Welcome! Today in the Lounge Nick is joined by Franco Crea, an Australian furniture designer and owner/director of FrancoCrea™. Franco creates high quality and thoughtfully designed pieces which interact with the environment around them. During the interview, the two discuss how Franco gained his interest in design, the difficulties that come with running a furniture design business, and much more.
Franco’s interest in design first showed itself at a young age when watching his father, a scientist by profession, wood carve in his spare time. He was amazed by the idea of creating things with his hands. When he went to college, Franco initially had the intention of studying architecture, but quickly found that it was not for him. Instead, he studied interior architecture and design, knowing he wanted to get into furniture design. He felt receiving a better understanding of interior design would allow him to be more aware and sensitive to the environments that house his pieces. He thought that the skills and understanding gained through interior design would be more beneficial than merely going into industrial design, which was very much product driven.
Franco finds managing expectations versus realities to be the most challenging aspect of the business. For example, Franco finds it challenging to gain clients in what is a relatively small population. Furthermore, he likes to design without giving in to the pressure of fast fashion/design. He often is faced with potential clients not looking for luxury or premium furniture, instead wanting affordable options. In response to this challenge, Franco, rather than offering more products and services, instead seeks to keep with the original philosophy, developing the “story” and value of his pieces. The firm is now looking to expand to a more international level.
Learn more about Franco Crea at francocrea.com.au.