We – Jürgen Wohleser & Marion Glanz – where still working as ‘normal’ employees back in 2011.
Marion was a management-assistant of a fashion boutique, Jürgen was a buyer for a large corporation and bought IT systems.
So actually there was no reason to change anything – Es gab also eigentlich keinen Grund, daran etwas zu verändern –the working conditions were good and the income decent. Nevertheless, slowly but surely the desire grew to found our own company and to shape it according to our values.
I clearly remember one day in July 2011, when I once again told Manfred, a former colleague and friedn about our dream.
The next day he told me about his uncle who sells old wood from his former cowshed. Still on the same day we drove to the uncle and – we had our first reclaimed wood!
The First Hurdel:
At this point in time and even a little longer ;-) we didn’t really know much about reclaimed wood or wood in general. But we liked the old wood very much and we also liked the smell of it, what more do you need?
Immediately after we bought it came the first hurdle – there was still no warehouse where to put the wood? To the amazement of our neighbors, we had to store it in our private garden at home.
But: we did have our own company!
What was still missing was the company name – you can read here shortly how it became “Brenners-Altholz”.
The next few months we spent a large part of our free time looking for storage space, creating a website and researching the topic of reclaimed wood on the internet.
‘future company location’ – a sketch by Jürgen in 2012
Our first ‘real’ storage-area:
Shortly after the wood was gone from our garden, we rented the first storage space at a sawmill near our home – a total of 6x6m was ours!
The first years:
In the first few years we could only work at our company in the evenings and on the weekends, so pictures were mostly taken after sunset. ;-)
The time consisted mainly of learning to compensate for wrong decisions and to try not to repeat them.
Marion packing an order for delivery
Little by little we moved on, we didn’t make big jumps, from time to time we took a few steps back and there was more than one situation in which giving up was dangerously close.
But we got in our head to build up an oldwood-business and did not let us get down, not even in sleet!
Jürgen vs. Altholz
Little and not so little steps:
In 2014 Marion reduced her job to part-time and was therefore finally able to answer calls even during the day, receive deliveries, receive customers, sort, pack and ship our old-wood for the first time.
Our 36m² storage area quickly became too small for us, so in 2015 we moved to our current location with a 500m2 production-hall (yeah, we have a roof over our head!) and 2500m2 of open space.
We invested our first money in machines and infrastructure without bonded capital and were henceforth able to process old, reclaimed wood.
2015 – our first machine
2017 – a real (container)office!
In 2015 we hired our first employee – Michi! :-)
The responsibility became a little bigger, we were no longer responsible only for ourselves, but we were no longer alone either!
Marion finally quit her job in 2016, I followed after a long back and forth in 2017.
In 2017 there were already 6 of us. Today we are very proud of our 10 employees (click here for the team), who all do their best so that you can enjoy our old wood-orders.
from right to left: Adam, Mike, Damian and Jürgen
together you are stronger
…and now we as well can work in daylight!