A hobby that grew
The 1970’s is a decade with increased awareness of many societal issues, and one of many new trends is self-sufficiency. Danish mother Nanny Glerup sees the potential and enrolls in a felting course where she makes a pair of boots for her husband Ove.
The comfort of the wool and the snug fit means Ove wears the felt boots everywhere and the first seed is planted in Nanny’s mind. Ove’s first steps in those boots are also the first steps towards the development of a unique brand and philosophy – glerups.
Since the beginning, the sheep are the true heroes of our story and they take center stage in 1985, when Nanny and Ove – causing shock among family and friends – buy the totally run-down farm of Thasdalsgård in Northern Jutland. The place is affordable, full of possibilities and among the many buildings is a stable.
Nanny and Ove move in and are joined by their Gotland sheep a little later. Finally, things are coming together and all the essentials for glerups are in place. Today, the headquarter of glerups is still The Farm.
Now 53 years old, Nanny crafts slippers for family and friends made from the natural wool of the Gotland sheep. Everyone loves the comfort and the fit and it occurs to her that she can turn this into a business. She registers the glerups company, exhibits at fairs and receives the first customer orders.
As everything is done by hand, production numbers are low. Much to her dismay, Nanny must turn down a Swedish order of 200 pairs of children’s boots because of limited capacity. To simplify production, she decides to focus on one specific fit that is still used and is the preferred fit for glerups “addicts” all over the world.
Time to introduce The Old Lady, our faithful carding machine that dates back to 1936. On a trip to England, Nanny sees the machine and immediately recognizes the potential. This could mean a leap forward in capacity and Nanny wants to buy The Old Lady.
Luckily, back home Bodil from the bank is in on the idea. She arranges for a loan of 50.000 kroner, the deal is agreed upon, and The Old Lady is shipped to Denmark to increase production capacity and secure consistent product quality.
Nanny Glerup, now in her 60’s, is supervising production and the quality control of the glerups products.
The dedicated work over the years has taken its toll, and her back and shoulders are constant reminders that uncompromising craftmanship comes at a price. Her redefined position allows her to work with innovation and to secure that the glerups DNA is solidly integrated into the company, the staff, and every glerups product that is delivered to the shops.
Well into the new century, Ove’s first steps in the felt boots takes us all the way to Romania where we com-mence production after developing a factory from the ground up. While widening our geographic presence, we decide to trim the collection and focus on slip-ons, shoes and boots.
Allan comes on-board as an agent for Denmark and shortly after becomes co-owner. And still, during expansion, co-ownership and new markets, The Original Quality approved by Nanny Glerup guarantees that every pair of glerups is crafted with care.
glerups are usually sold for indoor use where users appreciate the craftmanship and the qualities of the 100% pure, natural wool in the comfort of their own home. These days, however, the glerups company is on an exciting, global journey far from home. We complete the biggest investment in company history – a new production line for wool processing from Germany – and partner with ZQ Premium Wool from New Zealand to secure a steady supply.
glerups Inc. is established in the United States and a new production building in Romania of 2,800 m2 is on the drawing board. Still, we never lose sight of our purpose and the DNA of glerups. The products are continuously refined and in 2017 we introduce rubber soles for all adult models.
25 years since the first pair of glerups, you may expect us to slow down. But the spirit that made Nanny and Ove turn a run-down farm into an unexpected success story lives on and glerups is brimming with ideas, plans and potential.
The new production building is coming along nicely, and the color Forest is introduced – inspired by the surroundings and the nature around Nanny and Ove’s home, that is still our headquarters.
“It’s a really nice feeling that everything we’ve been fighting for has succeeded. Many have told us that it’s been like a fairy tale and I guess that’s true. Like in fairy tales we have been through challenges and rough patches to arrive at a happy ending.
I feel grateful that Jesper and Allan appreciate the years of hard work that Ove and I have invested in the company and I am confident that they can continue what we started.
It’s a privilege to be able to follow the progress of the company even today, and both Ove and I are happy that The Farm is still center of the glerups spirit and quality.”