From glamorous Beverly Hills to Glostrup

19 September 2013Markets

Emneord Beverly Hillsglobal markets


35 participants from all over the world graduated from Kopenhagen Fur's June Sorting Course. One of the students was eighteen year old Californian Maria Pappas, who, even though she grew up with the business, attended the course to learn more about fur.


The fur industry is nothing new to her. Her father, Michael Pappas, runs a wholesale company focusing on lynx, while her mother runs Somper Furs, which is a fur fashion store in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles. Maria's family has been in the fur business for three generations, and Mr. Michael Pappas hopes his daughter will continue the family tradition. He also wants his daughter to learn from the best, which is why he enrolled Maria for the Sorting Course.

- Kopenhagen Fur is the largest and the best when it comes to fur and Copenhagen is such a great city and a great place for Maria to experience, says Michael Pappas of Michael's Furs.

The Sorting Course proved to be quite an experience for Maria Pappas, exceeding every expectation she had prior to her stay in Copenhagen.

- It was definitely one of the best and most interesting and educational experiences of my life, and I am really not joking. I have never been in such an international and business minded setting where everybody is so friendly and everybody gets to know each other. The setting where all the students meet and learn in a foreign country where we have never been before is perfect for this kind of course, says Maria and continues:

- I was expecting it to be very tough with classroom-based education from nine to five, but it was nothing like that. It was hands on with the sorting of skins, and we actually visited both a mink farm and a dressing house. We also spent a lot of time in the auction room and learned about bidding procedures and so on.

Knowledge and networks

Mink is not the main focus of the Pappas family business. Nevertheless, Michael Pappas considered Kopenhagen Fur to be the right place for his daughter to learn. It is the combination of knowledge and network that makes the Sorting Course special.

- During the 3 week course Maria learned about quality, size, colour and clarity of mink. She also met other young people starting in the business. She attended the auction and had the opportunity to meet many of my customers and saw a social aspect of the business as well. I think it is a very important programme for our future, says Michael Pappas.

Maria agrees with her father. She found the Sorting Course to be well worth the long trip from the famous streets of Beverly Hills to the suburbs of Copenhagen.

- I think that everybody who wants to succeed in this business should take this course, because you learn not only about the materials, but also about the company and the customers. Networking is the most important thing and it gives a glimpse of the many different aspects of this business, says Maria.

Only time can tell the future of Maria Pappas and the family business, but one thing is sure. Both father and daughter feel that the Sorting Course at Kopenhagen Fur has been very beneficial and educational for the young Beverly Hills girl.   

Great demand might call for an expansion

Kopenhagen Fur currently holds three annual Sorting Courses: Two short introductory courses and one longer one in June. The courses have grown so much in popularity that an expansion of the concept might be the only way to meet the growing demand.

Brian Tufvesson, Head of the Customer Department, is proud that the Sorting Courses have been so well received in the industry.

-The Sorting Courses are very important to Kopenhagen Fur. We get an opportunity to introduce our future customers to the way we do business here in Copenhagen. The course includes an introduction to everything from our sorting and grading to the procedures in the auction room. We are so happy to see our former students come back better prepared for our auctions and become fine friends of Kopenhagen Fur, says Brian.

Next season's courses will be held in October, February and March-April and the Customer Department at Kopenhagen Fur has already received enquiries from prospective students. The Customer Department anticipates that the courses will be fully booked fast.

- We are experiencing a demand for proper training within the business, and we are happy to have so many participants. We are currently looking into the possibilities of expanding the concept to more courses because our current setup has reached its maximum capacity, says Brian Tufvesson.