This month we chatted with the CEO of one of our favourite, family-run, British companies – the multi-talented Robert Ettinger.
Aside from running global luxury leather goods brand Ettinger (itself a Royal Warrant Holder and Walpole Member), Robert also assists in mentoring young people through The Prince’s Trust, Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust and Walpole Crafted.
He also enjoys cycling, daily early morning swims – and is even a qualified British Ski Instructor.
What is your proudest Ettinger moment to date?
Without a doubt, it is building the brand. My father founded Ettinger in 1934. Although I worked for the company for many years, I only took over the reins in 1990. Since then we have been appointed with the Royal Warrant to Prince Charles and sell globally in over 170 shops from London to New York to Japan.
What do you enjoy most about working in a family run company?
The flexibility to do what I feel is best - without the rather time consuming process of having to justify this to shareholders or the board! It undeniably speeds up the whole decision making process - allowing for more timely, proactive and reactive responses to changes in circumstances.
Robert Ettinger at a trade show in 1976
What are you most excited about for the coming months?
The launch of a new ‘Ettinger Grey’ colour to our iconic, best-selling Bridle Hide collection. This grey perfectly compliments the London Tan colour in the interior of the products. It was launched online late September, and will be in shops from the beginning of October.
Explore the collection here.
How did Ettinger come to support multi-award winning GB horse rider Jessica Mendoza?
Two key reasons: I love mentoring and assisting young, talented people – Jessica’s enthusiasm, determination and skill is incredible. Secondly, the leather connection to bridles and saddles was interesting since our factory used to make these together with harnesses before the age of the motor car.
Photo Credit: Sam Churchill
If you had to save one photo from your home, what would it be and why?
One of my mother and father in their house in South West France. Growing up we would spend all our family summers there – resulting in very many happy holiday memories!
What is your favourite Ettinger product and why?
I have been travelling a lot recently on business and I love our travel shoe horn. It saves your shoes from a lot of abuse when you are continually being asked to remove them at airport security checks!
Ettinger Travel Shoe Horn - Buy here for £65
What is on your Wingfield Digby wishlist and why?
Hen Pheasant Wine Coasters. We have lots of pheasants at home so I feel a connection to them. In fact, Saira Hunjun (the renowned tattoo artist) created a pheasant focused design for us here at Ettinger.
Wingfield Digby Hen Pheasant Wine Coaster – Pre-order here for £49
Favourite feather type?
For more information on Ettinger, visit www.ettinger.co.uk