Margret Porwoll is a hat maker. A damper mounts in her studio by a convenience store. Headwear is made by hand, especially for women, but also for men. Every hat, every cap is unique and takes several hours to make. Your little shop in downtown Braunschweig is finally open regularly again. During the pandemic, she had to shut it down: “I’ve worked mainly for events: that means horse races, theater, shootings, jallas, stage ball, weddings — and that has just broken. In sales, I have to interact with him.”
The single mother returned to her previous job. She returned to work as a nurse in a nursing home. It was so good that way, that I could keep her shop at all—and thus she is the only hat maker in Braunschweig, says Borwall: ‘I noticed how I missed it. Now that’s the case for me that interest, that social thing too and I’d like to go to A little further. I’m now on daily support and I have to say: I find this combination very nice for me.”
Customers are still clearly wary
In addition to her job as a hat maker, Burrol now accompanies elderly people in their daily lives several times a week. She was fortunate to have learned two professions. You have not applied for funds from aid packages. Above all, the artist wanted to help herself during the pandemic — like many in the industry, says Sabine Welp. She is the president of the Federal Society of Arts and Crafts.
The mood in the industry is back for the better again: the markets are back again, the stores are open: “People are coming back again, but they’re still more cautious. If you saw that at our showroom, I’d say we might have half the numbers we used to have. We still We are working on trying to get back to where we were before, but it’s not easy at the moment.”
On-site advice on crafts is crucial
Advising clients on site is critical in arts and crafts. Several online stores have been set up, including a hat maker, Burol, but: “The Internet does not work well for me because I have to keep my head here. I only work in a way that adapts to people, so that then it looks good.”
Goldsmith Oliver Gudehus also prefers to work in his small shop on the outskirts of downtown. There he advises his customers – still wearing a mask. Gudehus is currently feeling the consequences of the war and epidemic elsewhere: the prices of gold and other metals such as silver or palladium have risen sharply again: “It used to be that I said: Well, I wanted to make myself a Christmas present, I stopped it and better collect it until Christmas ” .
Beware of new restrictions in fall and winter
Many clients will drop out of the planned projects. In order to be able to maintain his price level somewhat, Gudehus had to design his jewelry pieces differently, and there was also a rise in energy costs. After all, weddings and other celebrations are now happening more frequently again – but neither the hat-maker Burol nor the goldsmith Goodhouse knows how autumn will turn out.
Association President Welbe is concerned about possible epidemic events in the fall and winter: “It is always around the time of Christmas, when the vast majority of artisans really sell their products and really make half of their sales there. Showrooms are closed again or markets are canceled, it would be a real disaster. We’ve had that for two years now, and we don’t want it to happen for the third year.” Because Christmas markets, craft markets – that’s what counts.