interview with CEO of hans k henrik karlsson


As Racquet Collection Jannis Ellenberger designed a broad range of furniture for Hans K. Together with Bremen Chair and Ottoman this was the first collaboration of the designer with the Swedish brand wich is located in Kinna east of Gothenburg.

Henrik Karlsson is the owner and CEO of Hans K. Manufacturing furniture has a long tradition in his family. The company recently went through a generation change and quite some things have changed since, but also the furniture market as a whole is a subject to change.


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Henrik, when Jannis first time visited Hans K in Sweden some years ago your father Hans was still the managing director. The company is named after him, correct? Looking back, what can you tell us about the challenges of a generation change in a furniture company?

It was a huge challenge for everyone being involved, for our customers, our employees and suppliers. And as well for the whole family since it affects so many people around you. But we managed and we are very positive for the future!



Kinna is well known for its textile industries. Companies such as Ludvig Svensson or the carpet manufactory Kasthall are located in Kinna and all kinds of textiles are produced in your town. Did this ever influence your business?

Yes, it is a great access and support to have friends locally who work directly or indirectly with same type of products. You are all welcome to come to Kinna and visit and I will show you!


Where did you first get to know about Jannis designs and how did you meet him?

After seeing a lovely sideboard at Salone Satellite on Milan furniture fair where Jannis exhibited back then we exchanged our contact information. But a few years later we circled back to each other and met on Cologne fair to discuss possibilities of a collaboration.


Why did you commission a German designer for your Swedish brand?

To broaden our horizon of Scandinavian Design it is nice to work with people who view it from the outside. But the way I see it, Northern Germany is Southern Scandinavia. And Scandinavia is Northern Germany. Actually going back to Hansa times it was like that.


–> read more about Racquet furniture collection


Let us talk about Racquet furniture collection: You have been starting with redesigning Racquet Media Bench and it finally turned out to be a rather big collection. What is the story behind the that?

Yes, it started with an idea about rattan. We had been successfully selling the media bench for some years, a low storage piece with rattan doors and wanted to see where it was possible to further add rattan into our range, especially with solid oak wood. Rattan and oak is a great combination.
The sideboard is still the core item of the collection. A great product to be used in many living rooms for storage or just below one of these modern large TV screen.


What can you say about the design process? Was it different to working with other designer?

The way Jannis works with Hans K is interesting. He actually is part of the team since he joins us from A to Z including the entire product development phase from the very beginning to ready product.



It lasted two years until the first items are now ready to be sold. And exactly two years ago we had the first big lockdown due to Covid 19. In what way does the pandemic effect your business?

It is a very tough situation for everyone. However sales are positive. People are traveling less and focus more and more on their home. People kind of have a tendency to “travel at home”.


Our world changes dramatically these days. What would you say that manufacturing and retailing furniture will look like in 10 years?

It will be more and more a close partnership between manufacturers and retailers. Further it will be even more consumer and demand oriented. We need products that are very well designed and well produced so that people want to have them in their home and can be proud of it.


Thank you Henrik! We wish you all the best for you and lots of success for you business.


–> check Racquet furniture collection

–> check Bremen Chair and Ottoman


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