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Custom Furniture Platform to Revolutionise the Industry

Custom Furniture Platform to Revolutionise the Industry

23rd September 2015

Christchurch start-up Bamtino Bespoke is launching a platform which flips the custom furniture industry on its head. With Bamtino, customers don’t go looking for furniture; the furniture comes to them.

Bamtino.com launches tomorrow [Thursday 24th of September], after weeks of beta testing.

The site will be the go-to platform for people who want bespoke furniture made. Instead of being told what you can have by furniture stores, Bamtino users tell the furniture makers what they want. It’s like Freelancer.com, but for furniture.

“Buying furniture off the shelf is a painful process. It’s almost impossible to find something that meets your exact taste and dimensions. The stock stuff is generally pretty boring, plus it’s not built to last,” said Bamtino co-founder and CEO Adrien Taylor.

He came up with the idea for Bamtino while building furniture for himself and friends in his spare time around his reporting job in Auckland last year. He found that his friends wanted him to alter the furniture he made to fit their needs.

“Every home and office is a unique space. So why buy something that wasn’t built with you or your space in mind?

“We’ve made it really easy for people to get their dream furniture made. All you have to do is upload a few photos and a short description of what it is you’re after. From there, our network of New Zealand’s most talented furniture makers will put quotes to you. You can browse through their portfolios and talk to them before choosing the best one for your needs.

“That’s infinitely easier than having to hunt down dozens of furniture makers and deal with each one of them individually for quotes.”

Bamtino has been working with furniture makers throughout the country to get a clear understanding of what it is they want from the platform. The start-up believes early buy-in from the makers is crucial to the platform’s success.

“We’ve already got a partnership with the Centre For Fine Woodworking in Nelson who are really getting behind what we’re doing. It’s great to have the support of the country’s premiere woodworking institution,” said Bamtino co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Jonathan Wong, a former vet.

“We’ve both left our careers to make Bamtino happen because we truly believe in streamlining the process of getting stuff made. It should be one of the most satisfying things in the world, but at the moment the pain of finding the right people to make your ideal furniture is preventing people from experiencing that joy.”

Bamtino is growing its network of furniture makers daily. “We’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm that furniture makers have for the site,” said Wong.

One of those makers is Bob Frame, who is based in Tai Tapu near Christchurch.

“I build for family, friends and a few clients. Each piece is different and exploring what might be possible is part of the intrigue.

“Making furniture is a passion of mine, but it’s one I can only afford to do part-time. I’d love to devote more time to it, and hopefully with Bamtino’s help I’ll be able to. I love that the site connects makers like me to customers in the online world which is not something I want to focus on - making things is much more pleasurable.

“Everyone has a different story and every bespoke piece of furniture needs to reflect that.”

Bamtino hasn’t only been receiving praise from furniture makers; on Friday prominent Christchurch businessman Mike Pero took to Facebook to tell his fans about the benefits of the platform.

“We’re just getting started with furniture,” said Taylor. “Ultimately the goal is for Bamtino to be the one-stop platform to get almost anything made. See a wedding dress you like on Facebook? Stumble across reading glasses on Pinterest you think would suit you? With one click you’ll be able to get a quote from our makers network to get it made and modified to your needs."

The two man Bamtino team - Taylor and Wong - is one of ten start-ups in the Lightning Lab Christchurch 3-month business accelerator. They will pitch to investors in a bid to raise around half a million dollars in funds in November.

ENDS

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