The story of Søstrene Grene starts in 1973 in Aarhus, Denmark’s second-largest city, when the husband and wife team of Knud Cresten Vaupell Olsen and Inger Grene open a store which turns out to be one of a kind. The couple sets out to create a whole new and wonderful shopping experience that caters to the senses. A place where creative and inquisitive minds can feel right at home. They call the store Søstrene Grene (in English: The Grene Sisters), but today, the concept is also known as “the wonderful world of Anna and Clara”. With a history at the Ballet Academy in Aarhus and a love of classical music, Knud Cresten sets out to create a store concept that artfully combines music, beautiful product displays and storytelling. And in 1973, he comes up with the idea for the sisters Anna and Clara, who come to embody all of his and Inger’s values and visions for the company.
The personalities of Anna and Clara are based on two historical figures from the Grene family. Anna is a creative aesthete, while her sister Clara is practical and organised – together, these two sisters represent all that Søstrene Grene is and has to offer. Polite and traditional, the sisters share tips on how guests can bring more creativity, joy and aesthetics to their daily lives. Anna and Clara become the hosts of Søstrene Grene.
From day one, Anna and Clara invite guests to explore the labyrinth of aisles, where pleasant lighting, classical music and the smell of untreated wooden crates create a unique experience for anyone who enters the store.
Along the store’s aisles, the product displays stir the guest’s creativity as they make new finds and set their imagination free. Even more important, however, is that the guests leave their hectic daily lives behind before journeying through the wonderful world of Anna and Clara.
Inger and Knud Cresten spend many years travelling the world with their children looking for the perfect finds for their store. As an interior designer and aesthete in her own right, Inger has a unique sense of colour and design, filling the store with a steady flow of delightful merchandise. Each Søstrene Grene product is always carefully selected based on a set of strict criteria for high aesthetic quality, and the price must never be unnecessarily high. This is essential to the couple.
As the concept grows over time, Søstrene Grene hires both designers and purchasers – but Inger continues to ensure that each and every product lives up to the creativity and aestheticism of the wonderful universe of the two sisters.
In 1989, Inger and Knud Cresten allow the first franchisees to open Søstrene Grene stores in Herning and Aalborg. Since then, more have been added, despite the very strict selection process. To become a Søstrene Grene franchisee, you must possess the right world view and live by the same values upon which the original concept was built. This way, joy and positive experiences live on, even as the chain continues to expand.
Today, Søstrene Grene is represented in many countries around the world and the chain is owned and operated by the second generation of the family, the brothers Mikkel and Cresten Grene. The headquarters are situated in Aarhus – the city where it all began. There, a team of Scandinavian designers and purchasers ensures that the sisters’ distinctive Nordic feel is present in every design that ends up in the store.
The aim is for the Søstrene Grene stores to continue to provide a refined and innovative product range, setting the stage for great finds and positive experiences.
The wonderful world of Anna and Clara should be a haven based on good values and joyful experiences. Søstrene Grene embraces strong family values and decency in all aspects, which means that as a guest and customer, you can have confidence in our products. We have very strict requirements regarding product safety, quality and working conditions, and we strive to live by our six values in everything we do.
At Søstrene Grene, we aspire to brighten up and make a joyful and positive difference to the lives of every guest who visits the wonderful world of Anna and Clara.
We are passionate about incorporating beauty into everything we do, because we believe that being surrounded by high aesthetic quality can bring joy to daily life.
We make a virtue of being ever-changing, and the frequent variation is what makes our product range so surprising. Our aim is that you should always be able to make wonderful new finds at Søstrene Grene.
Everyone is welcome to explore Søstrene Grene, and we do our utmost to feature wonderful finds at favourable prices that everyone can appreciate.
Creativity makes life an experience. At Søstrene Grene, we therefore endeavour to inspire our surroundings to be creative.
Hygge is a state of joy, satisfaction and cosiness that is unique to Denmark, where the sisters are from. We therefore take great care to host moments of hygge at Søstrene Grene.