Der Fassbruder: familiar, customer-oriented, human
When Franz Lang and his family first got to enjoy a Kirami hot tub at a friend's place just over two years ago, he fell in love with it immediately. The next day, he ordered exactly the same hot tub, and quickly made a decision: he wanted to bring this unique way of relaxation to more people and founded his own company, "Der Fassbruder", where a personal atmosphere is very important to him.
A visit to Bavaria and its consequences
Franz Lang from Stelzenberg in the Pfälzerwald region of south-west Germany fondly remembers the day he, his wife and their daughters visited friends in Bavaria. It is now just over two years ago - a day that changed the family's life completely.
- There was a wood-fired, Dark Walnut-coloured Kirami Breezy M hot tub, with a MACU heater and an insulating cover. After our kids had spent half the day in the hot tub having an incredible time, we adults got to enjoy it in the evening as well. After a while, it was clear to me that we should have one for the family," says Franz.
And so it happened. The very next day, the Langs bought exactly the same model from Bernhard, owner of a retailer called FrankenSpa. Two weeks later, Franz and one of his best friends drove to Nuremberg to pick up the hot tub. Already during the long car ride, the idea was born that it might be great to sell these hot tubs in his home region.
An idea gives rise to "Der Fassbruder"
- After the first two weeks of continuous use of the hot tub, I had no doubt that Kirami's Finnish hot tubs were in the right place in the Pfälzerwald. I sat down at the computer and started to do some research: market research, keyword analysis. I checked out the competitors and had my first conversation with Taina from Kirami. We were immediately on the same wavelength and I instantly felt part of the family," says the Palatinate native.
Soon after, "Der Fassbruder" was founded and things took off full of enthusiasm. Franz had found just the right niche, as there was not yet another Kirami retailer in the Pfälzerwald, one of the largest contiguous forest areas in Germany. This should change now, the ambitious career jumper decided.
- I am not a salesman by training, but an electronics engineer and firefighter. Nor could I ever have imagined running an online shop and my own business. But I was simply so in love with Kirami's hot tubs and convinced of their quality. Other manufacturers didn't have a chance," Franz laughs.
Beeing on first name terms with the customers
"Der Fassbruder" stands out from most typical online shops by the owner's genuine enthusiasm for his products and his commitment to providing a highly personalised service. For example, customers can assemble the package of their choice online using a self-developed configurator. But before making a purchase, they will have a personal conversation with the company founder.
- From the very beginning, it was clear that the identity of "Der Fassbruder" would be familiar, friendly and personal. I am on first name terms with all my customers, and customer service, accessibility and flexibility are very, very important to me. It's important to me to be able to sit down with my customers at their home table after the sale, whether it's a shared wine drink or a meal as a thank you," explains the friendly family man.
Without his family and their support, Franz could not imagine his business and its growth.
- I always say "we" because my wife Julia and I would never be where we are today without the help of our families and our closest and best friends. Our friends and family continue to help us where, when and how they can. Our business would not exist without these people.
An exhibition area designed with a big heart
This summer, the Fassbruder team is focused on a new project. The result is a 300 square metre exhibition area that can easily be expanded in the future. The aim was to create an area that was coherent in every way, so that potential customers would feel at home straight away.
- My wife and I went through the ideas and created a mood board. We showed it to our friend Michael Evers from Evers & Bojdo Außenanlagen in Kaiserslautern, a garden and landscaping company. Michael is the actual artist behind our exhibition. We just showed him the way. It was important for us to include the environment and atmosphere of the Pfälzerwald. Michael and his team used a lot of sandstone, while Julia brought back the idea of using acacia trunks as an element from a family holiday in the Netherlands.
The trunks are the unifying element in the exhibition, which extends over three levels. Especially at night, when the exhibition is illuminated by LED lights mounted like a tent, you can see the passion with which it has been created.
The right model for every customer
At the moment, potential customers can admire five different hot tubs at the "Der Fassbruder" exhibition area in Stelzenberg, ten kilometres from the town of Kaiserslautern, known in particular for its traditional football club.
- These include the customer favourite, Original Breezy, a Premium Steady Flow hybrid option with 3 kW electric heating, filter, water jets and a wood-fired MACU heater. It also comes with a Family staircase. The Cole Black-coloured Original Chill model and the Original Tiny Thermowood version are also available. The highlight of the moment, however, is the Thermowood-coloured Family L, in Stone Grey. This hot tub model is equipped with an air-heating pump," says Franz.
So far, there are no Kirami FinVision saunas on the exhibition site, but this is expected to change as soon as possible.
- I am interested in the new FinVision Nordic Misty S model. It fits perfectly into our environment and can be expanded very easily with Annex modules, the Kirami retailer looks to the future.
Of course, it is already possible to order the preferred sauna models from "Der Fassbruder".
Soon even more hot tubs and saunas in German gardens?
Franz Lang firmly believes that we will see more and more hot tubs and saunas in German gardens in the future. He sees huge potential for the products, especially in his home region.
- The advantage of the hot tubs is that they can be used all year round without being limited by the weather. Kirami provides a wide range with its various hot tub options. Not all people from Saarland and Palatinate know us yet. I see great potential especially in the federal state of Saarland, because Saarland has the highest density of owner-occupied housing in the Federal Republic. Moreover, Saarlanders, like the people of Palatinate, are incredibly nice and open-minded people who know how to relax.
Franz predicts a similar scenario for saunas.
- I see a clear trend towards garden saunas. Many people no longer necessarily always want to go to a public sauna. On the other hand, the traditional basement sauna is losing popularity, and more and more people want to create their own oasis of well-being with their own garden sauna. However, the wide range of options on offer can quickly overwhelm the customer. With the FinVision sauna, Kirami offers a great product for all regular sauna users who want to enjoy a sauna in their own backyard.
An unforgettable trip to Lake Constance
Can you think of any particularly fun or unforgettable moments related to Kirami's hot tubs?
- Quite a few. My favourite moment has to do with a client's recommendation to his cousin. For this cousin, we delivered a Family-L hot tub from Stelzenberg to Lake Constance. The whole trip was originally planned with my family so that we could spend an extra day at Lake Constance as a reward," says Franz.
In the end, plans changed and the Palatinate resident headed south with his best friend.
- After about 250 kilometres and a five-hour drive with trailer and hot tub, after arriving, setting up and connecting, they cooked us a meal and we sat down together with the whole group. That night, I did not share the vacation home provided by the clients with my family, but with my best friend. I will never forget this trip.
„Der Fassbruder – finnisch gut!“
Franz Lang has lots of plans for the future.
- The ideas and visions are big. We want to continue to reach out to new customers and make our products better known in our region. To achieve this, we are happy to participate several times a year in various trade fairs in the region. We would also like to expand our exhibition area with saunas, among other things. We want our exhibition to be a place where people like to spend time.
Together with the Wolfsschlucht holiday park, "Der Fassbruder" is also planning a sauna and relaxation area at the Wolfsschlucht holiday park in Prüm. Franz Lang counts on Kirami as a strong partner. The holiday park will soon offer the opportunity to try out hot-tubbing.
- From the very beginning, the partnership with Kirami has always been equal, honest, without hurry and with a sense of purpose. I really enjoy working with Kirami and consider it a privilege to be a retailer. What I particularly appreciate about Kirami is the excellent support that we and our customers receive from Finland. Especially when we just had started, it was worth its weight in gold. I hope that this cooperation will continue for a long time.
Franz Lang showed a Palatinate sense of humour when he chose the slogan for his company. It is: "Der Fassbruder, finnisch gut!".
- In the Palatinate dialect, "finn isch gut" means "I like this", while in written German it literally means something like "good from Finland".
From 1 to 3 September 2023, the opening of the new exhibition area of "Der Fassbruder" will be celebrated in Stelzenberg. You are warmly welcome!
For more information about the Kirami retailer "Der Fassbruder" in Stelzenberg, near Kaiserslautern, visit the website of the family business or follow the company's social media channels on Facebook and Instagram.