Meet the Furniture Manufacturer that the Dti is Banking on

Beaunard Jansen
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Beaunard Jansen, a product designer and manufacturer got a major boost this year when he won the established category in the 2018 Furniture Design Competition by the Department of Trade and Industry (Dti) with his innovative children’s furniture design, the Snooze Cot.

Jansen is the co-founder of Desseign, a company that designs and manufactures modern contemporary household, office, restaurant and hotel furniture and decor.

Before launching his own company in 2015, Jansen, a former industrial design student at the Tshwane University of Technology, gained experience as an industrialist designer at Innovation Design Environment Art Ltd and the children upliftment programme, Bumbo International.

His award-winning Snooze Cot is a baby cot that transforms into a junior bed with two bedside tables. The design was inspired by Jansen’s previous experience gained working on baby and children’s products.

“When the baby grows to two years and older, the Snooze Cot can then be transformed into a baby bed that has two bedside tables. The bedside tables have the support system for a young child and are safe because they do not roll off the bed,” Jansen said.

Desseign Furniture Collage

Furniture by Desseign.

Elevating the local manufacturing industry

To stimulate the furniture manufacturing sector the Dti has launched a number of initiatives including the annual Furniture Design Competition which seeks to elevate South Africa’s furniture manufacturing capabilities and enhance its competitiveness locally and abroad.

This year’s theme was storage and required competitors to “tap into their innovative reserves to create designs that not only respond to people’s ever-changing space needs, but also ways that they live their lives and make use of space for residence”.

Through the Dti Jansen will have the opportunity to exhibit his product at a number of design and manufacturing exhibitions throughout the year.

Jansen says he also received a year’s membership from Proudly South African, which sponsored the competition. The initiative works to support local manufacturers by encouraging South African consumers to buy from local businesses.

SME South Africa sat down with Jansen to talk about the inspiration behind their innovative designs and what the boost from the Dti has meant for the business.

Beaunard Jansen Desseign 300 x 300

Beaunard Jansen.

Creating design with a purpose

We want our customers to experience the value of exclusive luxury by owning a product of artisan craftsmanship, handmade locally in South Africa. Our products are designed to make a statement.

Career beginnings

I completed my studies in Industrial Design, where I got the experience and skill set to bring my ideas to life. Making furniture is self-taught and has been a hobby since high school.

I started making household furniture for myself, friends and a few clients. Most of my projects were from recycled wood and plastic.

Turning passion into a business

Working for product design companies gave me the experience of product development in various sectors of manufacturing.

The biggest inspiration to our furniture and decor design is the ability to manipulate wood into the products we create. Desseign does not focus on children furniture, but designing a cot was an idea I had for more than a year, and a challenge I could not resist.

We plan to distribute our products to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea in the year ahead.

Growing manufacturing capabilities

The Dti have a manufacturing programme available where they provide machinery for the manufacturing industry. We will be applying for the programme to extend our manufacturing capabilities of bent wood products, which require unique machinery and tools.

Plans to export

Desseign is currently in negotiations to distribute our products to GCC Countries, namely United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, Singapore and Russia.

We plan to distribute our products to European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Israel and South Korea in the year ahead.

Looking to the future

We will continue to design furniture and décor, expanding our range and collaborating with other designers and artists.

Our goal is to assist local designers, students and creative individuals with manufacturing, and marketing their products internationally, using the Desseign platform.

Our vision is to educate the local community with skills and knowledge on how to develop their creativity into a business. We aim to expand our network of skills and expertise to the rest of Africa, designing to improve socio-economic issues.

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Michelle Strydom
Michelle Strydom
I'm a journalist for online publication, SME South Africa. I'm a BA journalism graduate from the University of Johannesburg. My areas of focus when it comes to writing are entrepreneurs, startups, marketing and funding. I also enjoy creative writing and proofreading.