Realising the need for Malawians to access contemporary sofa sets, Fadeth Furnishers, a wholly-owned Malawian business specialising in production and maintenance of sofas and other furniture hit the market.
Registered in November 2009 as a florist and landscaping business, Fadeth later branched into furniture and interior designing to fill a gap for contemporary sofas.
Fadeth Furnishers produces customised sofa sets and considering the diversity and differences in tastes, Fadeth managing director, Richard Chirwa said they do not operate on a showroom basis, but orders that meet those specifications.
Chirwa outlined a number of hurdles he had to undergo importing sofa sets from China.
“Everything about the process was hectic. From the ordering itself to the time the set was actually delivered. So having seen this need, Fadeth Furnishers was born to meet the need for contemporary sofas without those difficulties,” he said.
Chirwa said that their output currently varies, but in a month, they produce an estimated 15 sofa sets and a good number of complementary products such as cushions.
While Fadeth products meet international standards as evidenced by their competition with international brands and customer feedback, they have not yet started exporting.
Chirwa, however, said that exports still remain one of their expansions strategies going forward.
He argued that locally-manufactured items can be just as good as imported ones as proved in the quality of Fadeth furniture.
“Quality assurance makes our products fairly better than the imported sofas that sometimes use synthetic timber which is not as strong and durable as the natural wood that we use. We only use the finest material, from the wood to the fabric and the finishing.
“Handling is another factor that makes our products better than imported products. Most of the imported sofas come in containers and the care in handling is not always guaranteed. We also involve our customers in the whole process from the design to the supervision of works making the set wholly and truly the customer’s,” said Chirwa.
Fadeth currently employs 16 people at its Lilongwe office. The number is expected to rise to 25 with the opening of Blantyre branch this January.