A century of bright accents from Coburg
Still located in Coburg where it was founded in 1919 HELLUM finds itself at the heart of Upper Franconia. The company specializes in manufacturing and selling light chains and decorative illuminations for indoor and outdoor use.
In the fast moving consumer goods sector, it is definitely remarkable when a company manages to be successful for a 100 years in the same branch of industry. In 2019, Hellum celebrates its hundredth birthday.
Competence and Innovation in Decorative Lighting
At Christmas and throughout the rest of the year, products by HELLUM add a festive touch to households and gardens, illuminate hotel lobbies and restaurants or brighten up stores and shopping malls. HELLUM products are marketed through retail stores and DYI / gardening stores all over Germany, Austria and other European countries.
From welding machine to incandescent lamp
On January 2nd in 1919, Hans Jahn goes to the local court of Coburg to officially register the ”Metallwarenfabrikation Hans Jahn“ with the authorities. The company starts off by developing and manufacturing matrices and welding machines for the production of electrical wires.
A few years later, HELLUM has fully automated its production of lamp holders and electrodes and exports them into foreign countries. The required machinery is also developed and manufactured at HELLUM’s own production facilities.
To make room for the fabrication of incandescent lamps, HELLUM moves to larger premises at the city center of Coburg in the mid-1930s. HELLUM even had its own engineering department and specialized in manufacturing custom-designed products.
All Kinds of Light
As raw materials and staff are scarce, Hellum has to downsize its production to a minimum during World War II. But soon after the end of the war HELLUM is back in business. Although the company has lost many customers due to the division of Germany into East and West and despite the continuing lack of materials, the production is quickly ramped up.
In 1950, HELLUM presents its portfolio at the Hannover Industrial Fair. In the following years, HELLUM becomes one of the most modern companies in the light industry with fully automated assembly lines. HELLUM manufactures light sources of all kinds and starts the production of Christmas and other decorative lighting.
In the 1960s, HELLUM has its own production facility were injection-molded plastic parts for Christmas light chains are manufactured. With more than 200 employees, HELLUM is one of the most important employers in the region.
An excellent export company
In the 1970s, the focus turns more and more towards decorative lighting. Hellum demonstrates its innovative spirit again in 1974 when Hanna Jahn takes over as managing director. She is one of the very few women in Germany leading an industrial company at the time. 23 years later, she is awarded the silver Ludwig Erhardt Medal to honor her efforts for the economic area of Coburg.
Shortly before, the company has moved to even larger premises in the suburbs where a new production facility with fully automated assembly lines had been constructed during the 1980s.
Hellum goes international
The start of the new millennium marks a profound change in the world market due to the fast-growing globalization. HELLUM further expands its import activities. Today, most products are imported directly from Asia where HELLUM entertains long-term partnerships with selected suppliers.
In 2013, HELLUM opens a large show-room in South-China‘s million-metropolis Guangzhou where prospective customers can see the full portfolio on display. However, HELLUM maintains its on-site production facilities and today is the only German manufacturer of lighting decorations. The Christmas light chains from the “Made in Germany” collection are still bestsellers.
A unique blend of tradition and innovation under one roof
Only few companies manage to blend their international activities with traditional workmanship successfully – HELLUM is one of them. Even today, specially trained technicians produce light chains at HELLUM's on-site production facilities. This makes HELLUM the only company in Germany to manufacture light chains by itself.
The "Made-in-Germany" collection is a true classic and still among the most-ordered HELLUM Christmas products.
A new start after 100 years
When former owner Dieter Skiba-Jahn decides to withdraw from the business in 2017, the Hellum story seems to come to an end only two years before its hundredths anniversary. But Joachim Rüther, Managing Director of HELLUM since 2009, takes the initiative and founds Hellum Handels- und Produktions-GmbH & Co. KG.
The new company sets fresh accents and launches many technical innovations, among them smart home lighting, sustainable LED technology and the new Living Choice brand with elegant furnishing accessories that is bound to quickly secure new markets. With this enhanced portfolio, a streamlined organizational structure and a new sales concept, HELLUM sets off into the next century of company history!