Amid a sea of generic imports, Papillion Furniture has triumphed by staying local. With the company reaching the ten year mark this year, Furniture Fair Online caught up with managing director Robert Ince to uncover the secrets of custom made success.
Robert Ince is a believer in serendipity. At a time when a niche for high end, custom designed furniture is emerging in the furniture industry, he recognises that his family has the expertise to meet the challenge.
“When we established the company a decade ago, Australian-made furniture was mainly off the shelf and we saw an opportunity to specialise in unique, hand-crafted, custom-designed pieces,” he confirms.
Papillion – which will be showcased at the Australian International Furniture Fair, from February 3 to 5 2010, at the Sydney Exhibition Centre – also regularly launches standard lines, with new September releases including the Full Wrap Ottoman, the Mecca Sofa and the Yoko Screen (all pictured).
“Our grandparents had an upholstery business in Europe, so we had the background and, as we soon discovered, there was a strong demand for our furniture. We started with one factory. Now we have three.”
Today, four family members run the Dandenong South based company, whose meticulously crafted contemporary and classic furniture is designed and manufactured in-house.
“We handle small and large projects, catering to the commercial, hospitality and residential sectors,” says Ince.
Papillion’s emphasis on elegant, multi-functional furniture that accommodates individual designs and preferences in details such as fabrics has made the firm a favourite with architects and interior designers nationwide, he adds.
The company has certainly come a long way since its origins a decade ago as a small manufacturing business; evolving into a specialist , niche business that prides itself on its ability to respond to any brief.
“The work Papillion Furniture is best known for is in custom made pieces, created to order, promising client-specific furniture designs, handcrafted the old fashion way, with quality materials and fine workmanship. The company can work with modifications to previous designs or original concepts.”