On 30 April 2020, the longtime sales manager of Gunold GmbH, Kajo Bauer, went into his well-deserved retirement. He has worked for Gunold for almost half a century and has accordingly experienced many new challenges.
“I am actually the longest working employee at Gunold, a veteran, so to speak”, Kano Bauer says. Anyone who knows him, knows about his calm, pragmatic manner, and so he is also quite relaxed about the time that will now lie ahead of him as a pensioner starting in May 2020.
On 2 november Kajo Bauer begins his professional career as a draftsman in the company which at that time still operates under the name of Gunold + Stickma GmbH. At that time, Gunold was mainly specialized in the creation of embroidery designs, but had already started to sell embroidery threads and other embroidery materials for embroidery production since 1969.
The year 1976 is also an important year for the Gunold company, because then Gunold starts its own production of threads. With Beerli AG, Switzerland, the right partner is quickly found. Beerli AG takes over the twisting, winding and dyeing. In their winding facility in Stockstadt, the thread is then and still today given the appropriate make-up for the customer as 1,000m miniking cones or as 5,000m cones.
Gunold + Stickma America
In 1984, Kajo says “goodbye” to Stockstadt and moves to Atlanta, USA together with his wife Beate. Here, until 1989, he was involved in establishing Gunold + Stickma of America, which was founded in 1982. “I was particularly responsible for setting up the drawing and digitising department. That was a very exciting time that I wouldn’t want to miss,” he says. In particular, the experience of living and working in another country opens up your own horizons. “Our two children were born in the USA, which has had a major impact on us as a family”.
From 1989 to 1992 and back in Germany, Kajo took on completely new tasks. “In 1987 Gunold introduced the first computerized digitising and editing system. This was a real milestone not only for us, but for the entire embroidery industry,” says Kajo. So for the next three years, he is responsible for on-site training for this system at the customer’s premises. In 1992, when the position of Sales Manager for Germany, Austria, Switzerland (D-A-CH) becomes vacant, Kajo Bauer seizes this opportunity, and applies for and is offered the position.
As a trained wholesaler, he has the necessary qualifications, but Kajo is also completing a three-year distance learning course in business administration. “A very strenuous phase and also a burden on my family, but I have learned many important things for the job as sales manager”.
Gunold enters a New Era
In 1996, Gunold GmbH follows Gunold + Stickma GmbH with its main focus on embroidery threads and supplies. Beerli AG acquires 50% of the Gunold GmbH shares and therefore the consistent integration of production & sales for embroidery threads has been created. “At that time, production in large quantities was rarely done in Central Europe. But promotion wear became more and more important, as well as single piece production or small series. Here we were able to score very well as a supplier for one-stop shopping and our service offers also convinced the customers”. In particular, the laser cutting service and laser sales of CadCam Technology from 2001 onwards were well received by the market. “It was a great pleasure for me to help build up this technology, it is simply very important to me,” emphasizes Kajo.
Kajo Bauer has spent spent 28 years as Sales Manager Germany-Austria Switzerland at Gunold GmbH. He fondly remembers the first laser order from Engelbert Strauss, “that was quite a great thing”. Meanwhile the laser department with three laser machines has become an important service offer from Gunold.
Also the two anniversary celebrations of the Gunold company will be well remembered: In 1997, when Gunold celebrated its 70th anniversary and three years ago, in 2017 the beautiful boat tour on the Main river on the occasion of the 90th anniversary celebration. “I’ve always thoroughly enjoyed working in this industry. The embroidery industry is simply a very special, great community”, Kajo Bauer sums up the many years for himself.
In the future, Kajo wants to devote more time to his many hobbies of dancing, cycling, swimming and painting and spend more time with his grandchildren. “And that is also something really enjoyable to look forward to” he says.