The story of Höllmüller begins with Engelbert. As a young man of seventeen, having just finished his apprenticeship as a stone setter, he set forth from Vienna with plans to go west. His destination; The United States of America. Life savings in hand and worldly possessions stowed in his newly acquired trunk, his savings only bought him a ticket to Zurich, Switzerland. The plan was to work for six months earning enough money to take him to the States, but after only a few months he already loved the country too much to leave. He eventually settled an hour outside of Zurich in Luzern. Here he established Höllmüller and his family grew.
Engelbert’s two children, daughter Petra and son Marc apprenticed under their father. Petra graduated business school before she and Marc began their four year apprenticeship together. Marc was found to be a natural talent and continued working under Engelbert long after his apprenticeship. Petra went into retail and P.R. work after her studies. Marc attended Business school, acquiring a degree in management, made goldsmithing and gemological studies and travelled extensively. Firstly, he travelled to New Zealand learning English for a half year and also South Africa. In South Africa he studied and travelled while living with a large mormon family. They lived in a very basic way. The experience of integrating into another culture was eye opening; bringing a great awareness to the materialism that Marc until then had not realized existed so strongly in him. This awareness is something that he attempts to keep in check. It is perhaps just another reason that quality is so important to him. Not wanting to waste; his conviction towards sustainability in all things. Other travels have brought Marc to Hong Kong, Grand Comoros, Namibia; Botswana, Cypress, Thailand, and of course the U.S. to name a few.
In 1998 Marc found his passion for designing outweighed his enjoyment in stonesetting. He asked Petra if she would like to join him in starting their own studio. Höllmüller was born and seven years later they took over theirs fathers studio as well. Stonesetting is still a large focus of the business and Engelbert is still requested from outside jewelers when they have important stones. Petra runs the office and takes care of the bookkeeping.
Marc developed the Höllmüller collection. It was by chance on one of his travels to the States that Marc’s jewelry became a sensation in Beverly Hills. In addition, a store in Scottsdale, Arizona carried Höllmüller jewelry exclusively. It was here that Marc met his future wife, Tara. She had studied art and goldsmithing as well as gemology. After a long distance courtship proved to be strenuous, it was decided that Tara would move to Luzern and give it a try. New Years eve 2003 she made the leap and has never looked back. Tara’s knowledge of the market and retail experience have brought yet another facet to the company’s profile. The U.S. market has suffered in the last few years, but Tara and Marc still attend the JCK and Tucson Gem show yearly. Hodson’s sadly closed its doors in 2013 and their are fewer sightings at the Oscars, but there are still some very loyal clients in the States.