Gertraud Gruber – a pioneer with vision
Her name has been a trademark for many years. Since 1955 Gertraud Gruber has been synonymous with classic beauty care based on natural principles – and more besides: with her holistic ethos, right from day one she focused not only on the face and body but also on the wellbeing of the mind and the soul in her treatments.
Born in Munich in 1921, Gertraud Gruber originally wanted to be a dancer. But the war put an end to her time at the famous Isadora Duncan school, and Gertraud Gruber went on to train in kinesiatrics, specialising in treating the facial muscles after nerve damage.
After the end of the war she qualified at the Friedl Groh cosmetics school in Munich, married and went into business as a beautician in Rottach-Egern in 1949. Gertraud Gruber travelled to her first customers by bicycle carrying creams made in her own laboratory which she used in her treatments.
Europe’s first beauty farm
Right from the start, cosmetics on their own were too little for Gertraud Gruber. With all the deprivations of the post-war period, she wanted to make women more beautiful ‘as a whole, from inside and outside’. So the grande dame of cosmetics and pioneer of the wellness movement opened Europe’s first ever beauty farm in Rottach-Egern on Lake Tegernsee in 1955.
After various transitional arrangements, Gertraud Gruber and her guests first stayed in a converted silver fox farm, which later led to the coining of the term ‘beauty farm’. Later Gertraud Gruber and her husband bought a house on Berta-Morena-Weg in Rottach-Egern. Expanded, developed and offering a comprehensive wellness programme, this still forms the heart of the farm, which now counts more than 100 beds in several buildings.
True to her motto, ‘When you stop wanting to be better, you stop being good’, Gertraud Gruber regularly incorporates new ingredients and manufacturing and application methods into her treatments.
But first and foremost she identifies trends and tries out new findings. As one of the first students of Dr. Vodder, Gertraud Gruber obtained a diploma in Manual Lymph Drainage as early as 1957.
In the early 1960s she discovered yoga through Selva Raya Yesudian, and not long afterwards she joined the Association of Yoga Teachers in Germany.
Yoga in the pavilion, designed according to Feng Shui principles, still forms a key part of the farm’s program along with Qi Gong, meditative dance and gymnastics. Ayurvedic methods have also joined the range of classic cosmetic treatments.
And since 1997 the farm has expanded its special diet of vital nutrient rich food with a ‘Basic Deacidification Week’ menu.
Gertraud Gruber – revered and honoured
An energetic businesswoman, Gertraud Gruber has retained her natural and positive charisma and her heart in the right place, in spite of all her success as the founder of the first European beauty farm in Rottach-Tegern on Lake Tegernsee over 60 years ago and the fact that she lent her name to the cosmetics brand known across the globe.
A unique series of awards marks Gertraud Gruber’s journey through life as a cosmetics pioneer and businesswoman.
The most important milestones:
- 1971 Asta-Poppelsdorf medal, the top award handed out by the Association of German Cosmeticians (BDK)
- 1985 The Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for outstanding services to the promotion and development of cosmetics in Germany
- 1985 Letter of recognition from the municipality of Rottach-Egern
- 1985 State medal for special services to the Bavarian economy 2001 “A Life of Beauty”, Beauty International Prize for outstanding services in the field of professional cosmetics and appreciation of lifetime achievement (first award of prize)
- 2004 Golden Hammock awarded by “Haasers magazin Wellness-Urlaub” for her invention of the beauty farm and in appreciation of her lifetime achievement
- 2005 Honorary citizenship of the municipality of Rottach-Egern
- 2006 Bavarian Order of Merit
- 2011 Award of the Business Prize for Lifetime Achievement by the District Miesbach/Upper Bavaria