Glorified carpenter is how furniture designer Aditya Somway describes himself but it’s obvious that he wouldn’t dream of being anything else!
What made you swap industrial design for furniture design?
AS: I’ve always been interested in making things, from having spent a summer making and selling candles in 5th grade to trying to build a go-kart using a moped engine in the 8th grade (the go-kart never quite saw the light of day, but it was a summer of learning and exploring the city).
I studied Industrial Design and went on to do a Master’s in Furniture Design from NID, Ahmedabad. With industrial design, I learned a lot about the process of design and everything that needs to come together to actually get a product made. While I loved how meticulous industrial designers needed to be, the process itself is quite long drawn before one gets to hold a tangible end product. Whilst studying industrial design, I had the opportunity to build furniture along with my roommate for the rented apartment we stayed in. Working with wood was immensely satisfying, and I realized, with furniture, I was so much more in control of the building process – something I’ve always loved.
How do you market and distribute your products?
AS: We currently display our furniture at Room Therapy, a curated furniture store in Hyderabad, and also ship our products out of the city on order.
How do you tackle the inevitable entrepreneurial challenges?
AS: On one hand we are trying to build a design studio that can offer furniture design as a service (much like architects and graphic designers). On the other hand, we’re also trying to expand our workshop to be able to offer high-quality manufacturing services. In essence, these are two different businesses, and for someone with almost no business experience, it’s been a great learning curve. We’re always trying to balance the fun design side with the more serious financial side of the business. All our growth has been organic up until this point. The big challenge that lies ahead is to make both parts of our business fully independent and sustainable. The journey has been really enjoyable so far, and we’re pretty certain we’ll have fun with whatever path the business takes.