“One should never imitate a Picasso”. It was with this figure of speech in mind that, in 1979, Ann Wall assumed the position of managing director of Svenskt Tenn after Estrid Ericson.
She arrived at an artistically highly reputed, but administratively old-fashioned, company. Estrid Ericson had served as managing director until she was well in her 80s, and so Wall began her work by carrying out a large number of organisational improvements. Everything was reviewed, ranging from payment routines and stock management, to business hours and marketing.
Gradually, a carefully considered renewal of the product range was carried out. Piece by piece, the foundations were laid for the commercial cultural institution that Svensk Tenn is today. Incidentally, it was Ann Wall who coined the phrase. During the 1990s, Svenskt Tenn experienced an eight-fold increase in sales.
Over time, collaborations were also established with selected contemporary designers and with art and design colleges. When Ann Wall retired after 20 years as managing director, the Beijer Foundation established a design prize in her honour. This was entirely in accordance with the new business concept of “passing on Estrid Ericson’s and Josef Frank’s spirit with a modern twist.”