Furniture Maker

Furniture Maker
By Sandra and Jun Viray

Were Musicians before they set up design Asia in 1998 to make furniture on the side, using Sandra's design background. They spent a little over P200,000 to buy materials to make samples. We did everything ourselves and hired jeepneys to deliver our goods, "say Sandra". This business is definitely not for everyone: it's tedious, dusty, and noisy. You also have to deal with all sorts of people from company presidents to workers.

Making furniture to order means you design the piece and choose the correct materials to make it, say Sandra.
You then cut, assemble, and glue the individual pieces together and sand and varnish all surfaces. A piece of furniture any take anywhere from three to 30 days to complete, but you could make good money from it with correct time management.

Expect to make all kinds of furniture including cabinets, chairs, and tables and to do revarnishing and re upholstering work. To learn the trade, Sandra enrolled at the Philippine School of Interior Design for an 18 month certificate course. Alternatively, you may appentice with a furnitue maker.

Once you're are comfortable with your ability and finances, start hiring a few workers and look for cloth, wood, and other materials from stores like makati avenue lumber hardware and contruction supply and main harware inc. Wood, your main materials, cost around P50 a square meter.

The Virays first upholstered a sofa for a neighbor, and soon got regular clients through word of mounth. They sent samples to department stores to promote the business and compiled a portfolio of their work. Our customers are those who want somethings out of the ordinary: furniture that reflects their personal lifestyles and budget, says Sandra. We don't always insist on selling or making something for them. If they're better off buying, then we point them in that direction.

Design Asia charges a few thousand to a few hundred thousand for a piece of work depending on its design and complexity. Its markup is usually 30 to 50 percent of its cost, and it never runs out of orders. We're alwys busym, but not too busy that a client has to wait long, Says sandra.

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