"I love to make ladies happy. When she loves her ring as much I have enjoyed creating it for her - I am happy."
The journey of Uwe Koetter started from humble beginnings back in 1968. Soon after founding the business, Uwe and Magda Koetter gained a reputation for cutting-edge design, master craftsmanship and a finely-trained eye for detail. To this day Uwe Koetter is regarded as a highly-skilled purveyor of magnificent gold and diamond jewellery, and this has resulted in the company receiving a host of prestigious awards.
These awards speak volumes and place Uwe Koetter as a world leader in innovative jewellery design. The company’s clients range from royalty, heads of state and celebrities to loyal local and international clients. The overall ethos of quality, service and design is simple: excellence.
At the tender age of 20, Mr Koetter completed his studies in Jewellery Design in his hometown of Hamburg, Germany. As the top student in his class, Mr Koetter was offered a job in Namibia, Southern Africa.
One year after having relocated to Windhoek, Mr Koetter decided to visit Cape Town for a holiday. Little did he know that he was going to fall in love with this city which very much resembled his hometown. On the very day that he arrived on the Peninsula, he was not only overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the city but, as fate would have it, also found a job. Mr Koetter walked into a jewellery store asking whether they had a vacancy for a goldsmith. A somewhat startled gentleman welcomed the impromptu behaviour and replied with the challenge: “If you can work, yes. Otherwise, no.”
As many would say, the rest is history.
Mr Koetter immediately relocated to Cape Town and proved himself in his new job. Throughout this time Mr Koetter collected much valuable insight into the industry, collected equipment along the way and, being the entrepreneur that he is, forged plans for his own business. It was not much later in 1968 that Mr Koetter started his own company – a one-man show in Adderley Street, Cape Town. Here, a safe was bought in order to keep gold. This safe, however, initially only safeguarded Mr Koetter’s sandwiches. Not much time passed before neighbouring tenants and their friends became Uwe Koetter clients and the sandwiches were replaced with gold, other precious metals and gemstones.
A well-loved story from Mr Koetter’s earlier business years rings as follows: On a rainy Friday afternoon, a rather scruffy-looking man walked into Mr Koetter’s shop. The man was dressed in a worn overcoat and mucky gumboots, so Mr Koetter assumed the chap was there to ask him for some money. To his surprise, the man told Mr Koetter that he had a 1 carat diamond that he wished to have set. The only problem was that he did not have the stone on him. Mr Koetter did not think much of it other than thinking that he would not see the man again. The following morning a particularly well-groomed gentleman knocked on the door, bearing a 1 carat stone! The scruffy-looking man from the previous day turned out to be an engineer (hence the mucky boots) and this is why he had popped into Mr Koetter’s store in his overalls. Furthermore, the gentleman was of royal blood! It turns out that the man did not need any money from Mr Koetter, but it was a kind thought nonetheless.
Sweat, hard work, dedication and commitment enabled Mr Koetter’s company to flourish. For weeks on end, Mr Koetter would travel up country to lecture and give presentations. As his English was by no means fluent and his Afrikaans rather non-existent, Mr Koetter asked if he could lecture in German. It was with this spirit, coupled with humour that he attracted many new clients from afar, as well as the honoured position of being the judge of a koeksister competition!
The business grew with time and it was not long before a larger premises was required. Its popularity took the business from Adderley Street, to St Georges Mall, to Amway House, and finally to the current state-of-the-art showroom in the Cape Quarter Lifestyle Village.
“There is nothing we cannot do. We are still successful today due to our flawless, one-of-a-kind creations.”