Marek Bal started making fire insert grids in a small backyard garage in 1998. It was the start of a life-changing adventure. His company, Kratki, is now one of Europe’s leading stove and fireplace manufacturers, thanks to tapping the trend for cozy wood-burning stoves, and to Kratki’s ability to offer some of the most stylish designs out there: ‘Flame of the Year’ is just one of the many awards that the brand has collected. We tracked down Mateusz Dański (Kratki’s Marketing & Communication Specialist) to find out what makes a Kratki stove a must-have for every home, and what the future of luxe heating looks like.
Marek took a very smart step at the start. Most fireplace wholesalers had established suppliers in place, so he decided to focus on selling online—remember, this was the early days of the internet. It allowed him to communicate directly with customers. Kratki soon gained trust, thanks to its high quality, wide range of styles, and great prices.
Our first air fire insert, the Zuzia, is named after the dog that has always guarded the company! It turned out to be a bestseller and a huge turning point. We now have more than 250 models, mostly named after the Bal family children: Nadia, Lucy, Alice, Viktor, for example.
We’ve gone from a local ‘garage’ producer to a multinational manufacturer and industry leader with products available in 55 countries.
Kratki has changed the common perception of the fireplace from a simple heating device to a valuable interior design element. It’s the ultra-contemporary and innovative approach to design that makes a Kratki piece unique.
It’s been our mission to be as self-sufficient as possible in terms of production. This enables us to respond to what our customers want and introduce new designs quickly. It’s why we can be so creative, and come up with ideas like crystallized fireplaces, for example.
Tiles are a traditional product: in order to make modern designs, we had to open our own tile production plant in early 2015. We wanted to make them stand out, so we decided to use Swarovski crystals.
The Nadia 8 shows how crystal-embellished tiles exude glamour and give a luxurious touch to a traditional product. It looks stunning in both traditional and contemporary interiors. By January 2016, Kratki will be offering three sparkling models: the Egzul freestanding biofireplace and the Papa Morpho free-hanging biofireplace, as well as the Nadia 8 freestanding stove.
The future of the fireplace is exciting: Technology and fashion will go hand in hand. The latest fire inserts connect to household radiators, spreading heat to every room. Touch panels set the temperature and control the burning process. Some are even accessible via an app. So, the only thing you need to do in the morning is load the wood. Imagine arriving home to an already blazing fire!
Our talented Head of Production Adam Jędraszek is responsible for all creative concepts. Expect to see crystals on wood and stone fire surrounds soon.