Travel back 100 years with me: scissor grinders, potters and brush makers go from door to door offering their goods for sale.
Over time, the government creates increasingly more obstacles to make peddling more difficult. Erna Drossner recognizes her opportunity. On April 1, 1926, she and her husband open a shop for household brushes in Frankfurt’s Old Town, Trierische Gasse No. 17. From then on, citizens will be able to find brushes in an established place whenever they need them.
The Second World War breaks out. Erna Drossner brings her brushes to safety on the outskirts of the city in time, before the shop is bombed out in March 1944. In June 1947, Erna Drossner moves to Stiftstrasse 9-17, where the Bürstenhaus remains for the next 64 years. Even today, the name Drossner is still a household name in the city. Yes, indeed, the Bürstenhaus has 3rd and 4th generation customers.
Brush manufacturers from Germany as well as from neighbouring countries such as France, England and Italy, send out their sales representatives to shops and fairs. In 1956, the Bürstenhaus passes into new hands. The new owners Wilhelm Diebow and his wife expand the shop’s product line with so-called luxury articles to enrich the selection. Hand-pulled hair brushes, shaving brushes with fine badger hair – the Bürstenhaus becomes known beyond the borders of Frankfurt.
The couple, Astrid and Fritz Werndt, take over the Bürstenhaus on 1st January 1976. Mrs. Werndt develops in-house products for the household, which are still produced exclusively for the Bürstenhaus today. Her motto is „The Action less“. Cleaning and wiping cloths made of pure cotton,which have various surfaces and come in different sizes to make cleaning in the kitchen and bathroom as well as smooth floors easier. The mop broom with dusting cloth receives the bronze medal at the „Ideas-Inventions-New Products“ exhibition in Nuremberg in 1994.
House numbers 9-17: That’s a whole row of houses, that can’t even be done in half a year. This could either mean the end or a costly short-term move. But the Werndts find a creative solution: a container is rented and set up in front of the construction site. The Bürstenhaus’s regular location will be retained. This extraordinary rescue operation does not detract from customer loyalty – quite the opposite.
Frankfurt is a building site, there is always some type ofexcavation, construction, redevelopment – – the restructuring of the city is being done on a large scale, not small. The old M.Schneider department store is being demolished. This separates Stiftstrasse from the Zeil, Frankfurt’s famous shopping mile. Many of the small specialist shops are disappearing. Either the succession is not settled or the rents can no longer be paid. The financial crisis is gripping the country. At the other end of Stiftstraße, the Rundschauhaus is also being torn down. The Bürstenhaus struggles to survive with its regular customers. But that is not enough. The shop is relocated.
On 9th March 2011, the Bürstenhaus at Töngesgasse 27 opens its doors. People from all over the world admire the shop and appreciate the unique shopping atmosphere of the street.
The regular customers have happily followed suit. „I haven’t regretted taking this step for a second,“ says the current owner Angelika Kleine.
In 2015, our new website goes online. The integrated online shop offers the products that are manufactured exclusively for the Bürstenhaus.
Emma Werndt, the daughter of the Bürstenhaus, begins her education and training to become a retailer in summer 2019. Since she was a child, she has always been very fond of the shop. The customers are also enthusiastic about her extended involvement: “Then you will be taking over the business, right?”
Spring 2020 – The Covid virus paralyzes the world
For Angelika Kleine, Emma Werndt and Volker Graf (who is a close friend of the family and has been working at Bürstenhaus since 2012), the lockdown is a shock personally as well as professionally. However, our customers continue to order via the online shop, by phone and email. An encouraging sign.
And that’s where social media comes on the scene: Mother and daughter start posting short videos about Bürstenhaus Frankfurt on Facebook and Instagram. These small clips are met with a lot of positive feedback.
The Bürstenhaus is doing well. The suppliers have also persevered. Bürstenhaus has received coverage in the press and even appeared on a regional television station.
Stay healthy and optimistic!