Comeback of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry. Otto Dotzauer 2.0

Seminar Paper, 2019

15 Pages, Grade: 4.0


Table of Contents

Otto Dotzauer 2.0 – Comeback of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry

History of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry

Company Purpose and Team
Product, Customer and Value Proposition
Go-to-Market Strategy

Market Opportunity, Trends and Competition
Growth Strategy
Product and Price Strategy
Customer Acquisition Strategy
Marketing Strategy
Sales and Distribution Strategy
Process and Team Strategy
Financials and Forecast


Otto Dotzauer 2.0 – Comeback of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry


The following paragraph describes the motive of this paper as well as the historical importance of the German lace and embroidery industry.


The personal motivation selecting this capstone project topic goes back to 2014. I visited Otto Dotzauer’s factory with my undergraduate study group in a small town in Saxony, South- East Germany. The company consists of an office and one factory hall which has a few types of machineries that operate in an old traditional way and with less automation. Despite Meinels Stick and Designerspitzen Plauen GmbH, it is one of three companies in this region that preserve the German textile heritage. The products of Otto Dotzauer are considered as traditional craftsmanship.

Since then, the company has been stuck in my head. My work at 1 Atelier, a startup in New York’s Garment District that preserves leather-craftsmanship and is considered as the only factory that is doing it in the United States, has made me aware of the value of craftsmanship and how underappreciated it is by the public. My time in the company has taught me how to turn an old tradition into an appreciated art by using cutting-edge technology.

The European lace and embroidery industry struggles due to the less expensive competition from Asia, the high price pressure, and the missing digitalization. It strongly requires support from the outside, either from consultants or being bought from major players in the fashion industry. The lace company Codentel in Calais, France, was purchased by Chanel and saved before going bankrupt to state one example (Thomas, D., 2016).

My personal goal is to raise awareness of the value of the German lace and embroidery as well as to give it a new modern image by starting revamping Otto Dotzauer and creating a 2.0 version of the company and create attractivity for younger generations. I gained the experience at 1 Atelier that it is harder to make the younger generation appreciative for craftsmanship.

History of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry

For more than 240 years, the Saxony region of Germany, especially the area around the city of Plauen, has been known as the roots of the Plauen lace and embroidery in a centuries-old tradition of textile manufacture. The embroidery industry has its advent in the transition from the 19th century to the 20th century. Despite the two World Wars and the communization of the small embroidery businesses, the industry was still able to produce premium-quality products (Otto Dotzauer, 2019).

In 1780, the embroidery trade began to grow in the Vogtland region of Germany, centered around the city of Plauen. The satin-stitch embroidery, done by hand, starts spreading throughout the region and becomes a new primary source of employment in this area in the 18th century.

In the 19th century, Plauen lace designs and its new technology were awarded the Grand Prix at the 1900 World Exposition in Paris. Through the 1920s, Plauen has more millionaires per capita than any other city in Germany. The population of Plauen almost triples between 1880 and 1914.

After a long growth period, the production of Plauen Lace begins to decline, partly as a result of World War I. Conditions worsen as the economy collapses. Thousands of people are thrown out of work. During World War II, almost all factories and designs are destroyed during bombing raids in April 1945. Nearly 75% of Plauen lay in ruins.

In 1950, the lace and embroidery industry, at first in private hands, begins again in the German Democratic Republic. In 1972, the East German government nationalized these small family-owned factories.

Over 1,400 embroidery and lace machines produce the state-owned Plauen Lace, which is exported to over 40 countries. Until present, the industry is consolidated into small companies. Plauen Lace experiences a rebirth in the domestic and foreign markets. New areas of development for Plauen Lace include exquisite scarves and fine liturgical lace (Sachsen Imports, 2019).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 1. Plauen – The Birthplace of Germany Lace and Embroidery (Sachsen Imports, 2019).


The realization of Otto Dotzauer 2.0 requires an analysis of the current state of the company. Strengths and weaknesses are analyzed in the following paragraphs.

Company Purpose and Team

Otto Dotzauer KG Spitzen & Stickereien [Otto Dotzauer] was founded in 1922, is a family-owned business, and is going to celebrate its 100th anniversary in three years. The company produces and distributes lace and embroidery in Auerbach/Vogtland OT Reumtengrün, Germany (CompanyHouse, 2019).

The company was handed from generation to generation and is currently operated by the fourth generation (Otto Dotzauer, 2019). It belongs to the German “middlestand”.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 2. Otto Dotzauer Brand (Plauener Spitze, 2019).

The company has ten employees and is managed by Nadine Leutsch, the daughter of Horst Dotzauer, the former CEO. Nadine Leutsch did apprenticeships as an embroiderer and industrial management assistant. The owner is Sabine Dotzauer. Besides the management, there is one product designer, a manager, Nicole Groß, and the production team that works in two shifts (Voigt, T., 2019). The team is a high woman quote. The team is described as high- performance and the management as motivated (Lanotex, 2019).

The mission statement is ‘Otto Dotzauer is a lace and embroidery producer dedicated to providing high-quality, exclusive and trendy products in a reliable and fast manner’.

The company does not have any investors, no board of advisors, and no board of directors.

Product, Customer and Value Proposition

Otto Dotzauer produces a variety of home textile products such as embroidery for windows and altars, table decoration, curtains, and wallpapers which are the main product assortment. It also manufacturers technical embroidery for the automotive industry for a few years (Mann, H., 2014 & Voigt, T., 2018)

The company offers custom manufacturing for designers and manufacturer (Otto Dotzauer, 2019), and a.o. it supplies lace and embroidery products, also well-known as Plauener Spitze, to manufacturers of traditional clothing such as dirndl dresses and costumes in Germany and Austria (Mann, H., 2014 & n.a., 2011).

Otto Dotzauer is the licensee of the trademark Plauener Spitze which is a certification mark and an umbrella brand for lace and embroidery products from this region (Lanotex, 2019).

The products are 100% made in Germany and produced in the highest quality (Otto Dotzauer, 2019). The company recently invested a six-digit amount in its machinery to keep up with modern technology. The whole supply chain is in-house and depends on garment suppliers. It has a warehouse. The new machine allows doing laser-cutting, to embroider sequins on clothing, and to integrate electronics into clothing. The integration of technology into clothing could be the first step into the development of innovative products (Voigt, T., 2018).

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 3. Machinery (Otto Dotzauer, 2019).

The lace and embroidery bought by the beautiful people in the past. Back then, it expresses wealth (MDR, 2017).

The company has started using organic cotton (Höfer, B., 2016). Further, Otto Dotzauer protects its design and processes with patents. Among others, there is a patent that protects the process of the production of three-dimensional lace fabric structure (Google, 2019).

The company produces small amounts of products due to the increasing number of competitors from Asia which largely produce large quantities (Mann, H., 2014). The competitive advantage is the high quality and 100% made in Germany. There is no further information about future product developments.

Abbildung in dieser Leseprobe nicht enthalten

Figure 4. Example of Plauener Spitze (Webmuseen, 2019).


Excerpt out of 15 pages


Comeback of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry. Otto Dotzauer 2.0
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
comeback, german, lace, embroidery, industry, otto, dotzauer
Quote paper
Friederike Berg (Author), 2019, Comeback of the German Lace and Embroidery Industry. Otto Dotzauer 2.0, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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