Dipl. Ing. Andreas Strauß 2008

The beginnings of Sakkara to go back to March 1986. Driven by his fascination with prehistoric cultures, Andreas Strauss and his friend Ralf travelled together to Egypt and there met Horst and Eveline. This chance meeting at a beach on the Sinai in March 1986 resulted in a business relationship with a start-up capital of DM 100 from the vacation fund - the "Haas & Strauss GbR was founded.

The original idea was to connect work and travel in order to discover the world and other cultures and to put a few D-Marks on a savings account for university studies.

The business registration was completed and "business" could start. Initially handcolored papyrus pictures and copies of Egyptian sculptures were displayed in small galleries, however with only moderate success. A big change came with the TV show "Terra X" - featuring fascinating reports on Egypt's pharaohs and the mystique of the pyramids - a genuine "Egypt-boom" was triggered.


1996 - Horst Hass retires from the Sakkara GmbH and Andreas Strauss is picking up his legacy and becomes the sole owner and CEO of Sakkara GmbH. The Sakkara GmbH is now officially Sakkara Strauss GmbH.

1997 The premises in Schafbergstraße are becoming too restricted - we're looking for a bigger place

2001 The studio had to be closed because of the growing need for space took its toll. The dance studio had to be remodelled into a storage room.  Sakkara GmbH employs 7 staff members and caters to 15,000 customers.

2003 The Sakkara Catalog 2003 becomes the biggest success of the company's history - turnover rises by over 50% and Sakkara GmbH now counts over 24,000 customers and has 14 employees.

2004 there's no room to move and the added workload because of the successful onlineshop start taking their toll, the employees don't get along any more and the team splits - Andreas and Birgit Strauss and 2 loyal employees start anew and continue the success story. The corporate structure is completely redone!

2005 people's desire for belly dance item is unbroken - 2005 is the best result of all - tough negotiations for the purchase of new premises are taking place. On 22 December, it finally came true - the legal purchase contract! A beautiful, historic building with over 1500 square meters of now is in service - "Oriental dance" feeling in its purest form.

2006 Remodelling and renovation demand everything from the new team of Sakkara. But now: a great team, new structures, a great catalog done by Birgit Strauss, and all the space wanted - 2006 again is a full success! The sales personnel has to be increased.

2007 remodelling and renovation are still a topic - the vending space of over 350 square meters was completed and opened to the public. An elevator was installed in order to get the products more quickly from A to B. Service and quality are further increased - sales almost doubled!

2008 The sales room is an absolute point of attraction. Dancers from all over Europe meet here to browse, shop, talk and drink coffee/tea. The direct sales double within the year. A number of new sales clerks - and the Sakkara team now counts 14 employees and 90,000 customers.

2009 Despite all international and national crisis - Belly dance is very much alive! The Sakkara team is celebrating the 100,000th customer and delivery now is done to 42 countries!

2010 ... let's wait and see!

Papyrus brochure 1989

1987 the idea was born to cover the history of the papyrus motifs and paintings and to include the story to the paintings. Birgit Strauss - she studied art history, architectural history and literature and actually still was Birgit Spiller - and Andreas Strauss - he studied mechanical engineering - then went looking through the Federal Library in Karlsruhe until each of the papyrus motives had it's own "history"! Meticulously typed with the typewriter it was reproduced in the student's copy shop. The success was striking - for the first time the amateur client could tell what the pictures described.
Through this "add-on", the first mail-order houses like Wenz, Bader, Heine, Schneider, Oppermann, Grünzweig & Hartmann and others contacted us. They had typical Egyptian providers - but no stories to go with the papyruses - and so it happened that we entered the wholesale of papyrus paintings - Papyrus pictures framed or unframed and hand-poured and colored Bastet-cat figurines.

der erste "Bauchtanzkatalog"

1988 Frequent flights to Egypt were necessitated by increased business, and we were approached by the first oriental dance company in Germany, asking if we could "bring s.th. along" for them. First the parcels of bellydance items were packed in the family room, later in the 2-car garage of the parents. Friends became employees and even grandma helped. Then finally the first storage room in the city of Landau (Palatine): cheap, uncomfortable, not as clean as we would have liked and icy cold in winter! Many of our longstanding, loyal customers will fondly remember the time spent close to the furnace!

That was the start of our trade in belly dance garments, oriental dance costumes with and without coin scarves, accessories for oriental dance, skirts for belly dance with matching scarves, veils, CDs and DVDs, a.s.o. 

1989 We didn't own a shop yet, but we took our items to "Lila's Laden" in the city of Mannheim. The owners Obri" and "Lila" did their best - their guest drink of choice consisted of an surprise-chocolate egg dissolved in coffee... it was drinkable, okay - but the look..... *yak*!

Lila, the owner of the alteration shop, was our first "catalog model" and we published the very first "Bellydance catalog". It consisted of all of 4 pages and 42 items - that's all Egypt had to offer back then.

The era of "Lila's-Laden" did not last long and then Birgit Strauß took over the oriental dance ressort. Instead of selling through a shop she and Andreas Strauß started organizing "Bellydance basars", which always turned out to be a raging success. In order to keep an eye on the items on stock Andreas Strauß developped the first programme to manage the growing number of items and clients. Everything was on a "do it yourself basis" - there was no money for fancy software.

der zweite SAKKARA Bauchtanz-Katalog

1990 The wedding of Birgit and Andreas Strauß - the belly dance items now were packed in the nursery and their son Adrian Strauß, born on February 6th, 1991, of course was always present, everywhere they went.

1991 The first 5 years were over and the trade in accessoires for bellydance grew steadily and finally we had reached a full 1000 customers in our address data file. The first steady employee, Monica - helped on an hourly basis in the evenings to write delivery slips and invoices, while Gabi packed the parcels in Landau (Palatine).

der dritte SAKKARA Bauchtanz-Katalog

1993 - The company called "Haas & Strauß GbR" finally left the swaddling stage - the company SAKKARA GmbH was founded. 

1995 - In May the relocation from Landau (storage room), resp. Karlsruhe (residence) to Schafbergstraße in Baden-Baden took place - our first official premises - a "real" shop and - because we had no use for the space in the rear building, the creation of the studio "Solveig" (path of the sun) - where many renowned instructor were invited to perform high-quality dance workshops.

der dritte SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

1996 - Horst leaves SAKKARA GmbH and Andreas Strauß takes up as sole owner and manager. SAKKARA GmbH now officially has become SAKKARA Strauß GmbH.

1997 working and storage space in Schafbergstraße just are not enough to conduct increased business - so we start looking for larger premises.

der vierte SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

2001 It was necessary to close the dance studio, as we urgently needed additional space for our mail-ordering business for belly dance items. The studio was transferred into a storage/dispatch facility. At that time SAKKARA GmbH employed 7 female staff members and served 15.000 customers.

der fünfte SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

2003 That year our "SAKKARA Katalog 2003" turned out to be our biggest success so far - business turnover increases by more than 50% and SAKKARA GmbH now serves 24.000 customers and employs 14 staff members.

2004 tight space and steadily increasing business take their toll and increased turnover because of the internet boom have the staff on a short-circuit-mood. Their team spirit deteriorates and the staff is reduced. With 2 loyal team members Birgit and Andreas Strauß start anew and completely restructure the company.

der sechste SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

2005 The belly dance boom continues - 2005 again results in a larger turnover than the years before - tough negotiations to purchase new premises are taking place. Then, on December 22nd, it's a deal - the purchase contract is drawn up before a notary! A beautiful, historic building with more than 1500 m² floor space now is serving the "Oriental dance".

2006 Remodelling and renovation are demanding everything from the new SAKKARA-team members. A gret team, new structures, an ingenious catalog done by Birgit Strauß, and space as much as we like - that are the basic facts for the success of 2006! Turnover again is increased significantly.

der siebte SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

2007 Remodelling and renovation continue throughout the year 2007 - the showroom with more than350 m² finally is finished and opened to the public. The installation of an elevator helps to transport goods in-house faster than ever. Service and quality are again increased considereably - and turnover almost doubles.

2008 The showroom becomes our customers' best attraction. Dancers from all over Europe meet here to browse the shop, to buy, talk and of course to share a cup of tea or coffee. The turnover from direct sales in the shop doubles within a year. The team has to be increased once more and SAKKARA now counts 14 female staff members and serves 90.000 customers.

der achte SAKKARA Bauchtanzkatalog

2009 In spite of all talk of crisis - Bellydance very much is alive! The SAKKARA-Team celebrates the 100.000th customer and goods now are sent to 42 countries worldwide! The husbands and friends (and kids) of our customers are happy to spend time in our poolroom! A coffee machine for self-service and reading material in the foyer are open to all visitors and shorten their wait.

2010 The latest catalog just came out of print - this time 60.000 were printed - and it gained many fans internationally! We've enlargened our product line: Middle Eastern Dance, Tribal and Tribal Fusion, many designer costumes, new practice wear and much much more! Also new: Sakkara is opening its first Franchise company in Switzerland - which our Swiss customers gladly accept. And we're starting with the preliminary work for the coming year, which will be the 25th anniversary of Sakkara - OMG - it's been a quarter century already!!!

2011-12 That year saw our silver jubilee catalog, 126 pages full of new styles! Our Swiss franchise company is being handed over to Brigitte Keller, who now is also on board for a full year. In 2011 we opened our doors for the 25th anniversary and we held a house fair in celebration. We'd like to say once more Thank you to all artists from nearby and afar who presented a versified show for our invitation-only guests!

Picture gallery anniversary event