Jack & Lucy give us an insight into their company
Alexander and Jan have known each other since they were teenagers and run Jack & Lucy together. In an interview, Alexander revealed to us why a bottle of wine helped found the company, what their philosophy is and what innovative approaches they implement in the area of sustainability.
How did you come up with the idea of founding Jack & Lucy?
Jan is the carpenter for both of us and founded Jack & Lucy in 2017. In addition to his normal life as a carpenter, he simply let his creativity run free and developed products that roamed around in his head.
We've both known each other since we were teenagers and after months of snipping away on the trial version of the ONE workstation the idea arose to give Jack & Lucy the space and time it takes to start a business. After a wine-loving Sunday in the summer of 2018, I confronted Jan with my thoughts and since then we have both been working full-time for Jack & Lucy. Jan, the creative head and carpenter, I have the experience in retail and a few helping hands with the production.
What does the brand stand for and what is your corporate philosophy?
Quite simply, we want to develop beautiful products that are design-oriented, but at the same time fulfill their purpose. Some of our products, such as the Workstation ONE and the Workstation BASIC, have unique selling points that didn't even exist before.
We cannot and do not want to mass-produce any products for this purpose. Of course, some work steps cannot be completed without milling, etc., but most production processes involve laborious manual work. And that's exactly what we love. We don't push the button, we have each product in our hands for quite a while.
How are the products made and where do the materials come from?
We mostly process oak. We like the feel and the grain. In addition, oak is really good for the manufacture of products related to the kitchen. Due to the high tannic acid content, the oak becomes germ-free within a few hours after scrubbing, making it perfect in connection with food.
We have various dealers from whom we buy our wood. A dealer comes from the Nuremberg area, as does the oak we buy from him. Another is based in Hungary because we usually get better quality there. It's not cheaper, but since we need a perfect A-side and B-side for many products, Hungary is an important source for us.
Where do you see the biggest challenge in building and maintaining a sustainable business?
I don't even want to use the word sustainability anymore, it's used in such an inflationary way. We simply try with our possibilities to pay attention to sustainability and our environment. Here are a few examples: the product Workstation ONE has an integrated cutting board. Until the beginning of last year, the board was made of PE, which is the plastic in the kitchen that we probably all use. Then we discovered a material made of wood fiber laminate. It even has better properties than PE. We were enthusiastic about the material and were quickly convinced and exchanged the integrated board made of wood fiber laminate, i.e. a combination of natural materials, for PE. And that despite the significantly higher purchase price. We accepted the high price because of our conviction and did not pass it on to retailers or customers. So we earn a few euros less from it.
Another example, our sticks, a nice addition to another trivet, are made from pieces of oak left over from the production of another product as offcuts. And if we have even more waste, then our workshop is heated with it.
Another example: we only use the most environmentally friendly filling materials for our shipments that we can find. Significantly more expensive than filling material such as inflatable plastic cushions.
If every company or every private person simply walks through their own rooms with open eyes, I am sure that there is always potential to work more sustainably and that everyone can make their individual contribution. And you don't always need a certificate or the public for that.
What are the long-term goals for Jack & Lucy and what do you want to achieve in the future?I always take a good look at Jan. And when his head is about to burst, I quickly send him to his little room so that he can develop and produce new products. He is enviably creative and our shelves of prototypes are full. For example, we have a great lamp and a room divider that we could actually present. But we are currently in the kitchen and dining table area with our products, so it would just be too much for us and probably not very smart to go completely new ways now. If we keep growing like this, the new products will be presented in a few years.
Thank you for the nice and interesting interview, Alexander!
Photos: © Jack & Lucy