The Herrnhut Star Company is located in the town of Herrnhut, which is also the birthplace of the new "Herrnhuter Brüderunität". The first stars were made here over 160 years ago and were lit using lamps fuelled by rapeseed oil or petroleum. In 1894, Pieter Hendrik Verbeek opened a bookshop which also sold music and craft supplies and kits for stars. In the following years, Verbeek developed the design and assembly of a sturdy 25 pointed star. In 1899 Verbeek made a business contract with the Moravian Church and founded the company "Verbeek & Co. Papierwaren- und Cartonagen Fabrik". The stars were sold originally through the business arm of the Moravian Church until 1904 when the Mission bookshop took over this role.
P.H. Verbeek spent the following years refining the construction of the stars and in 1925 he applied a patent for a frameless Herrnhut Star. This still forms the basic of todays frameless star. The self supporting construction made mass production, sales and delivery much easier and was a vital feature for successful worldwide marketing. In the same year Verbeek partnered with the Moravian Church Missions Department and the Abraham Dürninger & Co., founding the Star Company.
The stars enjoyed increasing popularity. However, they still remained a saisonal product. For full-year employment, supplementary goods such as candles, lamps, and lampshades were added.
In 1945 the Star company was expropriated by the Russian installed government an nationalised. Consequently, in 1951 it was renamed "VEB Oberlausitz Stern- und Lampenschirmfabrik". The production of Herrnhut Stars continued alongside that of other products and by the middle of the 1960’s they were again in production. When handproduction no longer fitted into the socialist ideal of industrial production, the Moravian Church was offered the renationalization and the return of the business - a very unusual action in those days. On the 1st of January 1969, the production began in the former Gaswork of the Moravian Church. It continued, however, to be required to reach the yearly production goals given by the State.
The reunification of Germany in 1989 brought another challenge for the company as it needed to create new marketing channels. In 1991 the Herrnhut Star Company registered itself with the Moravian Church as sole shareholder. Extensive investment in the improvement of production and quality became possible in the 1990´s. This also increased the range of products available, resulting in the growth of the Herrnhut Star Company into the thriving business you see today. The laying of the foundation stone for a new building in July 2007 is a new milestone in the story of the Herrnhut Star company.
In 1991 the Herrnhut Star Company was founded by changing the fixture business to a private limited company (GmbH). In 2011 a new factory building in Herrnhut was dedicated. Annually, a permanent staff of 60 employees produces by hand 600,000 stars in more than 60 different varieties.
With the completion of the new factory building, the administration, production, and visitor center are all under one roof. A spacious room was created specially for it’s visitors. The showroom demonstrates the manufacture of the handmade stars and also has an exhibition on the history of the Herrnhut stars and the Moravian Church. The Café “Among the Stars” invites relaxation. The relationship between the Town of Herrnhut and its Moravian Congregation is demonstrated not only in the exhibition. In and around the building one can find typical elements of Herrnhut Baroque architecture and Herrnhut landscaping. The colors of the original star – red and white – are the dominant colors of the visitor center. In keeping with tradition and the essential relationship to Christian outreach, the star factory has a focus on creating jobs in the region. It also finances projects of the Moravian Church and its ministry.