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Johannes Jacobsen Grau (1770-1839) was born in the city of Slesvig. Public records show that he was a merchant and distiller in Vejle in 1812. His oldest son, Nicolai Lorentz Grau (1809-1883), the father of Johannes T. Grau, takes over his business in Vejle and his second oldest son, Hans Henrik Grau (1816-1885), goes on to make quite a name for himself in Kolding as a driven businessman and local politician. The Grau family is thought to have been merchants since the late medieval period.
In 1882 Johannes Theodor Grau (1842-1922) is officially granted permission to be merchant in Kolding. Theodor has effectively run the family trading business since 1872 and during that time developed a keen interest in textiles and accessories. He is granted permission to manufacture clothing in Copenhagen in 1894 and sets up his business close to the central train station in the sprawling west end part of town.
GRAU in Kolding
During the 19th Century the Grau family is very active in business and public life in the city of Kolding, Jutland. The best known family member is Hans Henrik Grau (1816-1885) known as 'Konsul Grau' who was the second oldest son of Johannes Jacobsen Grau and the uncle of Johannes Theodor Grau (Picture: The Grau general store on Låsbygade, Kolding).
GRAU in Copenhagen
Johannes T. Grau is granted permission in 1894 to make clothing and accessories in Copenhagen. He calls his factory on Skydebanegade, Vesterbro: 'Fabrikken Jylland'.
Merchant in Kolding
Johannes T. Grau is a merchant in Kolding for more than two decades before he sets up his new business in Copenhagen in 1894.
In 1894 Johannes T. Grau begins his clothing business in Copenhagen on Reventlowsgade 20, but soon after expands his now fast growing business to Skydebanegade 14.
The Grau family business on Victoriagade 16 in the western part of Copenhagen as it looked in 1932
Reinholdt Sofus Grau (1890-1936) follows his fathers lead from very early on and starts his own business in 1911 making high-quality shirts, lingerie and accessories. Reinholdt dies most unfortunately at an early age in 1936
'The Comeback Kid'
Johannes Reinholdt Simon Grau (1914-1990) begins his career in the clothing business from scratch following the death of his father in 1936 and his stepmother´s overtaking of his father's business. Johannes establishes several clothing boutiques in Copenhagen and the surrounding suburban area.
Born into the business Peter Johannes Reinholdt Grau (1945-2016) begins his career as a skilled tailor and salesman working for his father before establishing his own chain of retail clothing stores. Peter is involved in the retail clothing business from the early 1960´s until 1985.
Retail and tailoring
The father of Maria-Louise Grau, Peter J. R. Grau, builds a smaller chain of retail and tailoring stores named 'Adam og Eva'.