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Q&A WITH JETTE EGELUND
2ND GENERATION IN THE VIPP FAMILY
Jette Egelund is the youngest daughter of Holger Nielsen and she was born 11 years later than the bin. Jette grew up with the bin; the Vipp factory was placed in the backyard of her childhood home. When Jette takes over her father's company in 1992, she has a dream - having grown up with the bin used in her childhood home, she wants others to enjoy the bin in their home as well.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE FOR YOU
TAKING OVER VIPP?
In one word: tough. Imagine, I had been a social worker in Copenhagen for years, and suddenly I found myself with a metal factory and two employees in my hometown Randers in the other end of the country. I had just gone through a difficult divorce, and it was back to basics. I had to learn everything from scratch. I stayed in my childhood room and spent long nights bending plates of steel in the workshop. But I simply could not bear to see my father’s life’s work sold and disappear – I knew the bin had potential.
WHAT WOULD YOUR FATHER SAY
IF HE SAW VIPP TODAY?
He would have a very hard time comprehending it. You have to understand, my father was a craftsman first and foremost, not a merchant. He had his mind so deeply buried in the product, and he had never imagined Vipp would become more than it already was. I am sure he would have loved to see it happen in his lifetime. But it took a generational change – a shift of gears so to speak – before we really got people to see the qualities of the bin.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST BIG SUCCSESS WITH VIPP?
In 1994 I went to London to fulfil an old dream of seeing the Royal Albert Hall. On this trip I stopped by the renowned design store The Conran Shop. I had no appointment, nothing except the bin under my arm. In some way, I got them to talk to me for two minutes, but they showed no interest at all. I went off pretty downcast, but I left the bin behind hoping they would change their minds. Back in my little office in Denmark everything was quiet until I noticed that my fax machine had run out of paper. Paper in, and out came the order from The Conran Shop I had hoped so much for. This was a confirmation that I had something right going on.
WHERE DO YOU SEE VIPP IN 10 YEARS?
Vipp has given me so many fantastic experiences throughout the years, and I am positive the coming 10 years will offer many more. The best part about Vipp is our fantastic team that can row the boat and make sure that we realize our dream of becoming a brand you turn to when you are looking for timeless tools for your home.
WHY IS VIPP
As I remember, my father’s bin was called Vipp from the very beginning. Since my father had no English skills it for sure didn’t have anything to do with a VIP bin. I simply forgot to ask my father why he named it Vipp.
In Danish, 'vippe' means 'to tilt'; it describes the movement of a bin lid when the foot pedal is pressed. As my son Kasper explained it; 'you can tilt a lid—so you Vipp a lid'. Vipp is a movement. At least that is our theory.