This is our story!
Unexpected challenges and digitalisation
An unusual start to the new year: due to the ongoing pandemic situation, PSI will only be held digitally this year. So new ways have to be found to inform the industry about the umbrella innovations.
The FARE® DoggyBrella, an umbrella with a very special additional benefit, was awarded the Red Dot Design Award in the product design category. Its removable handle is filled with a roll of dog waste bags. It is also printed throughout with paw prints - a must-have for every dog owner.
FARE is launching the #waterSAVEchallenge to support the organisation viva con agua. All retailers are invited to take part. With every waterSAVE® umbrella model sold, FARE will donate 6 cents per litre of water saved to viva con agua for concrete projects such as water filters, hygiene workshops, etc. The industrial customer who has chosen the waterSAVE® umbrella model will receive the donation certificate for the supported project.
This year FARE celebrated its 65th anniversary. An actual celebration could not take place due to the pandemic, but there were still many exciting events. Clients were able to benefit from special promotional offers this year.
In March, the FARE feed went online: a new section on the homepage with a mix of exciting stories and useful facts about current issues, campaigns and products.
As the campaign progressed, FARE reacted flexibly to the current situation and added masks to its programme. The reusable community mask FARE®-Mundschirm can be designed online by customers thanks to an introduced mask designer. Another milestone was the introduction of a new cloud-based ERP (enterprise resource planning) system in August. This has put FARE in a competitive and innovative position for the digital future.
This was also a thoroughly exciting year at the product level. Once again, two new products convinced the juries and won an award: the oversize pocket umbrella FARE®-AOC Colorline is the red dot winner 2020 and the AC midsize stick umbrella FARE®-Sound won the Promotional Gift Award 2020.
The introduction of the waterSAVE cover material at the beginning of the year represented an innovation in sustainability. This combines the use of recycled plastics with a sustainable dyeing process. This resource-saving process was used for three new products and the popular Style series. The cover material was also certified according to STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX®.
The popular Welcome Home Tour takes place contactless for the first time: With a virtual exhibition hall, combined with live presentations via video chat, the participating companies have created a new home for the tour.
FARE was awarded in the new category of the Sustainability Awards "Innovator of the Year". The resource-saving production of the waterSAVE® cover material and the fact that all companies along the value chain - from the manufacturer to the end customer - fulfil a role model function in terms of sustainability convinced the jury.
More intensive marketing, new innovations and further growth
Modern design, combined with FARE®'s customary quality, was also an important impetus for continuing to make our products special in this year's new products. This was proven once again by the 5062 FiligRain Only95 mini pocket umbrella and the 7399 FARE®-Precious, which won a double award in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2019.
FARE®'s decision to offer its own apprenticeships in warehouse logistics and e-commerce in September 2019, as well as a dual study programme with a focus on business informatics, is intended to ensure a successful future for the company.
In July, the time had finally come! The new FARE® building was inaugurated and occupied! This took place with a small summer party, where the management celebrated the move-in with employees, relatives, architects, neighbours, representatives of the contractors and craftsmen.
This marks the beginning of a new chapter for FARE®. The successful investment in the extension is thus a promise for the future and long-term development of the company.
2017 - 2018
The topic of "sustainability" is also becoming increasingly important in the promotional products industry. We at FARE® were the first in the umbrella industry to tackle the issue of "green articles" in 2011. Our article 3299 ÖkoBrella has a cover made of recycled plastic material and a frame made of rapidly renewable bamboo. At the beginning of September 2017, the 5429 AOC mini pocket umbrella ÖkoBrella is awarded Sustainable Product of the Year 2017 by the jury of the
PSI Sustainability Awards.
In mid-September of that year, a truly major project gets underway - with the groundbreaking ceremony, Managing Director Volker Griesel officially opens the construction site for an extension that will connect the previously separate buildings and create a representative whole.
Inventiveness and quality are two important characteristics that define our products. This is proven once again by the 7905 AC midsize cane umbrella FARE®-Switch with its LED-lit cane, which won the Promotional Gift Award 2018 in December, as well as the 7939 guest umbrella FARE®-Square, which was awarded "Honourable Mention" in the Red Dot Award: Product Design 2018. Products that impress with well thought-out detailed solutions are honoured with this honourable mention for a particularly successful aspect of design work.
In addition to the FARE® main catalogue - now called FACTBOOK - the FARE® STYLEBOOK is published for the first time. This provides the advertising material trade with a new sales document for their industrial customers, which simply whets the appetite for our quality umbrellas on 32 pages!
The topping-out ceremony in May 2018 is a traditional celebration of the completion of the building shell and paves the way for a successful future.
The jury of the Promotional Gift Awards gave the FARE® Style an award in the category "Communicative Product" for its special colour concept. One more reason to expand the successful Style family with an automatic pocket umbrella that takes the unusual combination of coloured rails and handle rings and expands it with coloured seams.
The electric mini pocket umbrella FARE®-iAuto was also awarded by this jury. In addition, our world first, which opens and closes completely electrically at the touch of a button, also received the recognised Red Dot Design Award.
As part of the "Experience Business" event, the FARE® factory outlet is opened in Remscheid Lüttringhausen, where we display part of our range and offer it for sale.
At www.fabrella.de, FARE® has provided an online shop for end consumers.
2012 - 2015
The FARE® team consistently pushes ahead with product expansions and developments and small remaining gaps in the range are closed. The new products are tailored to the advertising market and convince with fashionable and innovative products. A responsible approach to the environment and people in the production facilities is very important to FARE. For this reason, the company is a member of the BSCI. Through constant auditing, FARE is demonstrably and visibly committed to fair working conditions and occupational health and safety in the supplier countries.
In summer 2015, FARE® celebrates its 60th anniversary in the Wolkenburg in Cologne.
On the occasion of this event, FARE is presenting a world first: FARE®-iAuto! The first pocket umbrella that can be opened electrically and closed completely at the touch of a button. Instead of presents, Managing Director Volker Griesel wishes for shining children's eyes on the occasion of the company's 60th birthday. 20,000 euros are handed over to Salvatore Lerose in August to support the promotion measures of the Lerose Foundation.
Due to the influx of refugees, there is a great need for clothing and hygiene articles. Umbrellas are also urgently needed in the emergency shelters. In addition to umbrella donations, FARE® supports the refugee project of radio journalist Horst Kläuser and is developing the "Remscheid Umbrella for Refugees". Various Remscheid retail shops sell the umbrella. The proceeds from the umbrellas go immediately to refugee work.
With the introduction of the FARE®-Style, FARE® offers an elegant midsize stick umbrella with an anthracite cover and a surprising colour concept; when opened at the push of a button, the bright colours of the stick, rails and handle ring are revealed, giving the umbrella an appealing overall design.
In autumn, the new website with a new webshop is published.
Günter Schmidt is given power of attorney in 2015, and by the end of 2015 the FARE® team has grown to 42 employees.
The FARE team is consistently driving the product upgrades and developments forwards. The new product models are tailored to the advertising market and are convincing due to fashionable and innovative models. A responsible way of dealing with the environment and people is very important to FARE. For this reason, the company is a member of the amfori BSCI. Through constant auditing, FARE demonstrably and visibly campaigns for fair working conditions and health and safety in the workplace in the supplier countries. To the Code of Conduct.
The strengthening of the sales team and the establishment of an IT Department allow the FARE team to continue to grow. The new PR campaign "I am real", which presents umbrellas as people in familiar life situations, is very popular. Lutz Albrecht is granted the general power of attorney to act for the company.
The FARE team has now grown to include some 34 employees. An internal marketing department is established in the company. Marketing activities are intensified. In close cooperation with an advertising agency, the brand’s mission statement is reworked. In the course of the development of the new corporate design for FARE, the logo is again modified. The dominant shadow is removed.
FARE continues to grow
Office space is extended to include a second high bay warehouse and screen printers.
The company name is changed. Formerly “Guenther Fassbender Inh. Gerhard Griesel GmbH”, the company is renamed on 01.01.2007 “FARE – Guenther Fassbender GmbH”. As in the new logo, the brand name FARE is clearly prominent here, thus neatly rounding off the brand modernisation which began in 2005.
JCK Holding Ltd Textil KG becomes a partner in FARE; its global presence in sales and purchasing create valuable synergies for the company. Various renowned companies from the promotional product industry are incorporated under the roof of this holding (see “Our partners”).
FARE celebrates its 50th birthday. In its anniversary year, the FARE team is right where it wants to be: of the 25 million umbrellas imported to Germany each year, approx. 1.5 million are from FARE. This approximates to a quantitative market share of roughly 6%. FARE calculates the actual value of the share at around 15 %. The fare logo is modified. It is now modern, clear and unambiguous. The diamond shaped pictogram is retained: the globe is replaced by a stylised umbrella. At heart of the logo: FARE as a brand.
Junior boss Volker Griesel takes over 100% of the company shares. Various staff celebrate long years of service in the company (10 years: S. Heinrich, 15 years: G. Dörner, 25 years: B. Drewniok).
FARE is the first company to sell TÜV-certified double automatic oversize pocket umbrellas.
The construction of a large new building incorporating a state-of-the-art high-bay warehouse ensures the young, motivated FARE team are able to fulfil FARE’s promise to provide “Top quality, market prices and excellent service.” The number of employees doubles. And something new again: FARE sells its first rucksacks.
FARE is the first company to provide TÜV certification for some of its luxury models. From now on, all Windfighter® products are given the TÜV seal of approval.
The question of succession is resolved
Innovation à la FARE
FARE was the first, and to date only, company to launch the Genie® Magic on the market – the smallest automatically opening and closing pocket umbrella in the world.
The corporate succession is initiated when Volker Griesel, now a managing director of the company, acquires a 40% share in the company. Brand name products and various products which conform to ISO standards establish FARE as a first-rate, independent label. Best proof: once again, FARE is the first company to launch Magic-Light® on to the market, a magical, automatically opening and closing mini pocket umbrella made of aluminium, which weighs just 300 g.
Griesel senior brings Griesel junior on board: Gerhard Griesel and his son Volker travel together to Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. In the same year, FARE is the first company to sell a mini pocket umbrella made of aluminium, weighing just 200 g.
FARE now concentrates exclusively on high-quality promotional umbrellas and secures exclusive sales rights for the new generation of mini pocket umbrellas that open and close automatically: FARE’s magical mini, the Trimagic®, is a complete hit.
The first global innovation
The company is renamed FARE Ltd. With Taiwan now becoming too expensive, Gerhard Griesel transfers umbrella production to China, and presents the world with a stunning innovation: the first pocket umbrella to open and close automatically (later also known as FUTEC).
Company moves to new and larger premises in Remscheid-Lennep (Germany), Westring 20.
Concentrating on promotional umbrellas
Umbrellas take first place Asia is catching up fast, so it’s hardly surprising that tool exports decline. Thus Gerhard Griesel begins to concentrate more strongly on umbrellas: the import of finished fashion umbrellas increasingly supplants the import of frames. Takeover of the complete acquisition for Germany’s largest umbrella factory in Wuppertal, involving regular trips to Taiwan to monitor design and quality in the production plants.
New partners in Taiwan After 10 years, the cooperation with Japanese umbrella frame suppliers is terminated due to prices. Taiwan is cheaper; thus new business relationships are forged, which are upheld for 17 years. Fassbender now also supplies umbrella manufacturers in France and Belgium.
Farewell and takeover Margot Fassbender, who founded the company, dies suddenly at just 31 years of age. The general partnership is dissolved. Gerhard Griesel becomes sole proprietor of the company.
Gerhard Griesel becomes a general partner of Fassbender OHG.
In the course of his first trip to the Far East, Gerhard Griesel meets a Japanese businessman who manufactures parts for umbrellas. A business idea is born. In cooperation with the Japanese, he sets up an import line for umbrella parts. Fassbender supplies German, Austrian and Swiss manufacturers of umbrellas – who were, in those days, numerous – with frames and handles for umbrellas.
Year of separation Guenther Fassbender leaves the company, which becomes a general partnership.
The founding years
After completing vocational training in export sales, Gerhard Griesel joined the Fassbender company in Remscheid-Lennep. In the years following, the company exported virtually anything that could be sold on a global scale: 2,500 hectolitres of beer to Nigeria, mountains of Brussels sprouts and television sets to Singapore ...
Together with his wife Margot, Guenther Fassbender founded the Fassbender company as sole proprietors on 3 January 1955, exporting tools of all kinds to the Near and Far East.