Q & A
Leading South African furniture manufacturing company Woodbender marks its 30th anniversary with the launch of the elegant Cala dining chair. We chatted to Woodbender co-owner and co-director Shirley Mast about furniture trends and the company’s decades-long heritage.
As a creative business owner, you have access to the latest international design ideas. What are the trends you see coming through in
the next year or two? It feels like we are on the cusp of moving away from some of the trends and popular designs that have been around for the past few years. For example, light, natural timber has been ever popular in line with the Scandinavian decor trend, but warmer, darker wood tones are slowly starting to gain ground again. How does Woodbender balance its company heritage and emphasis on superb quality with staying up to date in terms of design leanings? While being sensitive to trends and design evolution, we never compromise on the strength and durability that Woodbender products are known for. We have often had to abstain from popular furniture trends if the strength of the final product could be questioned. For us, product quality and longevity must always trump fleeting trends. With Woodbender celebrating its 30th anniversary as a business in 2018, what is the one thing you know now that you wish you’d
known when starting so many years ago? I think the biggest lesson has been to embrace change and see it as a positive part of any aspect of life – not the least in business. Nothing is static and you constantly have to be looking for new opportunity and direction with enthusiasm and energy.
Clean-lined and refined, Woodbender’s new Cala chair is perfect for contemporary open-plan spaces.