Steinbach Volkskunst from Marienberg in Germany. For over 200 years we have maintained long-standing tradition, passion for detail, creativity and finest materials in our world-famous nutcrackers.
We are proud to continue the traditional craft of Steinbach. All nutcrackers are handmade in Germany and are made with a mix of tradition, attention to detail and the finest materials.
The history of
our traditional brand Steinbach
You can retrace the history of the Steinbach family back until the 13th Century. Originally they are from Austria and were known as a bustling family. They were traders, businessmen and judges. One of their lineal ancestors for example was Erwin von Steinbach, who took part in building the “Strassburger Münster”.
Therefore designing and creating new things already ran in the family. During the centuries the Steinbachs moved to the Ore Mountains because of various wars and religious persecution.
Need and virtue in the Erzgebirge
Life in the Ore Mountains back then was characterized by many adversities and the residents were forced to adapt to those circumstances. Next to the mining industry woodworking was one of the few possibilities to survive. For the Steinbach family, this necessity became a virtue. They managed to combine wooden art along with their creativity and from now on, they produced wooden figurines which were typical for the Ore Mountains – Nutcrackers and Smokers. Those little pieces of art found their way into peoples living rooms. They were supposed to give their owner a moment of joy. They were also believed to banish evil spirits.
The Steinbach family was now considered a huge part of the Ore Mountain “Männelmacher-Zunft” and up until World War II Steinbach products enjoyed great popularity. In the turmoil of war the family was forced to adjust their production to the armament requirement and after the end of the Second World War they had to give up their factory in the Ore Mountains. Without any belongings they moved to Hohenhameln near Hannover and started all over again. A misfortune, which turned into pure luck within a short period of time and led the Steinbachs to unexpected success.
New home – New World.
The head of the family, Christian Steinbach, quickly made contacts to the U.S. Soldiers that were stationed in the Hannover area and wanted to bring an original German souvenir back to the United States after their service. What would be better than traditional German woodcraft from the Steinbachs? Ever since they have produced mainly nutcrackers, which became more and more popular in America. Production and sales figures were steadily increasing and Steinbach became the synonym for Nutcrackers from Germany. After the German re-unification, the Steinbachs moved back to the Ore Mountains and opened their factory in Marienberg. So far, this period was the highlight and more than 200 employees produced nutcrackers in any possible shapes and figures.
Christian Steinbach, who promoted sales in the U.S. himself for many months, became the King of Nutcrackers and the business was flourishing up until his sudden death in 2008. His missing drive and the financial crisis in America became a serious problem and in 2015, the company went bankrupt. They had to shut down the factory in Marienberg and prospects were not looking too good.
From tradition and modernity
During that difficult time, the young entrepreneur Rico Paul from Dresden created an interest in Steinbach. He learned about the bankruptcy and the shutdown of the factory from an U.S. newspaper. Right away he knew that the Steinbach brand, the company as well as those beautiful nutcrackers, need to be salvaged. Already as a child, Mr. Paul marveled at his dad when he was carving figurines at his lathe. That was when he discovered his love for wooden art.
Together with employees, some old customers and suppliers, he created a concept to keep the tradition, but also make it more modern. The first months now lie behind us. Our main factory is back in Marienberg in the heart of the Ore Mountains. New marketing activities were designed, new sales channels acquired and old customers became friends.
The brand does have a new signature with a strong awareness for traditional values. The logo was modernised, packaging, brochures and catalogues got a new fancy design. New colours, shapes and fonts embellish the companys performance. Support for this digital makeover came from Mr. Pauls business partner Robert Liebich, who also carries the Ore Mountain gene. When he was a child, he loved to watch his dad assemble the hand-carved pyramid.
Together, Mr. Paul and Mr. Liebich have a vision for Steinbach:
„We want to bring the Ore Mountains magic into peoples homes all over the world.”
Meanwhile, the Steinbach Volkskunst GmbH became a family business again. Mr. Pauls and Mr. Liebichs children are designing their first Nutcracker line drawings and their dads both work at the production department every now and then and support them with their handicraft skills.
A new era has started.
With modern structures and traditional handicraft Steinbach will face a secure future.
we sketch and design
fabrics and colors are sampled
the blank workpieces are being varnished and refined
the wooden parts are getting their finishing touch
the fabrics are being processed in our sewing room
hair and mustache are being placed
With steady hand
even the smallest details can be realised
all the pieces are put together