A family run business, PANAMAR is a furniture company with an interesting story behind it having its own 'brand awareness' and the ability to face the future maintaining all its core values. We have interviewed Juanjo Alonso, CEO and third generation at PANAMAR, who goes back to the past to unveil the very essence of the brand and give us a hint about the company’s current business vision…
Panamar, well rooted in tradition. Tell us a little bit more about your company…
Tradition is PANAMAR’s core value and what have been inspiring their creations since the foundations of the company. The origins of PANAMAR MUEBLES date back to the end of the XIX century when the incipient wood and cabinet-making industry started to gain relevance in Yecla, one of Spain’s biggest furniture district. At that time, large estates started to convert into vineyards, taking advantage of the favourable conjuncture caused by the phylloxera blight in France, which destroyed most of the French grapevines.
The existence of timber resources and the new demand for barrels required skilled artisans who were trained by the local Escuelas Pias (Piarist Schools). That’s how my grandfather got his qualification as woodworker and opened the first family’s workshop. In the ’20, the first furniture industries were established, and woodworkers and barrel makers converted soon into cabinetmakers. With PANAMAR’s second generation the ancient barrel-making workshop was transformed into a furniture making plant that soon become too small for the local market demand.
In the late ’50 and ’60, as the country entered a greatest cycle of industrialization and prosperity, the Yecla’s furniture industry registered a period of expansion that culminated in the creation of the Feria del Mueble de Yecla, now in its 57th anniversary.
For the little workshop the time had come to take another step forward and turn into a factory. It was 1973 when my father founded PANAMAR MUEBLES, a company specialized in the manufacturing of quality occasional furniture.
A long trajectory that started in Yecla, near Murcia, and allowed PANAMAR to grow its presence in foreign markets…
The mission of our brand is to create good quality furniture, which satisfies the customers, proposing new, original ideas for their interiors, always staying true to our origin, our brand philosophy. Over the years, ranges have been extended to include a complete home furniture offer made of solid wood in a choice of different veneers and lacquers (cherry, walnut, oak, white, grey, dark red) combined with refined handcrafted marquetries, moulding and carvings.
Our presence in international markets has grown as well and we now export to approximately 35 countries. The warmth and the quality of PANAMAR’s creations are highly appreciated especially in the Russian market, where our brand is present since the ’90. My father was one of the first Yecla’s entrepreneurs in understanding the potential of the Russian market. We started to export to Russia in 1992 and in 1993 my father made his first research trip, being invited to the opening of a furniture shopping centre in Moscow. It was one of many business trips aimed at strengthening our presence in Eastern markets; the last one brought me as far as Irkutsk, Khabarovsk and Vladivostok.
Which traditions of the company remain unchanged throughout its history?
Since the beginning, our furniture has been in-house manufactured, assembled and finished by hand by a team of expert craftspeople. The best craftsmanship and the unparalleled price/quality relationship are our trademarks and the features that our clients appreciate the most.
Is it necessary to react to all the trends?
Yes and no. I mean, it’s important to have constantly an eye on new trends and markets requirements and be prepared to meet consumer demands. But in the end, trends come and go, quality and craftsmanship are always in fashion. If you want an interior design that doesn’t look like a fad and will stand the test of time, traditional, well-made furniture is indeed a great resource. At PANAMAR, ornaments, colours and materials are all been studied to last. They accentuate the appeal of spaces without overpowering it with bold colours and opulent ornamentation. You know, an eye on trend and the other on tradition. It never fails…
You are about to launch your new offer for 2019, which will be included in the 2.19 Catalogue. Can you tell us something more?
We have enriched our catalogue with new designs and ornamental motifs. Curved shapes and carvings feature the new consoles, chest-of-drawers, display cabinets, coffee and side tables, all of them available in natural wood or lacquered in white and grey. On the other hand, clean lines and smooth surfaces without intricate details characterize our most recent proposals for living and dining rooms.
The contemporary 900 series combines white lacquers with natural oak wood to create eye-catching contrasts and accentuate the natural side of furniture.
Although elegant and refined, we keep our furniture modern in functionality. Take for example our TV stands, which have been adapted to new media technology, or the LED lighting integrated in our bookcases and wardrobes…
Lacquers, which are one of the highlights of the new catalogue, cross over from very traditional to very modern, always conveying a sense of distinction. White, in addition, is modern, sleek, perfectly contemporary and resolutely natural.
It has also the advantage of blending well with numerous colours, textures and with all styles. The new grey lacquers are stylish and perfect to keep schemes up-to-date.
For more information, visit: www.panamarmuebles.com