Getting to know Blumenfisch: one-of-a-kind pieces produced in the heart of Berlin

Special Olympics Praktikant Julian Stegemann sitzt mit Blumenfisch Mitarbeiter Ronald Bluhm und Judith Kühnle im Blumenfisch Laden an einem runden Tisch und unterhalten sich

Being noticed: Special Olympics intern Julian Stegemann (right) talks to Blumenfisch employee Ronald Bluhm (left) and Judith Kühnle (center) about interests and products of the Blumenfisch manufactory in the Blumenfisch Store.

Since 2018, Judith Kühnle has been the manager of a Blumenfisch location and also heads up the company’s Marketing & Sales department. She spoke about what makes Blumenfisch products so special, the positive experiences of the employees and more.

Ms Kühnle, you have very beautiful premium products at Blumenfisch. How do you come up with your unique designs?

One of our colleagues is a trained product designer. He takes the lead when it comes to this area. However, I have to say that the designs are developed in very close collaboration with the relevant people in the specialist departments. After all, you always have to look at what’s feasible and what resources are needed. Over the last three years, we’ve all come up with new products. We’ve also cooperated with students and designers on these. But we aim to create the designs ourselves. 

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Prior to COVID, we had a product development group that met every four weeks and provided various input. Of course, it’s always important to consider whether the ideas are a good fit for our portfolio and design ethos

The product quality is consistently very high.

These are the standards we set ourselves. At the end of the day, we move within the general labour market and have our products in various stores and online shops. We are interested in getting our products noticed. Quality, sustainability and, above all, design are at the top of our priorities at Blumenfisch. You will already spot this to some degree when you walk through our building. We’re not stuck in a gloomy warehouse somewhere on the edge of the city. We want the people who work here to feel at ease and our management team is also behind our efforts to ensure this.

Can you describe how the items for sale in your shop are produced?

Take a mug, for example, which has to pass through various stages. From the moulding, biscuit firing and glazing through to the application of the decal for the branding. This is all done by hand, not machines. 

Something for everyone: Blumenfisch employees craft one-of-a-kind pieces from Berlin with love and care, day after day.

You declare your commitment to producing “one-of-a-kind pieces from Berlin”. So, is it also very important for you to incorporate the creative ideas of your employees?

That’s so important. We considered in advance what makes us different and how we wanted to present ourselves on the market. Our primary message is that we are a manufacturing operation based in Berlin, we are regional and we employ people with a wide range of different abilities. There is something for everyone. We are located in Berlin and every piece is handmade. Accordingly, every item is always a one-off. Obviously, a product made by a machine is much more likely to be exactly the same each time rather than a handcrafted mug. The phrase “one of a kind” is not a USP for us, but it is an important distinction.

You’ve also won a number of awards for your products, including a sustainability prize for your Alexanderplatz toiletry bag. What has that meant for your employees?

I think that’s the most important thing about all of this. To get this award for one, but also to see exactly where our products are sold in the first place and who is interested in them. Certainly, the feedback for the employees has been the greatest achievement. Also opening our store in 2018, that was huge for the employees, to see all of their products in such a beautifully designed space. The response to this was incredibly positive. 

Recognised in 2015 with the Seventh Recycling Design Award from the Marta Herford Museum: the toiletry bag made from recycled advertising banners is also available in the Special Olympics Shop.

Thank you Ms Kühnle for this interesting interview!