INTERVIEW WITH MARIA JOSE VARGAS AND DANIEL GARCIA, THE NAMES BEHIND WOODENDOT
Woodendot is a furniture design studio founded in 2013 by Daniel García and María Jose Vargas in the city of Valladolid. Their life, linked in one way or another to the wood and the forests that surround their hometown, has inspired their creations.
Your company’s vision and mission shows that your business values are strongly linked to tradition and customs. How important are they for your company? How does it translate into your products?
We choose tradition and we mix it with design. For example, we love working with artisan woodworkers because they are a great source of knowledge. On numerous occasions, during the process of creating a new product they will come up with a solution we needed. We also love working with natural materials such as wood or leather.
After four years at the head of Woodendot, how would you assess your this journey? What are your hopes for the future?
The balance is positive, since we started we have not stopped growing, it has been a slow but steady growth. What we ask for (and what we are working for) is to keep the momentum going: new products, new partners, and a bigger reach.
A common doubt amongst most people (especially young people) when considering their next career move is whether to take the risk of creating their own company or working for one. This is a particularly relevant issue when you are a creative person (A designer or an architect, for example). What would you tell to all those people who are facing this dilemma?
It is difficult situtation to advise. For our part, we believe that the entrepenuerial spirt is innate, not everyone can be an entrepreneur. That being said, passion and attitude are extremely important, and we must also consider consistency, hardwork, discipline, and being well prepared. Furthermore, entrepenuerships aren't manned single-handedly, they require a lot of group effort and teamwork in order to be successful.
It is undeniable that your commitment to the environment – manifested throughout the entire life cycle of your products – is a fundamental pillar of your company. How does all this affect the design and production process of your products? How do you think your customers value this commitment?
We do indeed always take into account the environment in everything we do. At each stage of the creative process we analyze how to have a lower environmental impact. For example, we are now creating new series of products - launching soon -, and we are working hard to try to reduce packaging to the maximum, not only in volume and weight (less environmental impact during transport), but also in using the minimum possible packaging material. We know that our customers value it very positively because we ask them directly. Each customer who buys a product from us receives a short survey in which we ask, among other things, the level of importance of our enviromental commitment in their purchasing decision.
Do you consider sustainability not only from a product perspective but also from the creation process involved? Is it a commercial strategy or a necessary asset in our production system? Do you see this social change feasible towards responsible and sustainable consumption?
Of course, it is present in both the product and the process. More than a sales strategy we consider it an intrinsic part of our company. With regard to responsible consumption, we believe that society is becoming more and more aware and in fact increasingly demand environmentally friendly products.
From Ekohunters, we agree 100% with your vision and values, we make them ours and we trust that your know-how and your philosophy will be an example that will reach far into society.
All the luck!