Dubai-based Wood Couture supplies bespoke furniture, artwork and decorative accessories, specialising in hospitality projects and high-end residential.
Wood Couture's two co-founders have different, but complementary, backgrounds and say that the combination is key. One thing they have in common is the passion they developed for hospitality during the course of their careers.
It is that passion that brought them together when they realised they had similar views about current issues in the industry where they felt they could make a difference. Filippo Sona has more than 20 years of experience in management consulting for the hospitality sector worldwide, while Paolo Della Casa has been an entrepreneur in FF&E for the hospitality and high-end residential market for decades.
Both extremely successful in their fields, they decided to join forces and create something better, something new, which launched in 2020.
With the combination of passion, knowledge and technology, they tell Commercial Interior Design how their "unique" process will certainly change things for the better.
"What differentiates us is our offer – production experts beyond the traditional manufacturing skills. This is going to shake the industry for many reasons," says co-founder and CEO Paolo Della Casa.
"Manufacturing experts, product developers, suppliers, design collaborators – we cover all of the activities during the course of the project.
"Having extensive and hands-on experience in all aspects, we want to use our expertise to modernise the furniture supply industry. Due to multiple parties being involved from the design phase all the way to the final delivery of the items, a simple process becomes complicated.
"This is an industry where each party doesn't have thorough knowledge and understanding of the project phases, and where each step of the process often occurs in different geographical areas. This leaves a lot of room for intentional and unintentional avoidable delays, foreseeable issues and unrepresentative prices. Wood Couture's solution is simple: a bird's eye view perspective connecting the dots of all moving parts, and technology that supports the stakeholders in making important decisions.
"Through our distinct Wood Couture end-to-end process, we manage all phases of creating bespoke furniture, artwork, and decorative accessories, for hospitality projects and high-end residential.
"Our core values are design integrity, hotel brand standards and client investment. Therefore, we approach every single project with a three-dimensional view. For the designers' perspective, we interact closely with them to ensure the integrity of their design is followed through. Operator-wise, we know very well and protect the hotel brand standards of each operator. Lastly, for our clients, we transform the owner's asset into inventory and information by ensuring the right investment using our deep knowledge and extraordinary creativity in the budgeting.
"While we do manufacture the goods, we do not own manufacturers. Rather, we have adopted the asset-light business model, carried by pioneers such as Uber and Airbnb.
"Thanks to our experience (and we have learned the hard way…), we have partnered with long-term known factories to establish a total quality management system to produce different levels of furniture, from five star to economy hotels. These partners have the know-how and they fully adopted our Wood Couture system. In other words, what we own is the process itself.
"Through Wood Couture's involvement and coaching, our selected manufacturing facilities turn the operations from static to dynamic, in order to adapt and adjust per project, and fully develop that flexibility.
"Once a project begins, we are is onsite to manage the fabrication process and live-track the progress. This allows the highest efficiency and the assurance of the best possible quality.
"Not everyone understands which skills and equipment are needed based on the specific profile of a project, but we do. We have vetted facilities that we now work with, and for each new project we will pair accordingly. We are essentially manufacturing experts," adds co-founder Filippo Sona.
"In our combined past experience, we have signed the FF&E of all hotel areas in the magnificent Kempinski Beirut, in the classic Waldorf Astoria DIFC Dubai in the guestrooms, and in all areas of the Taj Jumeirah Lake Towers.
"As newcomers this year, we have made quite an impression in the sector such that in March, Wood Couture officially became the preferred supplier for all FF&E needs of Al Shaya Enterprises, a force in the Gulf Region's commercial real estate market.
"Stay tuned for project announcements currently kept under wraps, including a famous luxury name in Kuwait and another in Bangalore.
"In the near future, our work will be revealed in the latest SLS hotel addition located in Dubai, soon to open. Our production team and partners are currently hard at work producing exquisitely designed furniture for the interiors."
Pull up a handcrafted chair and watch this space...