All that glitters: how jewellery inspired a furniture success story
To achieve success, it’s often said you need to “think big” – and for one family of master jewellers from Lithuania, it’s literally true. Their leap from jewellery-making to furniture design might not seem the most obvious move – but by putting their creativity and expert metalworking skills to work on a larger scale, they have produced a range of subtle, nature-inspired tables and other items they call “jewellery for the home”. And after finding favour with buyers at home and in the US, they now hope German consumers will fall in love with their innovative designs too.
Like so many changes, this radical new direction began during the global pandemic. With demand for jewellery diminished, the father and his two sons applied their knowledge to a create range of metal furniture, building on Lithuania’s time-honoured traditions of craftsmanship and innovative, modern production facilities. Their company, KOPAR, already receives orders from around the world, and exports around 70% of its production. Now, after participating in this year’s Maison Objet 2021 exhibition in Paris, KOPAR is ready to make its German debut in January at IMM Cologne 2022.
The furniture’s uniqueness lies in its use of production techniques inspired by jewellery-making, which capture the natural beauty of metals. The distinctive myriad of tones are not created using paints – instead, oxidation allows the metals to reveal themselves in a variety of natural colours and patterns through the natural aging process.
“We work with metals such as copper and brass that mankind has used for centuries, and breath new life into them using modern design,” explains Paulius Baužys, one of the founding sons. “The oxidation technology we use, together with our spinning sanding technique, give surfaces a subtle texture, which is perfect for modern interiors.”
“Our customers want to stand out from the crowd and avoid mass-produced items,” he adds. “They often use our pieces as accents in the home instead of a painting or other work of art. It’s hard to surprise people in the furniture market these days – but I think we’re succeeding!”
Sustainability is also a key part of the company’s vision. Its furniture is not just easy on the eye – it’s kind to the planet too.
“Each of our products is made so that it can be refreshed over the years rather than replaced,” Paulius explains. “All surfaces can be polished or varnished if they become damaged or scratched. After many years, we can re-sand and refinish the surface of an existing product, thus completely renovating it.”
“When we look at issues such as climate change, it’s clear we need to find innovative and responsible solutions,” he says. “That’s why we use our materials as efficiently as possible. If we cut a tabletop from a plate, we use the rest to make a mirror or furniture handles. And being located in Europe, we’re also closer to our customers, which reduces the length of our supply chain.”
Metals are a growing trend in interior design, providing new opportunities for the company, whose environmental ethos also resonates with consumers increasingly looking for products that do not need to be replaced every few years. KOPAR believes its guarantee of quality, longevity and sustainability will be especially attractive to German buyers.
German consumers are among the most demanding in the world, says Paulius, and the company is currently working with consultants LGG Baltikum to tailor its products, packaging and service to the needs of German buyers. KOPAR plans to select its first potential partners at the beginning of January.
Photos by KOPAR
With the world becoming more complicated every day, it’s great to come home to simplicity. To create a natural oasis of calm and cosiness, German consumers are increasingly choosing to surround themselves with the beauty and simplicity of furniture and other household goods that are made using natural, sustainable materials.
Lithuanian manufacturer Vilmers has discovered the secret to a comfortable living: furniture that combines practical, functional design with sustainability. The Lithuania-based Scandinavian capital company mainly produces sofas, and is making great strides in the German market –around 70 orders a week are received from Germany, and almost a tenth of the company’s production is exported to the country.