by Fabian Peters | 12/14/2017
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Today Vipp AS is run by Jette Egelund, daughter of the founder, Holger Nielsen. The waste bin is still the same, but the company has undertaken major changes since Jette Egelund took over in 1993. Read the story of how the company developed throughout the last decade.1931 Holger Nielsen – a craftsman
Vipp was founded in Denmark by Holger Nielsen. Born in 1914, he trained as a metal spinner. One Sunday, 17-year-old Holger went as usual to watch his local football club play when, to his surprise, his ticket, which had been entered in a draw, was selected. He had won a car. Holger loved cars, but as he didn’t yet have a driving licence, he sold the car to raise money to buy a metal press with which he started his own metal workshop.
The story of Vipp begins in 1939 in the small Danish town of Randers when Marie, wife of Holger Nielsen, asked him to make a handy waste bin for her new hairdressing salon. The 25-year-old metal spinner obviously wanted to impress his wife, so he designed and produced a pedal bin for her, which he named Vipp. Subsequently, some of Marie’s customers, the wives of the local GPs and dentists, were so impressed with the bin that they ordered it for their husbands’ surgeries and dental clinics. This is how the Vipp pedal bin was born.The Danish term “vippe” means “rocking”, imitating the function of the lid when stepping on the pedal. This is probably why Holger Nielsen named his invention Vipp. But no one knows for sure. 1949 – Production changes
In the late 40s, it became technically possible to draw stainless steel, and having originally turned the lid, Holger Nielsen invested in a hydraulic press and used the new technique to give the lid its familiar domed, smooth design.In the following years, the Vipp bin became a common feature in most Danish dentists’ and doctors’ practices. The bins were made to order and Holger employed a person to help him. Production continued like this for more than 40 years at the workshop in the small town of Randers.1992 – The daughter takes over
When Holger Nielsen died at the age of 78, his wife Marie initially inherited the company. But the hairdresser had no intention of keeping production going. She still ran her own salon, which she, incidentally, managed until she was 83.After a few months, the youngest daughter, Jette Egelund, took control of the company, as she couldn’t bear to see her father’s work being sold.1995
– A new target group: design buffs
The bin being sold almost exclusively to the industrial and professional market, Jette Egelund saw the opportunity of cultivating an entirely new market. She believed that the bin could be sold as a trendy fitting and therefore took the bin under her arm and visited some of the most sophisticated furniture shops. However, no one could see its charm – yet. In fact, they couldn’t wait to see her back.Jette quit her full-time job and initially managed the company from her bedroom desk. Every day she received orders for 5-10 bins, but the company was far from making a profit and it was still hard to make ends meet.1998 – New facilities
Due to worn-out machinery, pure necessity made Jette Egelund outsource part of the production. She now realises that outsourcing can be used as a strategy to save her from massive investments and a heavy, cost-intensive production facility in future. A manufacturer on the Danish island of Lolland gets the job. A new era has begun.Jette Egelund brings her children Sofie Egelund and Kasper Egelund into the company. They both partake in the daily running of Vipp.2004 - Expansion
The company moves to larger headquarters in a hundred year-old royal printing house, renovated by the acknowledged Danish architect Frank Maali.For the first time in Vipp’s history, designers were hired to work on and develop new products for Vipp. So far Vipp has launched a soap dispenser and a towel range – with many more products to come.Vipp Art - from haute couture to Louvre
Vipp has invited design icons like Christian Lacroix, Philippe Starck, Sir Terence Conran, Karim Rashid and many more to decorate bins for charity.In 2006, Vipp and the designer Mauricio Clavero were invited to create a limited art edition for the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris. The exhibition showed bins and soap dispensers covered in crystals, mosaic stones, and lighting, travelling to the major cities in Europe.