- Can you introduce yourself briefly ?
I am Amandine Merle, a city dweller. I’ve lived in Paris for 6 years, the city where I first put down my suitcase when I started working as a consultant in a strategy consulting firm. This was my first work experience, and it aroused even more strongly the desire which had been sleeping inside me for a long time: to develop something by myself and be an entrepreneur. I have always tried to put myself in a risk zone, outside the comfort zone : I think it is a trait that maybe defines me, and creating HARTÔ brought me that thrill.
- Where does this interest in design come from ?
My interest in design came from my desire to create my own company on the one hand, and on the other hand from meeting Alexander Mulliez, my partner, with whom the project started. He’s the one who put me on the path of design. When I discovered the craft of furniture publishing, it very quickly appealed to me: it puts you at the heart of the process of creation and production, alongside the designers and craftsmen. It is the facilitator position that excites me, this path from the sketch to the finished product.
- What is the key word of HARTÔ for you ?
To bring happiness to your home !
- What are your inspirations ?
Our influences are many, we can observe, discover, and be surprised by a painting, an installation or a parade. We have no preferred domain and no particular judgment about the disciplines, be it fashion, art, photography; anything can give birth to an idea, a desire. Know-how, the potential of a machine, are also a playground, and sometimes can be integrated in one object.
Of course, our daily lives inspire us. To need an object or require a special accessory can be the starting point for a new project.
We like objects that tell stories, those that take us back to our daily lives. There is something personal about it !
- What is your favorite piece from the current collection ?
The Honoré desk is my favorite piece. This is one of the very first pieces in the collection, and was designed specifically for HARTÔ by Pierre-François Dubois, a designer whose work we particularly like, because he manages to find balance in his creations. I also have a special attachment to this desk because I’m working on it. It is a part of my daily life !
- What are your future projects ?
We are currently working on larger sized pieces, for the beginning of the year 2016, including a chair.
Early in the new year we are also getting a new showroom, a large and comfortable one ☺ to receive you !
There are other projects still under construction … they will be presented in the second part of the year !