Faber-Castell, established in 1761 by the cabinet maker Kaspar Faber (1730-1784†), is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world. The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils with a varied range of products for writing, drawing and creative design, as well as decorative cosmetics. Faber-Castell is renowned for its high quality, innovative products, commitment to tradition, and environmental awareness.
Lothar von Faber (Fourth generation, 1817-1896†) took over the family business in 1839. He is remembered, in particular, as a pioneer of the branded article who in creating his own brand name set a new standard that became a yardstick – not just for this line of business, but also for the generations who later headed the company. “From the start I was determined to raise myself to the highest rank by making the best that can be made in the world.”
Today the eighth generation family member Count Anton-Wolfgang von Faber-Castell, who took over as head of the company in 1978, has been instrumental in new product development and the expansion of international activities. Count Faber-Castell takes delight in rediscovering products from the past and recreating them with timeless design and modern technology.
In 1999, Faber-Castell acquired Creativity for Kids, the leading U.S. specialty manufacturer of creative activity products for children of all ages and moved their U.S. headquarters to Cleveland, Ohio. The very next year, the company introduced Premium Children’s Art Products, originally known as Faber-Castell’s Red Range of art supplies for children or the Playing & Learning Line in the United States. The products were enjoying huge success around the world, but had not been introduced into the U.S. market which was only familiar with the Faber-Castell Professional Artist Products and writing pencils. The Creativity for Kids acquisition opened up the potential for further worldwide growth of the Creativity for Kids brand and helped facilitate the entry of the Premium Children’s Art Product line into the U.S. specialty toy market.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, Faber-Castell USA is part of the Faber-Castell family of companies that was founded in Stein, Germany. Under the direction of CEO Jamie Gallagher, Faber-Castell USA offers children and adults a wide array of quality branded products with true points of difference through its “Companion for Life” Portfolio. After growing up in Pittsburgh, PA and graduating from the University of Notre Dame, Jamie began what is now a more than 30 year career in the children’s products industries. For sixteen years he was a key sales and marketing team member with LEGO working both in the US and Canadian markets. He then continued the trend of working with high quality, privately held toy brands by serving as head of Playmobil USA. In the summer of 2003, Jamie assumed his current role as President and CEO of Faber-Castell USA. Jamie has remained very active within the Toy Industry of America where he has served as a Board member, Executive Committee member, and Committee Chair for more than 10 years.
In 2004 Faber-Castell USA moved to a new facility in Cleveland, with a larger warehouse space to accommodate increased activity as a distribution center with the majority of production shifting overseas. Within a consistently competitive U.S. market, the company has sustained growth by concentrating on incremental sales opportunities, fine-tuning the various product lines, and an emphasis on delivering great service.
2011 was a milestone year for Faber-Castell USA as it launched its new brand, Design Memory Craft and celebrated both the 250th Anniversary of Faber-Castell and 35 years of Creativity for Kids – the acquired brand created by two women, Phyllis Brody and Evelyn Greenwald, who believed in the power of creativity in children's lives. This conviction came from their own childhood play experiences, those of their children and the many workshops and classroom programs that brought them into contact with children around the world. It began with what they called the “turkey syndrome” – a term they coined based on their children’s classroom art activity (a traced handprint) during the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday season. Although a cute decoration idea, they thought it resulted in too much uniformity in an activity where uniqueness was the goal. It was their opinion that children do need to learn to follow rules and conform in many areas, but when it comes to “art” individuality should be encouraged. Their anti- cookie-cutter, paint-by-number approach became a key attribute in the development of Creativity for Kids.
Today Faber-Castell operates 14 production sites in 10 countries, markets its products through 25 sales/distribution organizations and is represented in 120 different countries. In addition, Creativity for Kids is represented in 50 countries around the world. The Creativity for Kids brand continues its well-deserved reputation as a consistent provider of quality, innovative, and thoughtful products for children that consist of both classic and trendy creative activities. Today, many Creativity for Kids products include Faber-Castell art supplies as components that enrich the creative experience. Creativity for Kids craft kits have received many awards from organizations such as Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Dr. Toy, The National Parenting Center, ASTRA (American Specialty Toy Retailing Association) and the TIA (Toy Industry Association), plus recognition in national publications such as Parents Magazine and Good Housekeeping.
Faber-Castell USA is proud of its longevity and what it represents – consistent delivery of a quality experience in all areas of business. More than 150 years after the company’s first appearance in the United States, Lothar von Faber’s legacy is nicely summed up in his own statement, “From the start I was determined to raise myself to the highest rank by making the best that can be made in the world. Faber-Castell USA is committed to staying true to this vision of quality, tradition, and innovation now and in the future.