his work would be successful; if he would be able to support his family or not.