Q & A

House and Leisure (South Africa) - - View - wood­ben­der.co.za

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.

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