It all began in the cellar premises of the Hjellegjerde family in the fjord community of Sykkylven in Møre & Romsdal as long ago as 1941. The brothers Otto and Mindor Hjellegjerde started up the first production of furniture.
As the years went by that cellar had to be continually extended to make more room for production and a third brother, Ingvald, joined the team in 1946. With great commitment and a burning desire to create something, the brothers managed to build a company which has grown to be Norway’s largest furnishing group and a significant player in the development of the Norwegian furniture industry.
Hjellegjerde has undergone many changes since it all began in 1941, from a small family company to a listed group with markets spread across three continents. Right from the start the emphasis was on supplying quality furniture with comfort and Norwegian design, based on good craftsmanship. Modern technology also came to be a vital part of production. As with all success stories, there were reversals of fortune too.
The company has had two fires, the largest of them in 1981. Half the factory – about 4,500 square metres – went up in flames. A whole life’s work was lost, but this didn’t stop the brothers and, with the aid of a fantastic rescue operation from the employees, they managed to clear up after the fire. Just one month later production was under way again at Hjellegjerde® and in 1983 a new and modern factory opened its doors, risen from the ruins of the old.
Fjords should be an environmentally friendly company which focuses on recycling waste and using environmentally friendly materials.
The vast majority of our products are made from and with natural materials and input, so that the degree of pollution both during and after fabrication is minimal.
The companies in the group handle waste from the manufacturing process according to regulation and in an environmentally friendly and safe manner.
We are continually working at improving routines for internal control of health, environment and safety.
A dedicated organizational unit for health, safety and environment reports directly to the CEO. The unit exists to develop and formalize the company’s routines in close cooperation with the CEO and the management group. The companies of the group place a high priority on safety and on the working and general environment. Dedicated committees do significant work in this area. The Norwegian manufacturing companies are linked to the company health service.
The various units within the group are continually following up on absence due to illness and have set schemes in motion to reduce both short and long term absence.
Individual handling and follow up must be the most important single measure in the future. No significant material damage or personal injury has occurred or been reported during the past year.
Research and Development
We are fully focused on the future – whilst carrying the best from the past along with us. The past brought a wealth of knowledge and tradition – important and useful heirlooms for our designers and product developers to carry forward when they create new, modern furnishing concepts.
By being visible in the marketplace, both nationally and internationally, the Fjords collection is helping to decide the direction and set the agenda for tomorrow’s furnishing and interior trends. More and more people are therefore becoming aware of our furnishing collections, always signed with quality, comfort and all that is Norwegian.
What makes us different? Is it the landscape of contrasts around us, where the ceaseless movement of the ocean meets the sturdy solidity of the mountains? Or is it the light in Norway – constantly changing – sometimes light, sometimes dark, the one unable to exist without the other? Is that what makes us different from other furniture makers around the world? Yes and no. The nature around us is robust – what we make is solid. The nature around us is generous – our furniture is designed for generous comfort.
Tradition and innovation But the most important key to our philosophy is to find the meeting point of tradition and innovation, the point at which yesterday’s knowledge meets today’s technology. This makes us solid and trustworthy in everything from product quality to delivery. We are always moving towards our goal, just like the ocean we will always have our roots in the past, just like the mountain. That makes us unique. That makes us Fjords®.
Fjords should at all times be able to offer the customer attractive products which suit market needs, with the focus on profitable volume products across all markets.
We should achieve this by means of deliberate and targeted internal product development. The use of external design resources should be tailored to the company’s need for renewal, but with the focus on optimization within the defined product platforms and collection strategies.
Interaction between design, purchasing and in-house production should ensure the company optimum earnings and a high level of efficiency in our own production facilities.