Svenskt Tenn was founded in 1924 by Estrid Ericson, who recruited Josef Frank to the company 10 years later. Together they created the elegant and boldly patterned personal interior design style that continues to pervade the range to this day.
Since 1975, Svenskt Tenn has been owned by the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation, which provides research grants within ecology, medicine and the preservation of Swedish interior design tradition.
The foundation’s main goals are to promote scientific research within Sweden, mainly in the areas of energy and ecology. Funding goes to grants for supporting teaching and education primarily in the economic, technological and agricultural technology areas and to supporting the preservation of traditional cultural and artistic values in Swedish home decorating traditions.
Since Svenskt Tenn is owned by the Kjell and Märta Beijer Foundation, rather than being privately owned, any surplus generated by the company is used to support Swedish scientific research and education. Svenskt Tenn contributes to research in biomedicine, genetics and pharmaceuticals as well as environmental research.
At the Royal Academy of Science and the Beijer Institute, scientists work together in the fields of economy, ecology and environmental research to help increase knowledge and understanding when it comes to interactions between humans and the natural environment. These scientists seek answers to questions such as how we can use nature’s own products to help humanity in an increasingly urbanised world; how we can better manage the oceans for fair distribution of the earth’s food resources; and how unexpected environmental evolution affects our behaviour. Results from the Beijer Institute’s interdisciplinary research are used all over the world today.
The foundation also supports the Beijer Laboratory at the University of Uppsala, north of Stockholm, for research into biomedicine, human genetics and pharmaceuticals. The laboratory concentrates on genetic research and methods that make it possible to discover DNA changes that could increase the risk of illness. Uppsala University is a world leader in this field of research. The laboratory also aims to develop more effective pharmaceuticals against, for example, diabetes, and medicines with fewer side effects. The Beijer Laboratory is also active at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala where research is underway to make milk production more effective with healthier cows.
In 2016, Kjell and Märta Beijers Foundation contributed with close to SEK 26 million for scientific research and cultural purposes in Sweden.
Johan Wall, Chairman
Göran Carlson, Deputy Chairman
Crown Prince Gustaf Adolf was a man who was interested in design. It was his passion for modern pewter objects that resulted in Svenskt Tenn receiving its first Purveyor to his Majesty the King letter as early as 1928.
The letters, the first and current, are still in the store. Peek into Estrid Ericson's office and by the stairs leading up to the textile department. The honourable "Purveyor to His Majesty" designation has remained with us ever since 1928.
Svenskt Tenn's store is located on Strandvägen in Stockholm and the head office is on Linnégatan. The company has 80 employees, of which about 55 work in the store and 25 at the main office.