Passing through the beech forests and the small village of Diö by the river Helgeå, you will not only find Sweden’s oldest furniture manufacturer, Gemla Fabrikers, founded in 1861. You will also encounter a curiously rich history, characterised by inventiveness, as well as stubborness, said to be typical of the region of Småland. In the 19th century, craftsmen from Bohemia arrived in Diö, bringing the know-how and experience from Thonet’s factories with them. They were the first in Sweden to introduce the art of shaping wood. Throughout the years, Gemla has been through factory fires and changes of ownership, as well as several alterations in direction and production.