The origins of BROKIS
The history of the brand begins with an entrepreneur who falls in love with a local tradition, glass blowing, and decides, after purchasing the production plants, to continue this art in the name of contemporaneity. A path of growth for 30 years with many key moments: the transition from subcontractors to design brand, participation in international fairs, the – well thought out – entry of family members into the business. Last but not least the 2035 goal, Vision, which sees the development of a campus and its own production of some raw materials (specifically, oak wood). We are talking about Jan Rabell and his BROKIS, based in Janštejn, a small village in the Bohemia region, in the Czech Republic.
It all started with Janštejn Glassworks which for more than 200 years has carried on a tradition of glass blowing that dates back to the end of the 17th century. Founded in 1809, the factory overcame ups and downs with nationalization among the biggest challenges, which ended in 1989. In 1997 Jan Rabell decided to buy the factories, to restore them to its former prestige and ensure that the tradition of Bohemian glass production could survive.
The JANŠTEJN GLASS GROUP
Today the group includes several brands, JANŠTEJN GLASSWORKS, BROKIS, BROKISGLASS, BROKIS SOLUTIONS, and SYROVÁTKA. The first takes up local tradition, around 20% of the blown glass is destined for BROKIS while the rest goes to customers all over the world. The specialized carpentry shop SYROVÁTKA produces components for use in JGG products, custom-made furniture, interior and exterior design.
BROKIS was born in 2006 from Rabell’s desire to diversify the production of the Janštejn glassworks and create his own design line. The Czech lighting brand, also present at Euroluce 2023 this year, is synonymous with high quality and unique design, able to adapt to the different needs required in the lighting of private and contract spaces. The company combines hand-blown glass with other refined materials, such as wood and manually pressed metal. With more than 25 collections in the catalogue, the brand has always experimented, achieving excellent innovations, to name one, Click&Safe, the special connector developed by Brokis in 2017. It offers a notable degree of variability, almost infinite possibilities for creating unique lighting compositions and guarantees a quick assembly-disassembly.
Today Brokis is an international brand with sales in 120 countries and collaborations with many designers: Lucie Koldova, who also holds the role of Creative Director of the brand since 2013, Dan Yeffet, Boris Klimek, Fumie Shibata, Lenka Damová, Vrtiška & Žák, LCM Marin Design Studio (with Double and Dome Nomad collections), Filippo Mambretti (Elo) and Federico Peri (Trottola).
BROKISGLASS was created to change the perception we have of glass fragments: in the production of each blown piece, up to 30% of material is discarded – both the final and initial parts must be cut and finished to create the optimal shape for the product. For this reason, the Janštejn glassworks and BROKIS decided to use these wastes to create a new unique material, made of glass fragments. Previously, these were simply transported to a landfill, with Brokisglass they are given a new dimension and aesthetic by creating a material with unique properties, perfect for architecture, construction, interior but also product design.
The Brokis Solutions company was created to provide an individual approach to international light-related projects, from initial sketches to installation and various design services.
Brokis’ values and vision
A family company that cares for its employees, the passion for work, the attention to artisan techniques but also the desire to innovate, these are some of the aspects that characterize BROKIS, mediated by a careful look at sustainability and design.
Specifically, approximately 80% of the company’s suppliers are located within a radius of 120 kilometers and all products are assembled in Janštejn (CZ), home of BROKIS. In 2023/2024 the brand will install a solar panel system that will help reduce emissions by 132.9 tons of CO2 every year, approximately 17%. As we have already seen, 100% of the waste from the Janštejn glassworks and Brokis (around 10 tons per week) is used to create BROKISGLASS.
The brand tries to use the least possible number of plastic materials in the packaging of its products: these are packaged with Instapak® and excellent protection is guaranteed, the percentage of damaged shipments is in fact less than 1%. At the end of 2023, BROKIS plans to open a new large shipping warehouse with a capacity of more than 600 pallets. The new facility will provide space for more components, resulting in shorter delivery times. This operation was also designed to further reduce the CO2 footprint.
Last but not least, the long-term project Vision 2035: the company’s land includes approximately 15 hectares of extra-urban areas with ponds, woods and meadows. The goal is to plant trees that help offset the impact of activities on the environment, with the expectation of one day using the wood from these trees for the production of BROKIS products. Added to this is the idea of developing a real campus next to the industrial plants in order to continue to pass on the art of glass blowing and create an international cultural hub. Not only products but also education and culture to encourage this tradition.
With an ever growing path, BROKIS continues to improve its production and its impact to always guarantee products of the highest quality and attentive to the environment. Looking at the collections we can see many different shapes and applications, able to adapt to all environments, but each of them presents the care and harmony of a BROKIS product. To discover all the collections and learn about the history of the brand, visit the official website and follow BROKIS and Brokisglass on Instagram!