Görlitz pulsates! The small Saxon town, which is located in the most eastern part of Germany, offers not only marvelous historical architecture but also a flourishing young and creative scene. At the moment one of the most exciting projects is the Jakobpassage located in the city center. Three young men from Görlitz founded an individual concept store where they work together and present their (absolutely different) products.
Sebastian König, 38, was born in Munich and now has been living in Görlitz for seven years. He is the owner of the 20zollfabrik. Bonanza, BMX or “Klappies” – he collects, restores, sells and builds up everything that runs on small wheels. Urbane and mini bicycles are not really populary yet in Germany. In his factory you can buy everything, which is trending in Japan or the USA.
Robert Melcher, 38, born in Weißwasser, came back to Lusatia after he finished his design studies and founded his company Möbelmelcher. He creates things that big furniture shops are not selling or able to produce, for example individual installations for children’s rooms or offices, platforms, galleries or outdoor facilities – With his apprenticeship as carpenter he is able to produce nearly everything.
The third one, Clemens Kießling, 26, was born in Freiberg/Saxony and returned to the provincial town after he studied in a larger city. As the owner of the Carlo-Eco Fair Fashion GbR he is always looking for clothes, which are produced without blood, sweat and poison but with pure bio-fibres. He sells them to people who appreciate ethically correct produced clothes with excellent quality.
In the following interview the three business men tell us about their concept, their favorite places in Görlitz and future plans.
What happens in the Jakobstraße and specifically in the Jakobpassage?
The Jakobstraße is a road running parallel to one of those shopping malls you can find in nearly every town. But here you can find truly unique things. The Jakobpassage offers highly individual products for everyone who wants to show its lifestyle – ethically or as a unique feature. The three of us – Möbelmelcher, 20zollfabrik and Carlo-Eco – run the store together in the city center of Görlitz and profit from the synergies. We work for the passage, our companies and the social value, among others with evening events, workshops or discussions. everyone who wants to use this special place is warmly invited to do so– And there is also the chance to rent the Jakobpassage for your privat events.
How would you describe your average customer?Our target group is between 16 and 45 years old, but there are also many younger and older people who like to visit our store. Especially people older than 45 is an increasing customer group. Older people who are planning to buy a bike for example emphasize nontoxic textiles more. Thus, our clientele increases and a concrete target group is hard to define,every social layer is represented here. Some save their money for trousers, which they can wear with good conscience, other – especially tourists – come by with more money, have a look and buy something spontaneously
You work in three absolutely different branches. How does the symbiosis work in your store? Is your concept accepted?
We definitely profit from each other. Everybody has other strengths and together we have the best ideas. Besides we are also working together in production and try to connect our product portfolio. Carlo-Eco is planning to offer bicycle pockets in the future. Our different branches slowly converge And customers visiting our store also noticed this. The concept is perceived as consistent and at the same time as something quite new. Up to now there was substantially more praise than criticism.
What are your future plans?
We want to be more like an alternative department store and connect different branches. Inquiries to become part of the project do not break off. We want to extend in the first upper floor offering a vegetarian/vegan midday canteen and other offices for creative ones.
What is special in Görlitz?
The “everybody knows each other”– feeling of a provincial town with the cultural offerings of a large town. After the first amazement about the beauty of the town there is so much more to see and to explore. If you are willing to integrate yourself, you will get so much support. In a larger city you would just disappear between many ideas. Here nearly everything is seen as special. This is most of the time very pleasant.
What are your favorite locations in Görlitz? Do you have an insidertips?
At the moment we are the insider tipHowever, we can recommend for example the Rabryka, a former factory site in the middle of the town. It is now used for cultural events. After registration you can explore the area decorated with street art. Often there are really nice events in the evening., sometimes there are just simple campfires, whereby you can meet people, who influence the young and creative part of the town.