Meet Christian and Armin, Co-founders of Woodberg - Concept Store in Darmstadt, Germany
Woodberg store in Darmstadt, Germany
Woodberg in a few words
Woodberg was founded as a pure online shop in 2014 by two friends (Armin and Christian) who share a passion not only for sports and a healthy lifestyle and wellbeing but for high-quality natural skin care. The focus is on international brands that are not to be found everywhere and that value highly effective formulas, innovative ingredients and no animal testing… but first and foremost: brands and products with that certain 'je ne sais quoi'. The carefully curated range includes small indie manufacturers, internationally renowned eco-brands, traditional companies and, increasingly, niche perfumes which can be found online and since 2017 accompanied by a brick and mortar store in the heart of Germany.
Armin (on the left) & Christian (on the right), Woodberg’s co-founders
Why did you start this store?
We both have been working in regular and kind of reputable jobs. We have been studying for these jobs and our whole life was quite streamlined to - some day - climb the corporate ladder… In some way it was rewarding - no doubt - but not really fulfilling. There was a lack of passion that we both recognized. And there was this feeling, that creativity has no share in our daily work life. We wanted to change that and started the side project Woodberg - parallel to our regular job because this was the platform to do the things we have a passion for. And then.. .a few years later the side project developed and now its a full-time company for quite a bunch of great folks.
What what would you say define this store?
It may sound corny and frequently mentioned but it’s the time, effort and love that everyone who is working at Woodberg spends in doing what they do. We often don’t do the things streamlined and efficient. Thats not the main focus. The focus is to do it right even if it is not the most economic approach. From the process of choosing brands and products, communicating with customers and handling issues, to keeping the good vibe between everyone, spending time together and standing up for the things we value like sustainability, veganism, gender awareness and especially feminism. And we don’t lie: (really :-) it’s in the in the employment agreement. If a customer wants to buy a skin oil which is not the right one regarding the skin type but he is so convinced and wants it very bad and we could make easy money … we try to convince them not to buy it and to maybe try something else.
What are your criteria for product selection?
First of all: The products need to do their job - so they have to be good and effective. In addition to that we have hard criteria's they have to meet: no animal testing (within the whole ingredient chain), a high degree of naturalness, no ingredients from China (due to the fact that China has no animal protection at all), uniqueness, a great look and feel and the brand must be a smaller one - a so called niche brand. We do test every product with the team and evaluate if its a product for our shop or if it is not.
What is your funniest customer memory?
A Saturday, back in the days we have been working in the store - wich is and always was a crowded and busy day in the store. A customer standing in front of us and looking at us in a very - lets' call it special - way. And then.. out of thin air he just dropped his pants and showed us his dry skin next to a very delicate kind of region, asking us if we have something against this kind of dry skin in this special area… but you know what we had a serum/oil-kind of thing which was the perfect match ;)
What is your most touching customer memory?
We all here really love Kids. One of the most touching experiences for me was a little girl looking at me in the store, eating her giant ice cream - she had these traces of chocolate around her mouth. She was maybe 8 or 9 years old. And then she said that she loves this place and that her mother always buys her a nail polish when they visit the store. And one day - when she is older - she wants to work here because then she can have as much nail polish as she wants. Then.. you could to tell that she was really thinking .. she asked me: "How old must I be to work here ..or can I help you after school if my mother allows it…"
That was really touching!
What is your favorite product in the store selection?
It is the incredible Leaf Razor. It is a product for EVERYONE - and that is one of the fascinating aspects of it. It is the most special safety razor ever developed. The Leaf Razor is an all-metal, beautifully designed razor handle that integrates the cheap, standard double-edge razor blades into a modern form factor. With a pivoting head and multiple-blades. You can use it for every part of your body or for the face. A product that lasts forever, just metal no plastic, it provides a much cheaper shave, and the most sensitive shave due to the sharper blades that need less pressure. ..and it’s sooooo clean and beautiful.
What is your favorite Bon Parfumeur perfume?
It's definitely 701. It is peppery and has this special combination of grapefruit and bergamot surrounded by eucalyptus and somehow smells for some seconds like a joint. What I love about it is that it is very hard to categorize. Fresh but woody but green but special. …
Are you a Mix&Match lover?
Of course. I love to smell the mix of the fruity yellow fragrances combined with the very elegant and flowery rose-colored scents for example 201 and 102. But from my personal experience I would categorize this combination as a perfume for women…
See you soon on Woodberg.com!