Indonesia Tatler talks to four second-generation business owners who are looking to take the luxury furniture industry by storm. These entrepreneurs tell us how they are going to pull ahead in an industry that gets more competitive by the day.
Americana in Asia
As a family business in existence for 16 years, Malinda Furniture Gallery started off as a fine arts gallery before its next-generation owner Andy Lim was recommended by his mother to open a furniture outlet. When Indonesia was going through economic changes in 1998, Andy turned from working as an engineer in the US to owning furniture stores here. Malinda is now focusing on American-style furniture, having previously focused on Italian and American styles, which is demonstrated in the well-known American brands displayed across its many showrooms.
“I think American brands are very dynamic, innovative and one of the best performers that sets the trend,” he says. In the long run, Andy dreams of expanding to a one-stop home furnishing store in a headquarters comprising 10,000 square metres focusing on major American brands.
The Higher End
With a background in interior design, Michelle Shang felt right at home upon joining the Moie family as their design director. Today, more luxurious furniture brands are joining the company, such as the Italian brand Minotti and Poliform, for which Moie is building a flagship showroom for the first time in Indonesia.
Despite this year’s recent economy dip, Moie has flourished and opened a new showroom for the Italian brand Promemoria, launched two new brands—Armani Casa and Barbara Barry Realized by Henredon— and also moved its Pacific Place showroom to a bigger location in the same mall. With Barbara Barry in Moie, Michelle has achieved her dream, “She’s one designer that I truly admire,” says Michelle, “The design is timeless with a modern take on classic furniture—her colours are subtle as Barbara Barry is inspired by nature, which is similar to my style.”
Igniting the Spark
Ever since she was young, Karina Cheung had always been interested in architecture and art. While it seemed inevitable that Karina would continue the family business, running the Bika furniture empire is a far cry from her first dream job: to become an archaeologist.
Countless visits to factories and stores when she was young left Karina a little jaded towards the outward appearance of furniture pieces. To Karina, an outstanding piece of furniture is one that is filled with details that tell the story of the designer’s thought processes and the steps leading to its creation.
Now, Karina runs the family’s one-stop store for furniture and homeware, Bika Living, with a philosophy that goes beyond just selling products. She has designed the space with a flow that encourages visitors to make their own creative decisions. Sticking to the family’s 41-year-old mantra of excellence in quality and design, Karina is set to take Bika to even greater heights.
Travelling around the world as a family since their early years opened Andi and Martin Lim’s eyes and ideas to the beauty of nature and art. Andi then became an interior designer and opened Joop Fine Living, which has grown to include many prestigious brands such as Portugal’s Serip Lighting. After their beloved father passed away, the business baton now is in Martin’s hand and Andi’s focus has shifted to managing the family’s inheritance.
The younger brother expanded the business by opening an exclusive boutique for Serip and sold more than half of the stock three weeks after soft opening. “I believe that art and creativity are something that you can’t push or motivate others to like,” Martin says. “When people like your products and your idea, then they will choose yours.” Now Andi channels his creativity, dream and family inheritance through building a phinisi ship and resort on a private island nearby Komodo Island.