A House with Tradition
1996 the traditional house celebrated its 100th anniversary. Considering its history, the house exist even more than 100 years. Built-up by foresighted and courageous entrepreneurs, it dealt at first with artful scrishaw and then obtained an excellent reputation throughout Germany with vending exclusive Filigree Friesland jewelry down to the present day.
Johannes Wegst has set the ball rolling. The family-owned enterprise was settled in Geislingen, which gained already before 1850 international reputation with scrishaw. Johannes Wegst did saw potential in offering self-made scrishaw for sale at the train station "just in the middle between Paris and Vienna". Although being content with the sales, Johannes Wegst was thinking ahead. He had an idea, where in Germany prospering holiday places could arise and where wealthy tourists (also the nobleness) could meet each other.
Robert Wegst (r.) in front of his first store in the Strandstrasse, Westerland
A two-level business house arised with a big appartment for the family. August, 1st 1914, after the outbreak of World War 1, the boom of the business was suddenly interrupted. The business house had to be closed and was boarded-up. Robert Wegst was drafted and manufactured thenceforward medical implants made of ivory for Professor Sauerbruch in Berlin.
In Spring 1896 his brother Robert, who was sent by his father to bathing resorts throughout Germany, read an advertisement of the spa administration Westerland in an hamburgian newspaper: "Store for rent". Although traveling to Sylt by that time was exhausting and took a very long time, the relocation to the North Sea Island Sylt to the Store No. 6 in the Strandtrasse was soon implemented. Although the sales were initially satisfactorily, Robert Wegst soon noticed, that the main "walking path" of the clients was on the opposite side. In 1900 Robert changed position of the store over the road on the corner of Strandstrasse and Dünenstrasse. The newly rented store emerged soon as a "money-spinner".
Scrishaw made by Robert Wegst
Times of Change
In march 1914, after Robert Wegst heard about the discussions of the building of the "Hindenburgdamm" (a train connection to mainland) he built up a new store at the Friedrichstrasse 31, which lay next to the actual principal office of the company WEGST. It was clear in his mind that the Friedrichstrasse would become the dominant shopping street, because it lies on the direct axis train station - main beach, so his consideration has been by that time.
The formerly Hotel "Reichshof" before its reconstruction
1928 Robert acquired the "Hotel Reichshof" by the sibblings Rieper on the corner of Friedrichstrasse and Elisabethstrasse, actual principal office of the house WEGST. Despite the global economic crisis Robert Wegst reconstructed the store in 1931, what meant the greatest building structure by that time in Schleswig-Holstein. This new business house was handed over by Robert sen. to his sons Hermann and Robert jun. in 1936.
Hermann Wegst making traditional Friesland Jewelry
Since 1971 Hermann Wegst was the sole owner of the store, which under great personal efforts his wife Marie and himself have shaped and influenced for decades. Antje and Hans-Hermann Wegst as well as business manager Rolf Egehave continue the business in the best family tradition. The motto "Looking gratefully back, couraegously ahead and believing upward" has set in all the years the course of the family-owned enterprise.
The Friesland Jewelry designed by the family Wegst in the thirties has till this day maintained its supraregional awareness level. The scrishaw is remembered by the head of an elefant sculpture, which found its right place as an emblem over the entrance door.