Jan Kurtz. A real person? Or just an imaginary name? Simple answer: Yes, he really exists. A real-life entrepreneur. First of all, his parents were imaginative with regard to his first name. At the time of his birth in the province of East Lower Saxony, his first name was unusual or even unknown. We are talking about Braunschweig in 1956.
Young Jan is often transplanted, his father, a corporate board member, works at various company locations, the family always in tow. The mother doesn't mind - she likes to furnish the new flats. Her passion. The passion of the growing Jan is not yet clear. School, at any rate, is not. Except sports and languages. And making jokes. There is no sign of entrepreneurial spirit yet.
Despite having little desire for school (honestly: precisely because of that), he extends his time there by two years, and says goodbye after his vocational baccalaureate. The problem: he has no idea what to do next. So first the army, then a holiday job in the wholesale trade for garden furniture, plumbing and electrical goods. And without suspecting it, he was suddenly very close to his destiny. The rest of the way in shorthand: training, headhunting for an import purchasing manager at a wholesaler in southern Germany.
It was there that the entrepreneur's talent unfolded. Full of ideas, well versed in language and communication, outgoing - in short: it didn't take long for Jan Kurtz to want to set up something of his own. In 1992, the time had come: with a partner, he took over a company that sold small furniture and accessories. The success: a fat loss in the first year. The analysis: bad goods, bad sales force. That's not going to work.
So everything is turned upside down: Jan Kurtz names the company after himself, looks for new staff, a new programme, his own design. He hires freelance designers to design for him according to his specifications, according to his feeling for the market. The entrepreneur is born, the company flourishes. The coffers fill up.
Almost 30 years later, as we write these lines in the year 2021, very much is still as it was on the first day. Many cooperation partners are the same, the principle of a long-lasting sensible design approach applies unchanged, the headquarters are still in Affalterbach, Swabia, an inconspicuous place half an hour's drive north of Stuttgart that, apart from jankurtz's customers, is mainly known to people who are interested in a specially worked Mercedes. This is the headquarters of the AMG tuning garage, which carries the place in the first letter of the company name and has made it famous all over the world. Not a bad side effect at all.