With a history spanning 130 years, Margarete Steiff GmbH is one of the oldest and most famous brands in Germany. The exciting story of the world-famous German company with its iconic “button in ear” began in 1877 when 30-year-old Margarete Steiff founded a felt clothing business. She started out by making a pincushion for her friends – the world-famous “Felt Elephant – which became so popular amongst children that Steiff used it as the basis for her first soft toy, an innovative idea which continues to gives pleasure to children today. Margarete ran the soft toy company with the help of her nephews Richard, Paul and Franz. Sales rapidly increased and the business expanded at a breathtaking speed. After only four years, 974,000 teddy bears had been sold.
Since 1 November 1904 every animal has had a metal button in its ear. This trademark was introduced by Franz Steiff to protect the products against counterfeits and to guarantee Steiff’s superior quality. The company still has its headquarters in a 1903 avant-garde glass buildings in Giengen. A brass-coloured elliptical extension in the shape of a giant button was added in 2005. This houses the Steiff Museum, where all the company’s products can be admired, from the first elephant to life-sized elephants and the first walk-in Steiff animal in the world: the Snake Slide. Margarete Steiff‘s motto – “Only the best is good enough for our children” – remains the company’s philosophy. After 130 years the trademark “Steiff button in ear” still stands for tradition, assured product safety, international appeal, beautiful design and the very highest quality. The distinctive products made of the finest materials with designs inspired by nature are recognised and loved by children and adults all over the world.