Although the furniture brand Variedo is cheekily youthful, it turns to decade-old family carpentry traditions with the utmost respect. They would like to end stereotypes about Slovak furniture armed with an excellent taste and personalized solutions. On their website, we can design our dream cabinets ourselves: with the help of a built-in configurator, we can choose the color of the furniture piece, as well as the material of its knobs and feet. We asked brand founder Kristína Imrichová.
The Variedo brand takes its roots in a family carpentry which was established thirty years ago. But how and when did Variedo start exactly? If I am right, the brand is quite young, isn’t it?
Variedo was introduced to the public only 1.5 years ago. We can say that our story is a combination of love for creation, values and previous experiences.
Before Variedo, I lived in Italy, the Czech Republic and Romania. Officially, I am a process management graduate; during and after my studies, I was focusing on marketing and event management. Actually, I never would have thought that I would be working in this field and come back to my hometown. But I came back, because I felt that Slovakia is my home and I started to work at my father’s company. I had the opportunity to see how difficult the process of custom production and the whole communication could be. I was looking for new, easier ways for customers to buy quality custom-made products online and tried to identify what people are really looking for. I started to see the beauty of design, and I knew I wanted to support our local designers, young talents and manufacturers, and bring new perspective to the market. The production takes place in Piešťany: we would like to support local companies, so even our main suppliers are from Piešťany’s surroundings.
Beginnings were difficult, of course. I am not a carpenter, so I had to learn so many things—even to build a cabinet by myself. But we made it, and the first prizes (ELLE Deco International Design Award CZ in Furniture category, Czech Design Award) we have won for the design gave us the confirmation and courage for the next plans and steps—so here we are now.
Could you please introduce the Variedo team members and their role in the company?
Even though this is not usual for a carpentry company, our core team consists only of women. I can say that all of them are talented women with motivation and a big heart. From the very beginning, our important member is Gabika Rusková. She is originally a graphic designer, but shortly after she had become part of our team, she got herself involved in all core processes in Variedo. So almost everything you can see in terms of Variedo’s communication has passed by Gabika’s hands and eyes. Then we have Natália Kollárová in our team: she is responsible for B2B international sales. Now we are working on a sustainable collection, so we have Andrea Furicová, who is responsible for researching new materials and communication with possible suppliers.
What is the superpower of Variedo? We can mainly see custom-made cabinets in your portfolio.
Our superpower is not actually only ours but our customers’, too. We have the necessary tools, materials and colors to allow everyone who wants to create their own cabinet to be a designer for a moment. In such a short time, we could see so many beautiful designs created by our customers. We had never produced the same cabinet twice. There are so many options that everyone can create the right piece for their home.
You are often collaborating with Slovak and Czech designers. One of these designers is Romi Klimeková, who created a special collection for you, called ’her&him’. Could you please tell us a little bit more about this collaboration?
Romi Klimekova is a Slovak interior designer who is extremely talented in seeing and feeling a space. She often supports local and young brands, and we are thankful for the opportunity to collaborate with her. The collection represents the beauty in the combination of timeless materials such as wood, stone and brass. All of those materials were trendy many years ago, and they will be in the future as well.
What do you think, what other people think about Slovak design or Slovak furniture? Are there any stereotypes? My suspicion about this topic is that ordinary people might think that Slovak furniture is something very traditional, very folklore, but as we can see, a Slovak piece of furniture can be as cool, as minimalistic, and therefore as Western-looking as Variedo is. Can you mention any other counter-examples, some other Slovak brands?
Yes, this can be one of the stereotypes. In Slovakia, we had many craftsmen in our villages. Slovakia has such a beautiful wooden heritage. Old folk villages, where you can see the talent of our ancestors. In our history, we were more connected to folklore. But in Czechoslovakia, we had great timeless designers and quality production as well. Nowadays, we have some brands, which take Slovak roots and work with wood in a minimalistic way. I see that, unfortunately, many people don’t know Slovak brands and designers. We don’t have many, but some of them are doing really well: for example, the brand Javorina. They founded the company in 1947, so they have a long history and produce beautiful pieces for the modern market. Javorina is a good example of working with our roots and contemporary design simultaneously.
Photos: Variedo, Alex Chudá