SA Möbler’s background
Once Upon a Time
The founder of our business, Mr. Johannes Johansson was born on May the 26th in 1821 and already in 1850 he and his wife moved to the cottage Broholm. Where he found an additional income by making small chairs out of the small bits and pieces of wood he was allowed to have from the mansion Ruder under which they served. The children of the house had to help out by running the lathe by hand in the small house of two rooms and one kitchen. Finished chairs were sold on local fairs at Hjo, Skövde, Skara and many more. Response was great and his business could now grow greatly which was why he soon moved production and family to the larger house of Lillholmen. This still today is the same location for our business, though the property was significantly smaller but more than enough for family and production.
Sometimes during the first half of the 1890 Johannes son in law Mr. Emanuel Andersson was allowed to succeed the business and it´s thanks to his accountancy we know the actual first year of the industrialized business, 1896. With firm grip Emanuel ran the business forward and already in 1896 they started to work in a new factory built only for carpentry purposes, right next to the cottage. His primary production was five-drawer-desks in oak but also regular furniture such as chest of drawers, beds, linen cabinets and dining room furniture. An interesting footnote is from his accounting in 1897 when a furniture dealer in Stockholm named CJ Johansson bought the entire yearly production. The purchase price was 1355 Swedish kronor which allowed the business to totally support five whole families.
A substantial investment in needed machinery was hard to make for one company which was why they started a collaboration with 3 other companies, Johan Andersson in Granelund, CG Johansson in Källsängen and Karl Fredrik Johansson at Nyelsborg. In the beginning the machinery was running on kerosene but later with electricity given from a water turbine in the nearby river Tidan. A change that created new discussion topics down in the village, especially when the farmers needed to run their threshers in the late summer and lack of volumes in electricity occurred. Much depends on lower amounts of running water in Tidan. The collaboration ran their machines with one electric engine and belt drive which in turn supplied the power all the way to 1931 when everything was changed to one engine one machine. Parallel to this they also built a new barn in 1915 in which livestock were held until 1932 when it was changed to a polish workshop.
The years went by and in time Emanuel decided it was time to hand over everything to the next generation which happened in 1937 when his son Samuel Andersson was left in charge. It’s also Samuels initials that you’ll still today can find in our company name, Samuel Andersson furniture. With a great respect for the craftsmanship and traditions from previous generations Samuel continued the chosen way of furniture making, but also made innovative addendums such as the choice of solid birch for the dining room furniture. At the same time the polishing workshop increased in importance so he made addition to increase greatly in size in 1939. But that was not enough, right after the war in 1947 another addition was made to the carpentry section which also got a basement in which they installed a separate boiler. The machine section received a machine to automatically apply veneer, brand Fjällman. Shortly after a band-finisher brand Bogesund from the town of Ulricehamn. Samuels sons inherited the business in 1959, Folke and Harald Almestål. At the same time they started the build of a brand new factory, this time of bricks, still here today though heavily modified. Another addendums and builds was made during 1968 and 1974 during a period where focus was on home furniture.
Kjell Hammar, our current owner and CEO bought the business in 1983. With annual sales of 7 million SEK and about 7 co-workers. Based upon previous experience Kjell changed the focus back to office furniture and other items towards the public areas. His first range of office furniture was Samba a creation back home in front of the TV and the world cup, soccer. A range that was greeted with open arms on the market thanks to it´s for its time creative and innovative solutions for a modern workstation.
With a great interest in technology and computer, Kjell early realized the risk for repetition strain injuries so already in 1978 out in the garage his first electrically height adjustable table was born. A table based upon windshield wiper-engines and sewer pipes. But that was way too early for a market that just began to hear about a new thing called computers. Still the repetition strain injuries occurred so in 1987 Kjell re-launched his vision of height adjustable tables in a subsidiary company SA Comfortable, today an integrated section of SA Möbler AB.
With credit given for his unique electric tables, sales skyrocketed and just as previous corporate managers in 1989 Kjell realized it was time to build an addendum to his facilities. In this case he more than doubled the area from 4000 square meters to 9000. With that improvement he also saw that he had room for a separate metal workshop as well as an upholsterer. Both sections are now key-elements in our business today. So by the time the build was completed the now so famous bank-crisis occurred in Sweden and the currency devaluation in its tracks. Something that set a new framework for furniture, low-budget range Konto was introduced which was sold in large volumes to schools, home offices and garages etc.
Next step forward was an integration of the functionality of the electrical tables according to the motto, work but not seen. Which landed the new range, the design line Snitsa® in 1998. A line that still today is the fastest in the business to assemble and has several innovative solutions. The concept was so successful that an executive version was launched 2002 under the name Snitsa XL. It got a stronger and stricter design with a slightly more international image. Right between these two faces SA once again grow out of its facilities and another build was started in 1999. In this case a new assembly section of 3000 square meters and a new showroom of about 1000 square meters. At the same time new investments in machinery was made, edge-processing line and a new machine to apply veneer, a cost of about 11 million SEK.
The continuous hunt for innovations created round and oval storage units with architect SIR Marie Påhlstam from Stockholm in 2003. The year after a tribute to the American 1950s was launched with Index designed by PINC, People Incorporated. To be able to explain the guiding lights of SA Möbler AB the arduous work of the ”Quality Office” concept began, a work that still today is in progress. Or as Kjell said it ”Quality Office is our know-how and experience in combination with commitment and innovation, which are shown in every furniture we deliver, everything we do”.
There after SA Möbler AB got more and more established as the supplier of innovative solutions to primary the business world all over Scandinavia. Among the exception that confirms that rule is the collaboration with professor Love Arbén when we created the range artur for Konstfack, The University of arts and crafts of Sweden.
With great joy we have seen our ranges extend and develop at the same time as new series have been unveiled, thanks to our existing cooperation’s with the elite of the Scandinavian and European designers. This has led to many honorable commitments to customers such as ICA, H&M, WHO, Björn Borg, MTVE, Trä & Möbelindustriförbundet among others. When the company during 2007 did field studies towards the international market at the furniture fair in Milan we had extremely good feedback. Swedish design and production is a high performer in the international competition.
This made the choice simple, SA Möbler AB has during the last years worked with key cities in Europe and are still developing ourselves as a Swedish interesting alternative for many Europeans. That is why we have developed a new series with our Italian design agency - Evoluzione that was released during 2016 and with high expectations.
SA Möbler AB has also established ourselves on the Chinese market in Shanghai where the reception has been truly positive, even if we still have many challenges, such as culture and core values. Even so, we are having high hopes for this region and we strongly believe this in the future will be our most important market for our company for many years ahead.
A globalized world awaits SA Möbler and our products, but we won't forget our local markets. This is a truly exciting development that would have been hard to predict for Emanuel when he in the end of the 1900-century) went to the for him foreign markets in Skövde and Skara.