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Homegrown – Wolf & Co

A perfect quote by Frank Lloyd Wright is “Form follows function - that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union” and that is exactly our goal, as without one, the product is not a success. 

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.  
 
Today we hear from Wolf & Co, a flourishing New Zealand wholesale furniture business who’s belief and true passion for the art of crafting beautiful furniture, has seen them grow in a very competitive market.  Lauren Hunter, Sales Manager at Wolf & Co shares the company’s evolution and insights into a small yet agile business.

JDT

Tell us about the evolution of the company?

W&C

Wolf & Co is a fairly new kid on the block having recently launched in 2020 to the wholesale market.  The aim behind Wolf & Co was to form a bespoke offering, purely for the design industry. In essence a collaboration between the Interior Designer and Wolf & Co, producing unique, superior quality product that will stand the test of time.

A concept conceived by owner and successor of EJP, Conan Philp, Wolf & Co offers something different than the parent company.  Formed in the 1970’s, EJP’s retail arm has been furnishing homes throughout New Zealand and Australia and carved a great reputation for themselves in the industry amongst retailers and in the commercial sectors.

JDT

What is your vision and driving passion?

W&C

Our vision is to craft product that designers and their clients love. We are a brand born from the passion to create luxury.   We want to be seen as a flexible brand that will work alongside you, listen to your needs and execute your vision. We would love to see Wolf & Co product in homes throughout New Zealand and specified for high-end commercial projects. 

Our driving passion is that we want to keep manufacturing unique, sustainable, New Zealand-made product and keep our talented team doing what they love.   Our dedication to the industry can be seen in our apprentice scheme, set up to train the next generation of upholsterers. We have in-house training for fabric cutting, fabric sewers, frame makers and upholsterers.

JDT

How do you ensure your products are meeting the needs of the end client?

W&C

Wolf & Co is a new brand so we’ve really been focusing on connecting with designers, and focusing on understanding their world - what they want, what they are working on, what is trending and the space we can fill within that. 

We launched at a strange time, just before lockdown however we are continuing to reach designers via our Instagram, emails, newsletters and phone conversations. Our goal is to keep the connections and information flowing, so we can continue to create and collaborate with them.

JDT

What makes your design process different?

W&C

Our design process starts with a conversation – whether that be within our internal team or with the client, to discuss our end product goal. If a product is completely new, it goes through a phase of prototyping to make sure everything is perfect in terms of the design – the look, the scale and the comfort. From there, our in-house CAD team gets to work on a digital toolpath, which is then cut on our CNC machine, and passed to our frame room so a physical timber frame can be made. Once the frame is done, foam is added, and then fabric of the client’s choice.

Our particular process is special because it is about collaboration with our clients (Interior Designers). Wolf & Co is not about creating designs that are then purchased off the shelf, the products we make are fully customisable, and we can also create completely bespoke designs from scratch to meet our client’s individual needs for their project. We are about creating pieces from our client’s vision, not the other way around. That way we are able to let our clients take the wheel.  It’s a unique offering that we are proud of. 

A perfect quote by Frank Lloyd Wright is “form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union” and that is exactly our goal, as without one, the product is not a success. 

JDT

What inspires your designs?

W&C

Inspiration can come from anywhere – a conversation with a client about what they are looking for or being asked for, a product we have seen at a show, overseas trends, a Pinterest or Instagram post, a fabric we have been shown. 

We are lucky to have open communication within our office and factory where people are free to discuss ideas and inspiration, and often these are translated into product.

JDT

Where do you source you raw materials from?

W&C

All of our timber products are sourced from reputable suppliers using sustainable timber sourced from New Zealand. All our timber and timber products are FSC certified and all of our foam is made in New Zealand. We are all about supporting local, and choosing sustainable product where possible. All of the timber inside our frames has been kiln dried and is grown in New Zealand.

JDT

How do you evaluate craftsmanship vs. production?

W&C

We are a manufacturer with several brands delivering value to all parts of the market. EJP produces a small number of product options on mass for large retailers and commercial projects; our Alfred Street brand sits somewhere in the middle of the continuum, producing mid-end product for Independent Retailers; whereas Wolf & Co pieces are produced in small numbers by a small team for the high-end market. 

Each sector has a different production line and process that they go through, however all of our brands keep quality front of mind. Rather than skimping on quality to achieve the large numbers EJP produces, our ethos is to keep the options at a general market level less – ultimately not slowing down the process of manufacture, and keeping the quality high. 

Wolf & Co pieces are hand crafted, with the highest quality timber, springs, foams and fabrics used. No detail is skipped over, with pieces taking days – sometimes weeks to make.  

JDT

Quality control?

W&C

We have strict quality control checks throughout the manufacturing process and a final comprehensive QC process at end of manufacturing process – meaning nothing is missed. Our factory team follow check lists and a coloured visual sash system to ensure quality in every piece. We also have a feedback system to help reduce future issues and are continuously improving and updating our processes so that we can achieve the best results. All products have 10–20 year frame warranties.

JDT

What are you favourite fabrics? 

W&C

We love natural or nature inspired fabrics with lots of texture. We have used Mokum fabric ‘Piet’ in colour Blanc on our London sofa in our showroom and the thick weave is absolutely stunning. Another one we love is Mokum’s ‘Thread’ in colour Nature, on our loose cover Matakana sofa. 

We have paired this with cushions in ‘Handloom’ colour Linen and ‘Raku’ in colour Clay which is a neutral lover’s dream.

JDT

What are brands do you connect with?

W&C

Any brand that has a unique vision and stays true to themselves and the New Zealand way of life.  All- Birds is a Kiwi brand we admire for their shoe designs and their whole ethos. They have looked at the shoe industry and created an entirely new category of product, made from New Zealand wool and recyclable materials (plastic bottles make up the laces). Comfortable, simple in design, sustainable, innovative and now a global brand – what’s not to be inspired by!  

We are also inspired by you – James Dunlop. As a family business ourselves, we understand the passion and the long hours that go into keeping a brand and business thriving, and to have done that for four generations is no easy feat. We are in awe of your commitment to being socially responsible and making change within our community and hope to be able to do the same within our business.

www.wolfandco.co.nz

Related

Homegrown | Montreux Furniture

People & Places

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.