Last week we had the great honour of being interviewed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. The result was a detailed article about us and our history:
Cabinet with doors was yesterday: Maximilian Frederic Jacob and colleagues sell clothes rails in industrial design
From Lea Binzer
Standard furniture is available in most student rooms. But I wanted to put my own stamp on my room,” says Maximilian Frederic Jacob, 27. I saw a self-built, individual industrial-style wardrobe solution made of tubes and wood at my school friend Markus’s house. I was totally enthusiastic about it.” The construction made optimal use of the space in his shared room, “and it was airy”. That was in January 2017. Unfortunately Markus didn’t want to build him the furniture again: too expensive. “So I looked around for similar pieces in industrial design and found nothing comparable on the German market,” says the former mechanical engineering and management student.
This is how the idea of closing a gap in the market came about. As early as February 2017, Maximilian and his school friend Markus Engel, 27, worked together with Maximilian’s college friend Benjamin Böhmer, 26, on initial ideas for industrial design clothes rails. Then it went very quickly. Already in June they founded their company Kwerqus in Munich and since November they are on the market with their furniture and sell it online. Since Markus is still studying in Sweden at the moment, he is just getting shorter at Kwerqus. The team is complemented by Luisa Marie Sondermeier, 26, who is a student trainee in marketing and social media.
”Industrial design is a trend that can now also be noticed in Germany, for example in cafés,” says Benjamin ernst. “We want to bring this simple design with our furniture into people’s homes in order to make them more individual. Maximilian adds: “Our clothes rails in particular make it possible to make small rooms appear more airy. Much more than a wardrobe with doors. We also liked the idea of showing what clothes you have. Thus new, not yet existing accents can be set in the space organization.”
The core business of Kwerqus is clothes rails. They are available in all possible sizes and variants. “In my room I already have some industrial design furniture, but I just want to integrate one of our clothes rails around the corner. Ideal for rooms with little space,” says Maximilian, who in his light blue shirt and dark blue knee-length trousers is extremely professional for a young entrepreneur. Kwerqus is currently setting up a division for wall shelving and tables. With 39 euros for a clothes rail to 790 euros for a desk, the price range of their furniture is large. They are made of black malleable cast iron pipes, a type of cast iron with a diameter of 28 centimetres and partly of larch wood. “In the long run we want to use oak. Hence our name Kwerqus, a variation of the Latin word quercus for oak. But oak wood is very expensive,” says Benjamin. In the beginning, the three of them assembled their own furniture in Benjamin’s mother’s garage in Starnberg. “It was a pagan job because we got the wood untreated. Sanding, edge processing, preparing holes, oiling: we did all this ourselves. But that became too expensive over time,” says the former BWL student.
In the meantime all craftsmanship has been outsourced: The pipes and wood are produced near Dresden and Münster. An external logistics company also supplies the customers. Maximilian and Benjamin, on the other hand, are responsible for design and operative business such as sales.
The specified designs are delivered in individual parts to the customers, who can assemble them themselves according to the modular construction method. Individual parts are also supplied, so that anyone can build an individual piece of furniture. “This has project character. The customers have something personal in their home. We offer the possibility of producing 1500 products with only 38 elements,” says Benjamin, who sits casually in a white T-shirt and blue, knee-length fabric trousers. In some cases, special designs are also possible if customers send sketches of their desired furniture. Room dividers or lamps with a concrete base can be made in this way.