The Weishäupl Werkstätten in Stephanskirchen, Bavaria, can look back on 50 years of company history this year. Founded by Oskar F. Weishäupl in 1969, the company is now led by his children, Stefanie Weishäupl-Ehrl and Philipp Weishäupl. Their employees are busy planing, screwing, shaping and stitching away in its workshops – the family-run business is committed to hand craftsmanship. Year after year, around 7,000 umbrellas and 10,000 items of furniture are made here. They will take up their places in federal horticulture shows, a wide variety of restaurant and catering projects, designer hotels and private gardens.
The umbrella manufactory
The Klassiker umbrella remains the company’s best-seller. Like all the other umbrella models, it is produced in the umbrella manufactory in a production process made up of many different steps. This is also where up to 30-year-old umbrellas are re-covered or repaired. Customers can drop off their umbrellas themselves or even have them collected. This exceptional level of service has been appreciated for generations. “It means people remember you, and you earn the appreciation of existing and new customers,” explains Philipp Weishäupl.
The sewing workshop
Umbrella coverings, seat cushions and upholstery are handmade in every imaginable colour and quality in the Weishäupl Werkstätten sewing workshop. The worktables are large because up to four metres in diameter are needed for an umbrella covering. The patterns for the umbrella coverings, which were cut out by hand until just a few years ago, now hang decoratively from the walls of the sewing workshop. They have been replaced by an impressive laser cutting machine.
The carpentry workshop
Each year the carpentry workshop produces around 10,000 items of furniture for the international market. This is where models that have stood the test of time, such as the Classic series, but also new series are produced with loving attention to detail. The most frequently used wood for the garden furniture is teak – robust, durable and quite simply beautiful, says Stefanie Weishäupl-Ehrl. “Teak, which slowly turns grey over time due to weathering outdoors, has a special kind of beauty for me – it is part of how I think of garden furniture.”