Guldbolaget – the story
A genuine craftsmanship and a burning passion for the production of the unique and personal, has been the driving force for two generations of goldsmiths. Here is the story that begins in the mid 60’s!
Text Carina Lundin Photo Mattias Johansson
It’s a New Year’s Eve party in 1988. In a restroom, in a small village in Småland, two boys in their 20s are making plans for the future. Five months later, in May 1989, Guldbolaget in Bergkvara AB starts in a basement of a former furniture store.
The year is 1965 and Bengt Hellerstedt and Per-Olof Rejneborg meet at a party at the military camp F13 in Norrköping. Bengt is a goldsmith master and has just sold his jewelry shop. Per-Olof has just ended his service as a field pilot. Both are at the crossroads of life. It’s “green-wave time” and they decide to move to the countryside with their families and start a business together.
Bengt’s goldsmith knowledge makes the choice easy and they decide to start a company in the goldsmith industry. They see an advertisement that Torsås municipality, in southeastern Småland, is selling an old school with teacher housing in the middle of the countryside. In 1967, lorry-loads of furniture go to the small village Torestorp, which basically only consists of farmers. The old school is quickly transformed into a goldsmith’s workshop and the teachers’ quarters become housing for both families.
After a somewhat cautious start, the rumor spreads about the two goldsmiths in south-eastern Småland and they are suddenly busy making rings as soon as the orders arrive. In the early 70s, a person is employed in the company Bergkvara Guld, which is now on the rise. They are looking for new customers with an interest in wedding rings and it is also around these years that diamond handling is gaining momentum. The company is booming throughout the decade.
In the early 80’s, several different events occur that adversely affect the company. During these tough, early years in the 80’s, another person in the family made an entry into the company. Per-Olof’s son Patrik Rejneborg, who throughout his upbringing lives alongside the goldsmith’s craft, starts working full time in the company immediately after primary school. He is trained in goldsmithing by Bengt Hellerstedt and he becomes a key part of the company. When Patrik obtains a driving license, it is he who gets the task of delivering the rings to the jewelry stores.
”Each ring is unique and is only manufactured when a specific order has been placed.”
Back to that restroom, New Year 1988: One of the guys, sitting there, making plans, is Patrik Rejneborg. Together with his friend Lars Helgesson, who has also been interested in the gold industry, they decide, there and then, to start a gold company with ring manufacturing! That will be the beginning of Guldbolaget in Bergkvara. And it was a real great start. In the same year, the law changes regarding the widow’s pension and Sweden breaks the wedding record this year. For Guldbolaget, this means a flying start with the production of wedding rings.
Present time: A lot has happened since that New Year’s Eve party 1989. Today Patrik and his wife Charlotta run Guldbolaget as a family business. In the years that have passed, the family has expanded with the three children Hugo, Filippa and Beata, who today, are all on the way to becoming adults themselves. The basement area of the former furniture store has been expanded to include the entire three floors of the old store. Modern technology and design are combined with genuine craftsmanship.
About 20 employees work in the company to manufacture rings for hundreds of retailers in mainly Sweden and Norway. For Charlotta and Patrik, it is the passion for manufacturing, the desire of development and the excitement of the business itself that drives them. Each ring, manufactured at Guldbolaget, is unique and is only created when a specific order has been placed. Guldbolaget in Bergkvara is, to a large extent, a family business, actually Sweden’s largest family-owned gold company.
For the Rejneborg family, the line between private life and business is subtle. Life, family and business, have over the years been woven together into a lifestyle.
The Rejneborg family, from left: Hugo, Charlotta, Patrik, Beata and Filippa.