“besonders. wertvoll.” – this is the slogan of the Appenzell carpentry and interior design company, which translates as “special. valuable.” It neatly sums up the company philosophy of thomas sutter ag: special and precious pieces of wood are processed into unique pieces of furniture by a team in which each member is very special. Swiss Life visited the Appenzell company and interviewed the owner and founder Thomas Sutter.

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The smell of wood is in the air, it is sawn, milled, sanded and screwed. Going into the workshop of thomas sutter ag is like entering another world: motivated employees apply the greatest craftsmanship to create beautiful wooden furniture for customers who want to furnish their homes in a self-determined manner. 

From one-man business to family company

In 2005, the then 22-year-old Thomas Sutter founded the “one-man business” thomas sutter ag. Today, he and his wife manage 30 motivated employees at two locations – in Haslen and Appenzell. The company supplies customers throughout Switzerland with individual furniture designs and exclusive interior designs. 

Man stands in a showroom and smiles at the camera
Even when I was a young boy I told my parents I wanted to turn their hotel into a carpenter's workshop. It didn’t quite work out like that, because the hotel still exists, but I was able to fulfil my dream.
A table with chairs in a stylish interior

Each piece of furniture is unique 

For almost 20 years, thomas sutter ag has stayed true to its values: quality, reliability, regionality and craftsmanship. The carpentry team produces individual pieces of furniture with great passion and craftsmanship. Usually, solid wood is used, customers can select their favourite from an impressive reservoir of logs, from which the piece of furniture is then carved – either a classic dining room table, wardrobe or a unique row of kitchen cabinets.

A wooden side table with beautiful carved elements
With our products, we combine carpentry with creativity and the natural product wood – individually tailored to the customer's needs.

Sustainability and regionality play a major role

Whenever possible, thomas sutter ag relies on regional partners. The upholstery is produced in the upholstery shop in Haslen/Appenzell, while complex 3-D components are ordered from Steinegg, 13 km away. Polymechanics from Appenzell are also commissioned. And the wood? This also comes from the region, as well as many other materials used. 

"People know each other here in Appenzell, and that's the beauty of it. Whenever I can, I try to support local companies." Thomas Sutter, owner of thomas sutter ag

Secret of success: employees

In his first year as an entrepreneur, Thomas Sutter realised that he needed support to be more successful. He therefore hired two employees. The team grew year after year. Today, thomas sutter ag has 30 employees, including cabinetmakers, apprentice carpenters, interior decorators and project managers. 

Man stands in a showroom and smiles at the camera
Without my team I would never have been as successful as I am today. I am proud of each and every one of them.

The most important thing for Thomas Sutter is that employees are valued. On the one hand, he offers fixed benefits such as a good, competitive salary, flexible working hours, a good pension, part-time employment, etc. On the other hand, he makes small gestures, such as a personal congratulation on a birthday or a hearty "Good morning" in the morning.

Xaver, furniture design advisor at thomas sutter ag

Future provisions 

At thomas sutter ag, occupational provisions are more than just a legal obligation. It’s important for Thomas Sutter to have his team properly insured. He says that in the carpentry business employees are often unaware of what pension provision means. He encourages his employees to set aside a few francs during their working life so they are covered later. 

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A wooden counter in a showroom in Appenzell
thomas sutter ag

The unique Appenzell furniture store thomas sutter ag creates high-quality furniture and interiors. The company operates from two locations: the carpentry workshop is located in Haslen, the showroom and the associated curtain studio in Appenzell. Thomas Sutter has already won several awards for his craftsmanship, including the gold medals at the World Cabinetmakers Championships and came second in the Swiss Economic Award "Young Entrepreneur of the Year", to name but a few.

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