Designer interview: Meet Danish brand Traewerk
Get to know Danish design brand Traewerk
We sat down for an interview with one of the gifted ENIITO-designers , Casper Lauritsen, founder, owner, designer and pretty much everything else at Danish interior design brand Traewerk . Read the interview to find out why wood is Casper’s preferred material, how Traewerk got started and what the future holds for the upcoming brand.
Traewerk means ’wood work’ and it shows in all of your designs. Why did you choose to work so much with wood?
I think wood is a fantastic material to work with! I’ve always had a passion for working with wood and a love for good craftsmanship. I’m very fascinated by taking a block of raw wood and transforming it into an aesthetic and functional product. It’s a versatile material with endless possibilities. It can be turned into pretty much any shape and a broad variety of colors and effects. Wood just has a look, that can create cosiness and “hygge” in every home. I like the thought of “taming” a little piece of nature and bringing it into our homes, where it has a function.
Which of your own designs is your absolute favourite and why? (If you can choose of course!) That’s a tough one… But my favourite design so far is the PLANK rack. It looks great and functions very well, but it also captures the core of Traewerk’s DNA absolutely perfect. It’s a minimalistic knife rack in oak, that has been CNC-cut out of a piece of solid wood with high precision – which is a must, to get the magnets to function perfectly. It’s the perfect combination of functionality, minimalistic design and versatility.
You created Traewerk with your high school friend, how did that happen and how has it been?
We were (and still are) good friends that worked well as a group in school projects. After having finished “high school”, we were talking about starting a business together. We we’re both interested in interior design, but didn’t have the right idea yet. After some time, we came up with the concept of Traewerk. We wanted to design a minimalistic oak pendant as our first product. It had to be good looking and couldn’t cost a fortune. The result was the lamps “No. 109” and “No. 145”. The concept behind the lamps was, that it could be configured to the customers’ needs. Instead of offering hundreds of options and horrible green or red cords, we made it simple. We were the designers and were pretty confident in our choices, so we only offered 2 different wood designs, that was available in 2 wood treatments and with 2 types of cords. The benefit of only having 2 options were, that it was always “one or the other”. Our experience has been, that the customers find it a lot easier to pick a design, compared to our “foes” with 50+ different configurations.
It was a success (in our scale) and we became so busy packing and developing the brand, that we didn’t have time for the development of new products.
Time went by and we both decided to start studying. My partner as an Architect and me as a Marketing Manager (a business education). Together we had what could have been the perfect combo of design and business, but it didn’t end that way. We started our educations simultaneously, but the effort put into Traewerk started lacking on both sides. My partner began lacking motivation for the project, and therefore the effort dropped a bit further. After a couple of months in standby-mode, we came to an agreement and I bought his shares in the company. It was tough, but I never lost faith in the company. Suddenly, I stood on my own, with a fulltime study and my own business – where I was in charge of BOTH design and business.
I took a timeout to get my ducks in a row, and after some months, Traewerk was up and running (but still kind of missing a leg). I began working with new designs, while keeping the wheels running in both Traewerk and my study. By december ´16, I launched the “PLANK” rack by myself and a bit later, the “KANT” servingboard – which (thankfully) were well received.
It has been a couple of months now, and I have been working very hard on developing the strategic side of Traewerk and its partnerships. The short story is, that I’ve been in the workshop fine-tuning the mechanics of Traewerk. A new setup is almost ready, and the new “we” will be ready to scale the business rapidly.
It has truly been an exciting entrepreneurial journey, but it has only just begun. So, stay tuned!
To be honest, it could have been a product in any category… I’m very focused on launching products in categories where I feel like I can make a difference. If it works, we’ll do it. If it’s a great product, we’ll do it. As a small upcoming brand, there’s obviously a limit to how many products we can launch at one time. We have a good thing going within the kitchen- and serving segment, so we’ll keep exploring the opportunities – but we’ll also launch other kinds of products shortly.
What is the next step for Traewerk?
Expansion – to make it short… It’s time to convert my experiences from the early stages into iterations: New partnerships, new products, new sales-channels and optimization. The tiny Traewerk-startup will grow and gain traction on the market, but will still stay true to its core values, DNA and of course you, the customers.
Liked the article? For more interviews like this be sure to check out articles “Slow Fashion designer Mette Frejvald: “I’d much rather produce fewer styles and better clothing” and “The Story of Ham & Lerche: Functionality, simple living and experience design“