With over 30 years of design expertise, Fabri specialises in custom, contemporary imported kitchen, bathroom and bedroom furniture. Originating in Portugal in 1984, the design company now has showrooms in South Africa too. With a focus on functionality and innovative design, Fabri’s ethos is based on active, intensive research.
HL chatted to Fabri CEO Emmanuel Sabino about this history of the company, their design strategy and dreams for the future:
How did Fabri begin?
I had already been in the kitchens’ arena for 12 years. At that time, if an individual wanted a quality kitchen with a good design, they would had to have gone for imported kitchens. Further to this, with my training in design, I saw this as an opportunity to start creating quality kitchens with design.
Along these 30 years, Fabri has diversified its production. Was this the ambition from the very start?
We started with kitchens and there had come a point when we had realised that vanities and wardrobes were also an important concept. Today, when we start a project we are able to supply the kitchen, furniture for the bathroom, together with wardrobes and closets. That was the dream: to grow solidly, increasing the quality and design.
You invested in your own manufacturing unit. How has this become a differentiating factor?
We built a factory with the latest technology and specialised personnel, in order to make quality products with exclusive design. The success came in a short amount of time, because the customers realised that what we created was very different from what the other companies in Portugal were able to supply at that time.
Does design continue to be the core strategy of Fabri?
Without a doubt. It is a personal and unique design – a design that is ours. The entry of the designer, Inês Sabino into Fabri was an important factor, as she assisted with the creativity and design of the brand. She added value in terms of innovation and creation. We should be giving younger people a chance, as they have the ability to bring fresh ideas.
Fabri is now in the South African market. Did the economic context turn out to be an opportunity for internationalization?
In a way, yes. We had to think about the various options. Our market lived through a difficult time, but we held a solid foundation, despite the crisis in the construction sector, because there was something that has never been forgotten: the private client. Each customer is unique; to whom we ask questions, understand their needs and their personal taste. It was then that a possibility in South Africa emerged. We saw that it was a promising market and we decided to enter this space with our product and philosphy. The public realises that we have quality, design and exclusivity and it has been a success.
What are the goals for Fabri in the coming years?
To continue growing; always thinking about the client and their specific needs, so that they would be satisfied with our work. To grow also in the international market. We’ve been working in almost every region of the world. At first this wasn’t part our goals, but our sustained growth had allowed us to see that we had possibilities to export and even to dignify our country as manufacturers. I consider that to be an important attribute.
- Shop 32, Design Quarter, 17 Leslie Avenue East, Magaliessig, Fourways, 2067
- Shop 40A, Brooklyn Square, Cnr. Veal & Middel, Brooklyn, Pretoria
To find out more visit fabri.pt