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Homegrown | Montreux Furniture

Homegrown is a series highlighting some of our local and loved creative businesses in the community who have been designing and crafting on the local and international stage.
 
In today’s interview we speak to Andrew Hopping from Christchurch based furniture manufacturer, Montreux Furniture. Montreux Furniture are committed to quality furniture pieces with a European elegance. Made proudly in New Zealand using local hardwood timber they feature their pieces in showrooms in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.   

JDT

How did your company start?

AH

Barry and Pat Hopping created Moran New Zealand after originally importing Moran furniture from Melbourne in the 1980s when the New Zealand-Australia free trade agreement was established.  Over time it made sense to progress to manufacturing product under license in Christchurch due to the economic disparity between the countries.
 
I returned from the UK in 1999 and joined Moran NZ and all was well until 2000 when, due to pressure from leather imports into Australia, Moran Furniture decided to run a lesser quality product through Harvey Norman in Australia and ultimately New Zealand. 
 
We parted ways on this decision and established Montreux Furniture remaining committed to producing high quality products for the New Zealand market.

JDT

What drives your vision and how do you achieve this?

AH

We are passionately motivated to bring quality furnishing solutions to New Zealanders.  We do this by maintaining a focus on structural integrity, meticulous tailoring, and sumptuous comfort and covered in a range of premium New Zealand hides as well as global fabrics.

JDT

What is your design process, what is special about it?

AH

Our design process is not dictated by the dollar cost. It is all about ‘Value for Money’. We use the best materials and have the best craftsmen and the resulting product is something I can sell, with hand on heart saying it is the very best made product in New Zealand, it won’t fail you and it has little environmental impact.

Our work also includes bespoke design.  The customised nature of our business matched with the skills of our team allows us to accommodate a range of design requests from upholstery, wood and steel.  

JDT

Where do you source your raw materials from?

AH

Sustainable Southland Beech hardwood timber is key to our framing. Taken from second cut growth ensures a superior quality end product with natural strength and durability. Our beech is supplied by a Southland based company which is the only New Zealand native timber supplier to hold the internationally recognised certification FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council), for its forestry and processing operations.
 
This is part of our firm focus on environmental sustainability.

JDT

Where do you get your inspiration from? 

AH

Design is adaptation. No matter how many words you wrap around something the ‘wheel is still round’. Many designs come from gaps in the market based on required application. Overseas trends no doubt influence any design and is a matter of staying informed and relevant.

JDT

How would you describe your production process and quality processes?

AH

Craftsmanship 100%.   Mass production is difficult in New Zealand as the numbers aren’t there. Each piece of Montreux Furniture is allocated in its entirety to a particular craftsman to complete. Our team have been with us a long time, some have been with us 25 years so their skills and knowledge are the best around.  
 
Having a significant range, enables many starting points for bespoke styling and design. All pieces can be adjusted to fulfill a ‘fit for purpose’ dynamic.
 
We were the first company in New Zealand to have a 10 year structural guarantee. People pay good money for Montreux, they expect it to last. With care and quality coverings, the pieces will age gracefully - Just like a good Porsche.

JDT

What are the key aspects of design you are balancing – look, feel, comfort, speed of delivery, final quality and craftsmanship. 

AH

All are a factor. The look has to be relevant to the person buying it, as does the feel and comfort. Delivery of between 6 to 8 weeks is considered fair for the manufacture of New Zealand product. Quality and craftsmanship is what is expected by everyone – it just depends what level they expect and ours is high.  You are better off doing it right and well the first time.

JDT

Which of our fabrics is your favorite? 

AH

We love the Mokum range in particular Reef. We describe Mokum to New Zealand Designers as the “Affordable Luxury New Zealand Brand”. To see our furniture made up in Mokum gives it an air of quality.

www.montreux.co.nz

Ash

Andrew Hopping

Herbert Chair

Lucca Chair

Duchamp Sofa

St Germain Sofa

Related

Homegrown | The Wood Room Furniture

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This interview is with Australian furniture designers The Wood Room from Sydney.   Starting a business from scratch in their garage, this creative partnership has grown steadily to a team of 12 who craft beautiful bespoke pieces from American Oak, that are made to last.  We chat to one half of the creative duo - Kate Nicholson on everything about their growing business: