Our family business was started by 24 year old Bjarne Hjelmtvedt in 1938. He sold the zippers that were produced by the Norwegian Zipper Factory in Tønsberg. When the war came, the metal-deficient and the zipper production practically stopped, but after the war it slowly came back. The customers at that time - and until the 70's, where primarily the clothing industry in Norway. It was annually sold zippers in the millions, until the Norwegian clothing industry was outcompeted. But before that zipper production in Tønsberg was shut down and imported zippers overtoktok market. Our company was part of introducing the nylon zipper on the Norwegian market in 1957. After a few years it had conquered most of the market.
Mustad Factories in Gjøvik also made zippers and got a license to produce nylon zippers. As part of this solution, our company took over large parts of the sales for Mustad. But the downturn in the Norwegian textile industry meant that the zipper factory in Gjøvik finally had to shut down.
When the sale to the industry declined, the sales of zippers to shops that were most important. Until the end of 60-years, sewing and other sewing accessories gradually was taken on stock. Around 1980 we started with buttons, but it took many years to change the profile from the "biggest and best in zippers" to "highest and best of buttons and sewing."
We lived in Øvre Storgate 55 and 56 in Norway, but in February 1987 we moved into new buildings of Brakerøya in Drammen. It was later extensions. From labor-intensive manual billing and accounting in 1988, we went over to PC-based computing solutions. Today it would be quite impossible to keep track of nearly 40,000 trade positions without computers. We currently are suppling sewing accessories to about 2,000 customers in Norway and also have subsidiaries with stock in Uddevalla,Sweden and Riga, Latvia. There are in fact no customer left from our customer base from 50 years ago, and today zipperss are only 6% of the turnover. That means that the restructuring has been important for us and it will undoubtedly be important in the future.
More customers in Sweden bought sewing accessories of Hjelmtvedt in Norway, but the deliveries across the border represented cost and delays. Therefore, Fantasy Craft Sweden AB was established in 1995 and the stock was established in Uddevalla.