Today, we present a guest article from Nina Hankiewicz-Brandes who is sharing stories about our supplier, Croll & Denecke.

Croll & Denecke background story

Ever since I can remember I am surrounded by natural sponges. In the house I grew up in my great-grandfather’s family business was downstairs, and we lived on the upper floors. Whenever a sponge delivery came, the we blocked the whole road off and all family members helped unload. On hot summer days, my sister and I cooled down in large barrels which were usually used for washing sponges. Every year we went on holiday where my father met business partners and bought raw natural sponges – mainly on small Greek islands and on the coast of Tunisia. While my father was buying sponges, we played with the children of the business partners. Today I do business with the same childhood friends of that time.


Natural sponges

In the meantime, I have been working in the family business myself for more than 10 years. Natural sponges never go out of style as they are plastic-free and wonderfully soft. It is simply a great product and I have added more products over the years that fit our company philosophy: Wellness with a good feeling and sustainability lived holistically. Some of the employees know me as a child and used to give me sweets. It’s just great to continue what my great-grandfather has started –  I associate tradition with the principles that are important to me.

Reducing plastic & more

The best thing about being self-employed is that you can decide for yourself. For example, I have worked hard to reduce plastic in our company, as this is something that matters to me personally. I continue the long-term and friendly relations with our suppliers and customers. I want to show my children that women are independent, strong and can actually run a business. Therefore, I am also so happy that my younger sister has joined the family business about one year ago. Together we can make the world a little better and make a difference!

Nina Hankiewicz-Brandes (on the left in the photo together with her dad and little sister Sara)