One night back in 1951, Wolfgang Weihermüller bravely put all his eggs in one basket: he crossed the so-called "green border" at Rudolphstein, carrying with him parts of a valuable knitting machine in his rucksack. On his arrival in Bayreuth with this knitting machine – the other individual parts of which had followed later one by one by post – he laid the foundation stone for today's internationally successful company medi. Today, there are 2,600 employees worldwide working daily at medi, so that people all over the world can say "I feel better". For the 65th anniversary, medi is first and foremost celebrating the founding member and setting the course for the future.
Wolfgang Weihermüller’s courage in leaving the then GDR, taking the production machines with him, could have cost him his liberty. But his entrepreneurial urge to start anew was stronger. So he brought to the West the know-how that he had acquired in the production of hosiery and corsets at his parents' firm in Pausa in Saxony. Together with his cousin, Günter Voigtmann, he founded the company WeCo. The startup capital was meagre: three knitting machines and expertise in knitting rubber. Driven by this start-up spirit, they began producing medical "rubber stockings" in a former dance hall in Bayreuth.
Inventive spirit as a success factor
Challenging the already established was and still is the guiding principle. This is how the company WeCo were able to revolutionise compression treatment with the first seamless, highly elastic mediven stocking and launch the first compression stocking with a sheer look on the market as early as 1975. This combination of an aesthetic style and health formed the foundations of the globally successful products from the Franconian healthcare pioneers. When Wolfgang Weihermüller's sons, Dr Michael Weihermüller and Stefan Weihermüller, joined the company, they focussed on the international market. The international breakthrough was made when they inaugurated the USA subsidiary in 1982 under their leadership. Today, the follow-up generation is already successfully pulling the strings: Miriam Weihermüller, with her esprit and new ideas, heads up the Sports and Fashion divisions, while Philipp Schatz is keeping the medical division Phlebology on its successful course.
From traditional craftsmanship to intelligent high-tech products
Whether back pain, a ligament torn during sport, "thick legs", "flat foot" or poorly healing wounds – medi's products and treatment concepts can help with many conditions and symptoms. The wide range of products can be found at almost every medical retailer in Germany and in over 90 countries all over the world. This passion for continuously improving the products further within a holistic context has opened up new business areas: almost 10 years ago, medi became aware of the performance-enhancing effect of compression – and founded the sports brand CEP as the absolute pioneer in this field. These days, medi's sportswear is represented at every marathon or city run. The world of fashion also welcomes the positive effects of compression on healthy people. The high-quality hosiery and shapewear collections of the ITEM m6 brand bear witness to medi's dedication to the areas of beauty and wellness. Thanks to cooperation with renowned designers, these products, which mould silhouettes, lift derrieres and ensure fit and slender legs, have found their way onto the catwalks of the fashion capitals of the world.