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Malaysia Tatler Homes - - STYLE -

t is not of­ten that one finds a spirit that breezes op­ti­mism and fo­cused pas­sion in spite of re­jec­tion, fail­ure and hard­ship. But it all comes in one nat­u­ral pack­age in Robert Dekeyser, af­fec­tion­ately known as Bobby by his friends. Iron­i­cally enough, the Dedon out­door fur­ni­ture brand was born in 1990 while Dekeyser was con­fined in­doors on a hos­pi­tal bed, knocked out of ac­tion as a goal­keeper for FC Bay­ern Mu­nich by an el­bow blow to his face. Dur­ing the two weeks he was re­cu­per­at­ing, he found through the news­pa­pers that the Ger­man soc­cer club had un­cer­e­mo­ni­ously re­placed him. Out of a job and pon­der­ing his next step, Dekeyser, who was then 26 years old, de­cided from that mo­ment on, he would play by his own rules. “At that point I came from a one-di­men­sional world of soc­cer where all we were pro­grammed to do was to be good in the game, be healthy and win, win, win. When I had the ac­ci­dent, I came out of the sys­tem. I cre­ated a new world where I could do nice things with won­der­ful peo­ple. I wanted to cre­ate an at­mos­phere where peo­ple like to come to work and can cre­ate beau­ti­ful ideas,” says the debonair en­tre­pre­neur who has a soft-spo­ken charm about him. Al­though the open-air liv­ing room con­cept was in its in­fancy, and the syn­thetic fi­bre Dekeyser de­vel­oped with his un­cle, a plas­tic ex­tru­sion ex­pert, was one of its kind in the world, it took nearly 10 years be­fore Dedon achieved any real success. “Maybe we were too young, so it took a long time to be suc­cess­ful,” muses Dekeyser. “But even though it was dif­fi­cult, the at­mos­phere was great. The pas­sion of the peo­ple to cre­ate some­thing re­ally nice and beau­ti­ful kept us mo­ti­vated.”

FOOT­BALL TO FUR­NISH­ING

Dekeyser was signed as a goal­keeper for Bay­ern Mu­nich when he was 19. How­ever, a fa­cial in­jury put an end to his hopes of ven­tur­ing fur­ther into the field.

NESTREST

One of Dedon’s most out­stand­ing de­signs, the Nestrest was launched in 2010 to wide ac­claim. The large strips used in the weav­ing help to put the oth­er­wise bulky look­ing hang­ing sofa into an en­dear­ing pro­por­tion. As its name sug­gests, the Nestrest was in­spired by the shape of a bird’s nest.

COM­ING OF AGE

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