Ten Questions for Jean-Paul Vaugoin
Interview: Susanne Kapeller
1. Initially, you were against taking over the family business. What did you want to do instead?
I wanted to become a stockbroker in New York, London, Singapore or Hong Kong. But things turned out quite differently. Now I can travel to these cities because I have customers there.
2. What is the best-known piece to come out of your workshops?
In Austria a replica of Cellini’s Saliera in silver. In 1969 we had the privilege of making a version of this famous salt cellar for Queen Elizabeth II. Our cutlery collection – available in over 200 designs – is very famous all around the world.
3 . What is your personal favorite?
An old set of travel silverware that my father always took with him when he was out on the road. Something appeals to me about carrying silverware with me for all eventualities.
4. What are you like as a boss?
I try to give all of my employees a lot of freedom. Flexibility is very important to me.
5. What does happiness mean to you?
Being able to do things that bring me joy. Meeting interesting people, seeing special places and being able to share that.
6. Who is your most famous customer?
We have been supplying a number of royal houses and famous families all over the world since 1847. However, not naming names is part of the way we do things.
7. What was the most unusual customer request?
Salt shakers in the form of Fred and Wilma Flintstone.
8. Where do you go to recharge your batteries in Vienna?
I can relax best when I'm doing sports. The tranquility of the nearby Hungerberg hill in Grinzing also gives me strength.
9. What can only be found in Vienna?
The balance between vibrant city life and a very peaceful day-to-day existence. The city's rather leisurely pace is probably down to the Viennese temperament.
10. What is the taste of Vienna for you?
A centuries-old mixture of east and west, north and south: Bohemia meets Italy, French haute cuisine meets kebab. Like the multi-layered residents.