“I want to make a positive impact and create alternatives. Whether it’s by importing sofas from Ecuador or by raising Nandus on my organic farm.”
On first steps
„I´m always trying not to have too many expectations on the outcome, that makes things easier for me. If I run after success I´m losing my focus. But if my motivation comes more from inner passion than from a need for being successful, success will eventually come by itself.“
organic farmer & fair furniture importer
Martin is a dear old friend of mine. We´ve been through several ups and downs together. His open mind and his passion for adventures will probably make him join the journey for a bit from January 2017. I´m impressed about his way of taking first steps and getting things going. Reason enough to introduce him to you.
Importing furniture from Ecuador and pay fair prices to their manufacturers. Why not?
Martin is that type of person who doesn´t believe in impossibilities. If he wants something he will most probably find a way to do it. „At least I´ve tried“ would be his answer in case he fails. This general approach to challenges might be helpful when trying to export exotic furniture from Latin America. Why would one even think about doing something like that, you might ask?
Well, let Martin explain
„I want to help people to sit on something they care about. And I want to help those who are producing the furniture to make a good living from it. To combine both goals I´ve searched for exotic sofas, tables, chairs and other pieces in the jungle of Ecuador together with my brother. And we´ve found a way to ship those masterpieces to Austria. It was tough and the challenge was way bigger than we´ve expected it. Raising all the money from investors beforehand was the easiest part. But dealing with customs, port authorities and a business mentality totally different from what we are used to makes for a lot of great stories to tell.“
You might be interested to hear that they´ve made it
A shipping container full of affectionately crafted bamboo chairs, hand-braided rattan sofas and solid wood tables has arrived just by the end of August. „Within the next couple of months we want to organize a pop-up-store to show the furniture to their potential new owners. Each piece tells each own story.“ And by paying fair prices they´re helping their manufacturers to make their own story a better one.
For more infos check www.maderal.at
Ten lessons learned from exporting furniture from Ecuador
1. When you think you know how difficult South America can be, think again. You might have not even a clue.
2. There are no building supplies stores. Have you ever tried to buy packaging material for a shipping container full of furniture without them? What takes half an hour in Austria, takes three days in Ecuador. Without any guarantee to get what you´ve searched for.
3. Tension belts are highly demanded. We´d have needed fifteen to tie our stuff together but have found only three. Amount of tension belts which have arrived in Austria: zero. The only people who have opened the containers in between were customs and drug squad officers. Why would they need tension belts?
4. „It will eventually work out“ means „it will not work out“. Especially not when it´s a customs officer who says it.
5. If it doesn´t work out, you´ll be informed when it´s too late.
6. Trust is a good thing, but control is a better one? Before starting such a project, train your blind trust, you´ll need it. In Ecuador everything is paid in advance.
7. Lower your expectations. As soon as possible.
8. „In twenty minutes“ is the common phrase for „sometime“.
9. Dates of delivery are rather approximate values with flexible room for interpretation.
10. If you´ve made it in spite of all that to ship a container full of exotic furniture from Ecuador to Austria, you´ll smile all over your face and you´ll most likely feel quite unbreakable. The harder it is to reach a goal, the stronger it makes you once you do. In case you survive the heart attack, indeed.