Bernd Willi and Stefanie Ripp
A union for life
Stefanie and Bernd Willi Ripp have created an internationally-successful company from a small gemstone cutting operation. A portrait of an extraordinary couple.
He is only truly happy when he is at his company,” says Stefanie Ripp, of her husband. The success of Groh + Ripp is due in large part to the passion for the products, but also to business management considerations. The profits earned were always invested in new technology and materials, which either found use with goldsmiths and jewellers or served as dials for select watch brands.
Many customer requests could be satisfied from stocks, however, Bernd Willi Ripp was always in search of new, interesting minerals, gemstones, that special something. He still purchases gemstones in a targeted manner to this day. In the case of unusual requests he can resort to his direct contacts with mine owners and suppliers of rough stones. “Depending on the customer request, it may take a while for us to find the matching stone, because obviously nature sets limits from time to time. However, our long-standing business contacts often provide us with privileged access to particular stones,” says Bernd Willi Ripp.
Many stones are bought when they appear on the market — over the course of the years this has resulted in an incredible stock of uncut stones being amassed. This provides the freedom to offer the matching colours for every fashion trend.