Having read my first blog, you will remember how I discussed my PASSION TO CONSULT with all and sundry regarding tile decoration – whether it be feature walls, exotic showers, kitchen splashbacks, water features or entrance halls – in fact any area that requires some rejuvenation!
In this, my second blog, I would like to discuss the second of the three pillars that make up ORIGIN8 – my obsession to SOURCE.
At ORIGIN8 we support the ideal that we need to be passionate about the job that we have chosen in life. With passion, the word ‘work’ is easily translated in ‘hobby’ !
HOBBY : an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure.
PASSION : strong and barely controllable emotion.
Mix these two ingredients together successfully and you have something quite special: an activity born out of a strong and barely controllable emotion done regularly for pleasure.
Now, about this OBSESSION TO SOURCE…
As I have mentioned to many people, in many conversations, I actually really do count myself incredibly blessed to be one of a very small minority who have been able to travel the globe doing what I love and getting paid for it! At last count, I have had the privilege to visit 28 countries around the Globe! That said, I have never taken these journeys lightly. Every factory that I have visited and every trade fair show I have tirelessly walked, has culminated in an extensive library of information stored in this bald head of mine… From the first factory we purchased consignment stock from, in Italy; The treasured trip to the stone factory in Java, Indonesia and the ache in my legs when I remember the trade show that took all of my energy in Orlando, Florida! (To name but a few!)
But the certainty remains in the fact that I will OBSESSIVELY follow the factories that not only create the trends of the future, but also change the entire way we choose to decorate our houses as well as the corporate offices of international brands in our own country and in the wider sphere. These factories are innovative, artistic, trendy, forward thinking, service driven manufacturers that never seem to disappoint.
One of the best examples of this and possibly the main one I have always seen as the world leader in mosaic and décor innovation, is the GLOBAL BRAND set up and still domiciled in Vicenza, Italy. The one and only: BISAZZA.
Founded almost 65 years ago, one only needs to visit one of their stores in Milan, London, New York or Paris to see why they remain the leaders in their industry. Constantly changing and pushing to evolve and grow, yet still keeping the elegant, sophisticated style that is synonymous with their brand. It is for this reason that I am truly honoured to have ORIGIN8 selected by BISAZZA to be their agent/brand ambassador for 6 Southern African countries.
Another gem is the relatively new, but uniquely innovative cement manufacturer: KAZA.
Having visited them twice in Budapest, Hungary, I can honestly say that they have fuelled my obsession for those that are not afraid to make BOLD decisions. Two short years since my first visit with KAZA, shows this company with an astronomical growth rate and the constant need to evolve in order to keep up with the demands from the wider international markets. I remember my first order with them took 3 weeks to manufacture and now, shortly before their move to a much larger manufacturing facility, their lead time for the same order will take 9 weeks to produce! Such is the demand for these products.
So, when the idea to start ORIGIN8 first started to germinate in 2008, the focal point was to be able to successfully bring these kinds of brands into Southern Africa. One could say that my obsession to find these suppliers, started a mere 11 years ago but in truth, I think that it was my father who slowly weaned me onto a diet of fostering the appreciation for quality in decoration from my birth in the mid 1970s. Actually, by writing this piece, it has helped me see how purposefully he planted this seed in me many years ago
To end off, I have only mentioned two manufacturers that I am very aggressively and passionately promoting at this point in time. But for each one I ever mention, there are at least twenty others that are almost on a par with them.
THE CHALLENGE IS…to allow me to find the PERFECT product that you thought only existed in your mind.
My OBSESSIVE answer to this is simple : CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!