von Schoultz describes how he’s always been interested in problem-solving, starting his first — clay-car — design company at the age of 9.
— When I was 13, I did my first attempt to create a commercial product. After completing a bachelor’s degree at Boulder University in Colorado I put aside my education and got myself a set of machinery. I became a self-taught innovator.
His design and innovation company Drosselmeyer was established in 2001. The first product was the Nutcracker, hence the brand name taken from the opera character.
— I was confounded by how difficult it was to use a traditional nutcracker and the incredible amount of power that was needed. After months in the tool shop, the Nutcracker was created and reached the market.
Since then, it’s been a three-fold winner of Smartson’s Best in Test award and with a market stretching over 19 countries. It’s also part of the Swedish National Museum’s fixed exhibition of Swedish design.
— Over time I have developed an ingenious design process based on the assumption that a simple solution, requiring the least amount of parts, is always the best.
This led to what he calls Magical Three Philosophy.
— A solution is attempted using only one part, then another and finally a third is added. At three parts the magic happens with an exponential rise in simple complexity! If an energetic spring action can be included, the deal is done, says von Schoultz. He continues:
— Making things by hand and exploring the relationship between body and tool is essential to my design process. This is an intricate and painstaking process, but it creates unique products with extraordinary functionality vastly different from others on the market. Most of my ideas never come to market, but the ones that do have all been through our rigorous design and testing procedures. That might explain why our product portfolio is so compact. The design process allows me to stay true to my belief that if I can’t make it better I won’t make it at all.
And now tea. It’s being called the most consumed beverage in the world after water with no sign of slowing down, as 87% of American Millennials say that they regularly drink tea.
— Yes. Statistically speaking, if you’re not drinking water, you’re probably drinking tea — so making it shouldn’t be a chore. The challenge was to invent a tea infuser that was just as easy to clean as it is to fill. My infuser also needed to work with all different kinds of tea, even the ones with fine leaves that usually slip through the gaps. It’s simple to use — just slide the lid back with the thumb, scope the tea and then slid the lid back and put it into a cup of hot water. After you have used it to make a cup of tea, the infuser can be placed on the table without making a mess.
And even before it hits the market, in September, the feedback has been great.
— Our retailers and some stores and influencers have tried the product — they find the design beautiful and the functionality superior.
Next out is an even more powerful Nutcracker.
— It can easily crack even Macadamian nuts — nuts with an almost impossible shell to crack, says von Schoultz.