Thoughtful Design

What’s our secret?
Harrows Family BUsiness

It’s a story steeped in history. Of a family working together and a business that has evolved and grown as they have. In it’s current manifestation, Harrows has three generations and over 30 years’ experience in furniture making under one roof. At the helm are three brothers, Mark, Tim and Rich Suckling, who all learnt the craftmanship of furniture making from an early age. Among their teachers and mentors was their father, who started his own furniture business, designing and manufacturing ranges for the domestic market in New Zealand in the 80’s and 90’s.

As the baton passed from father to sons, the brothers also acquired a small business that was focused on  importing and reselling furniture in the hospitality sector. It was quickly apparent that there was a large appetite for fresh, stylish and most importantly well-designed furniture which wasn’t being serviced.

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Harrows set about carving out their niche and filling this gap. They repurposed their manufacturing expertise and harnessed their design inclinations and started launching their own New Zealand designs to market.

The challenges faced in New Zealand are unique, with our market size making it difficult to ensure product ranges are in stock, in the size, style or colour you need them, and in the price bracket needed to make the project budget work.

It’s a juggling act for designers and suppliers alike. The solution from Harrows is an approach where raw frames and components are sourced locally and abroad. Combining this with the ability to design and manufacture from a blank canvas the possibilities become endless, and suddenly the limits of a globally smaller and removed market are lifted.

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In recent times, Harrows continues to innovate. We’re finding an eagerness and enthusiasm for this personalised approach, and that it’s applicable to a much broader audience. What remains consistent is the need for good design that is made locally and offers flexibility in its interpretation.

If you were asked to finish this phrase, “Good design is…” what you would say?

At Harrows we say that good design should be both functional and aesthetically exciting. We connect with the Shaker design philosophy: “Don’t make something unless it is both necessary and useful; but if it is both necessary and useful, don’t hesitate to make it beautiful.”

We build on this philosophy one step further; in that we believe good design should fit the market and be accessible for all. It’s the grit and detail to ground the emotive matter. To put it simply, it needs to be possible to execute in an efficient and commercially sustainable way, which in turn ensure it fits the market for budget and price point, making it an accessible design. It’s an ability to interpret a creative vision and translate it to a practical solution while minimising compromise.

The key to our innovation success is our ability to close the loop. From concept, construction, install and after. By touching all stages of the process, we intimately engage with a concept from all angles. It's an attitude that's engrained in and embraced by the team at all levels.

In the words of political philosopher John Adams: "Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity not a threat."

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