I’ve met Søren Matz, founder of Matz Form in his amazing pop up store in Shanghai. The last day, they were making videos to promote the brand and its furnitures on WeChat. Here is our discussion.
Could you introduce yourself ?
I was born and raised in Danemark where I trained as cabinetmaker. After graduation I moved to New York and I worked for Sotherby’s. Then, after a year, I’ve been to Kyoto in Japan. I get involved with making fine wood work. I stayed in Japan almost 20 years, working with a company making tea houses « Cérémonie d’été ». I was helping with furniture, floors, lights and outfits for theses houses. I had a very great time in Japan, I recommend you to go to this beautiful country.
How did you start your company ?
In 2005, I decided to go to Shanghai. I established the company of Matz Form and we had a lot of trouble at the beginning. People where really focused on real estate. The market was booming, the houses were double valued. Everything was going crazy. It was, at this time, really difficult to introduce quality furnitures because people only cared about investing money in real estate. In 2010, the Shanghai Expo changed the whole situation. People begin to become more interested in furniture and meuble. We started to make business.
In 2011, we finalized our first exhibition in Shanghai. We went to the Shanghai Furniture Fair and we launched our collection there. It’s been now 7 years ago and it’s going quite well. We do a huge amount of work here in Shanghai. We’ve done the Nest, The Cannery and HighLine. You should check out some of these nightclubs, restaurants and evening bars. Beside that, we also work with hotels in Australia, we have a shop in Seoul, Korea, in Japan and Taipei. But Australia is our big market.
© Matz Form – The Cannery Shanghai
© Matz Form – Highline Shanghai
© Matz Form – The Nest Shanghai
I live here very happily, I never married, no kids and enjoying my life in Shanghai. I travel a lot. I’ve been in Beijing yesterday, before Bangkok, the week before Istanbul. I am all over the world.
But don’t you have a private life ?
Maybe, maybe I’m pushing it and I will change my mind one day.
« Our furniture are meant to last for generations. »
Could you describe the overall aesthetic of the Matz Form brand ?
The aesthetic reflects the mid-century 1950, 1960’s in Danemark. If you look at our pieces in the pop-up store, many of them are inspired by the Chinese Ming Furnitures in the 17th century.
Otherwise, I would call it tactile. Everything feels very good to touch. It has some good smell, it has a good feel and a good touch. You can feel quality, longevity, something that last. The more you use it, the more beautiful it gets. Our furnitures are meant to last for generations.
It’s also minimalist at the same time.
It’s a bit minimalist. It’s not baroque or rococo or anything you have from France. It’s a danish simple style. Scandinavians really like this kind of things.
This pop up store is really impressive, could you tell me more about it ?
This pop up store is done because we have a small showroom near the Bund. It’s a little bit cramped and there’s not too much space. And we were kick out from our show, we had a huge room and they double the rent after 10 years that we were there.
Two weeks ago, it was the Shanghai Furniture Fair, we tried last year to have a booth right there but we had not that much traffic. So we wanted to do something different this year. We invited people to come here.
We had a big party with more than hundred people. We had a cocktail bar with exotic cocktails, Indian and Nepalese food, Spanish musicians. We entertained our partners, clients and potential clients.
I wish I was there !
Yeah, it was a good party but I didn’t know you at the time, otherwise I would have told you to come.
« Videos. You can use it for anything you want. »
You are making videos today in your pop up store, could you explain me how are you using social media in China to reach your target ?
Videos. You can use it for anything you want. After we’ll receive the short movies, of course we will upload it on our home page, so people can have an experience about who’s Matz Form. Today we are taking advantage of this very nice show. The next one will be myself visiting my clients. I will go to their beautiful restaurants and they will talk about their furnitures and I will interview them about « why they have chosen my furnitures for their place and why does it work well ».
Ok, so you mean you are using story telling…
Yes, for the second one. We are visiting three or four of our clients. It will be clubs, restaurants, bakeries…
And what about your last video ?
The last one will be about our production. How it is produced, the workshops, machineries, the furnitures, the handmade things and how it is put together.
There will be three different sequences with three different call to action buttons.
« There’s almost 900 million WeChat users in China.»
What about WeChat ?
We are going to add these videos on WeChat and ask people to share it. Information is spreading like wild fire on this platform. Of course, WeChat is the platform to use today. There’s almost 900 million WeChat users in China.
Of course we can send it to other countries on other social media like Facebook. It’s a very good thing to make videos, I wanted to have it for a very long time. Tomorrow the pop up store is going to be done, it is quite a nice show. I wanted to use the space for our videos.
Thank you for your time, it’s true the space is quite amazing !
Yes, we are planning to move in next month permanently.
Yellow Form POP-UP Store
668 Huai An Rd, Jing An District, Shanghai