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Artemano is a Canadian home furnishing company founded in October 2002 by Shimon Finkelstein. Eyal Shoam, Artemano’s co-owner, joined the company in 2004. The company headquarters, warehouse and distribution centre are located in Laval, Quebec. Artemano merchandise is sold through ten retail branches located throughout Quebec and Ontario, as well as online. Artemano plans to continue its expansion.
Ethos Artemano’s motto is “home is an escape and we love to create it”. Artemano uses various woods sourced throughout Southeast Asia to create furniture that combines the exoticism of the country it comes from with the uncluttered, clean aesthetic of the Artemano brand. The company invests heavily in the decor of its retail branches in order to impart their motto and updates their floor plans on a weekly basis, with a strong attention to detail. In addition to its own designs, Artemano also up cycles, creating furniture from fishing boats, railway ties, old construction wood, salvaged drift wood and storm-felled trees. Artemano’s merchandise is divided into: dining, living, lighting, bedroom, office and decor items.
History Artemano began by importing furniture manufactured in India, but in 2004 the company switched directions and launched its own designs, using Indian rosewood and mango wood to create contemporary furniture. Once the economic boom hit India, it became harder to source wood, and Artemano expanded their supply base to Chiang Mai, Thailand, and Indonesia.
The Artemano team personally selects every piece of wood with their suppliers across Southeast Asia: from the rosewood, acacia and mango wood of India to the suar and teak wood of Thailand, to the recycled woods of Indonesia. The company sources its wood from government-certified, sustainable plantations and through local suppliers hired by local government to clear-cut areas slated for development. Artemano’s founders work closely with local suppliers in each country and in some cases, Artemano has developed partnerships with them in order to ensure supplier’s continued growth and the expansion of their facilities (such as kilns used to dry wood before being used to produce furniture).
In 2009, Artemano shifted its approach to the design and sale of its furniture both internally and in its retail presence. Rather than trying to mend imperfections in the wood, the decision was taken to embrace and bring out the unique qualities of the wood by approaching it as a living, changing material. Today, clients are encouraged to “choose their cracks” and staff is trained to explain the changing nature of the woods they sell, so that what was once a liability has become a badge of uniqueness. This approach is now the tenet of the brand.
Design When it comes to design, the company motto is “nature is our guide”. Each piece dictates what it will become by its shape, the grain of the wood, and its measurements, therefore every item is slightly different, even if it belongs to the same collection. Years of experience have resulted in Artemano developing design methods that take into account the varying behaviours of the different woods they utilize, in order to accommodate the dramatic changes in temperature engendered by the import of wood from a tropical climate to a Canadian one.
The result is functional art: a combination of East meets West, of new and old, and of ambiances inspired by nature and the clean, simple, straightforward design that is pervasive across Southeast Asia.
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