Innerspring supplier Starsprings AB, headquartered in Herrljunga, Sweden, is celebrating its 100th anniversary this month.
The company is marking the anniversary with a series of events throughout the year, including a celebration for all employees and other surprises for staff and customers.
Starsprings traces its roots to March 1, 1918, when founder Eric Stjerna formed E. Stjerna and started manufacturing upholstered furniture and carpeting in an abandoned sauna. Today, 100 years and two generations later, the company operates facilities in four countries on three continents—at its headquarters in southern Sweden, as well as in Curitiba, Brazil; Poznan, Poland; and Martinsville, Virginia—employing more than 400 people.
“It has been a great journey for the company, but we have just begun!” said Chief Executive Officer NilsEric Stjerna, Eric’s grandson.
In the early years, Starsprings’ focus was on upholstered furniture and fabrics. In 1937, the company began producing its own springs. The venture proved to be so successful that, in 1945, the springs side of E. Stjerna was spun off into a separate company called Starsprings. The new company took its name from the family’s name: Stjerna in English means Star.
Since 1997, Starsprings has been run by NilsEric Stjerna and his sister, Elisabeth Axelstjerna, group CEO. The siblings took over from their father, Tore E. Stjerna, who ran the company for 42 years before retiring.
In late 2017, Starsprings phased out the E. Stjerna side of its business to focus its energies on innersprings. The bulk of Starsprings’ products now are sold to the home furnishings and automotive industries, which use its spring units for everything from beds, chairs and sofas to cars and heavy-duty trucks. Bedding manufacturers account for the majority of the company’s home furnishings sales.
Ever since its start, Starsprings has been associated with innovation. The company currently has 203 patents. An in-house research department fuels this creativity, developing new products for the home furnishings and automotive industries, as well as custom machinery for spring production, according to the company.
“Our ability to innovate is and has been a great asset for us,” Stjerna said. “Unique, quality products provide a major competitive edge.”
The recently launched S-Touch spring system is a good example of how Starsprings strives to find new ways to create better bed comfort, according to Stjerna. “We wanted to take away the need for any further top layers in a bed or mattress, so we came up with a process and machine to integrate a latex pillow on top of every spring in the pocket spring unit,” he said. The concept is patent protected.
“We see great potential to develop the company even more, and our organization has recently been adapted for international expansion,” Axelstjerna said.