Woman standing in the Lobmeyr showroom

Lobmeyr: Viennese glass at the intersection of tradition and innovation

December 12, 2023|TA

Glass products in the Lobmeyr showroom
Glass products in the Lobmeyr showroom

We sat down to chat with Leonid Rath, Lobmeyr's Managing Director.

Would you agree that craftsmanship is based on tradition, but also (technical) pro-gress? Is this the case at Lobmeyr?

For me, progress is about creating a better life for everyone. Sometimes this can also be the opposite of technical progress – at least in some areas. But it goes without saying that we embrace all technical possibilities as long as they do not compromise the result or the product’s effect on people. As we focus on products that seek to make craftsmanship tangible, technical advances are limited.

How do you recruit your employees? Do you train them yourselves?

It takes several years for an employee to attain our degree of craftsmanship. That’s why we are happy to take on dedicated artisans from other fields, such as stonemasons, musicians, and wood carvers, but we also train apprentices ourselves. At present, we have a young, proactive and motivated team working for us. They come from Tyrol, Lower Austria, Syria, Vienna, and Romania. 

“Every product should start out with a vision, a need, or a passion. You should be able to sense this in the product. If the financial side of things works out, then you’ve got yourself a product.”

You have an international distribution network, and demand is growing. How did this evolve and where will you go from here?

We have developed fantastic stories and products over the last 200 years; this is a solid foundation. We were already exporting our products to the USA, Russia, Egypt and Siam back in the 19th century. When we took over the company, we streamlined the product range, adapted it to meet modern requirements and then implemented a snowball approach to marketing: We work only with very select retailers, most of whom are owner-managed and have a strong corporate message. They inspire other retailers as well as the press, and the product (more or less) distributes itself. Today, we have around 400 international stockists, who account for a good third of our sales alongside the parent company and the chandeliers. The brand has become well established worldwide and we are planning to launch an online shop soon.

How would you summarise your approach to product development and design?

“Use your drawing pencil for drawing and your calculating pencil for calculating”, as our great-grandfather used to say. Every product should start out with a vision, a need or a passion. You should be able to sense this in the product. And if the financial side of things works out, then you’ve got yourself a product. But you should never design a product from a purely commercial perspective.

Two Lobmeyr glasses on a white table

The glass workshops in the 3rd district have been expanded over the past few years – what can you tell us about it?

The Lobmeyr Glass brand recorded a gratifying increase in sales, thanks to the trend towards fewer and higher quality products and the development of an international network of stockists. We had to decide whether to outsource more work to the Czech Republic or expand the workshop in Vienna. It is important for us to retain local artisans in order to keep distances short and maintain our high quality standards. We also invite many press and film teams to visit our workshops in cooperation with the Vienna Tourist Board, and we invite retailers to come and admire our exceptional craftsmanship.

The expansion has enabled us to respond to the increasing demand with sufficient space and effective work processes, and we are now able to take on new employees and train apprentices. Handcrafted glass from Lobmeyr is in greater demand than ever on the international luxury market.


Kärntner Straße 26, 1010 Vienna

Services of the Vienna Business Agency

Funded through the programme Location Initiative in 2022

Business Location Funding

Funded through the programme Home Office in 2020

Funded through the programme Export in 2009

International Market Entry Funding

Funded through the programme Classic in 2006