Marching On

Interview by Stephanie Peh
Images courtesy of Grafunkt

While the lack of space in our Lion City may have resulted in various and rather obvious constraints to the product and furniture design industry, it has not stopped Singaporean designers and entrepreneurs from working fiercely towards their dreams and crafting a future for the city’s creative landscape. Restrictions have simply made people more creative and thoughtful with their businesses.

Two such independent creatives are Jefery Kurniadidjaja and Nathan Yong, who embarked on their own journey in 2009 when they created lifestyle and furniture brand, Grafunkt. Their belief in authenticity and trust are built into the company’s foundation and it is all about sticking to their guns on one great vision: good design equates good thinking and value, which essentially translates to better living. We speak to Jefery and Nathan as they discuss the masterpiece of a business that they have built over the years.

Grafunkt furniture

Jefery Kurniadidjaja (right) and Nathan Yong of Grafunkt.

Hi Jefery, Nathan, please introduce yourselves. How did you meet and what are your various roles in Grafunkt?

Jefery (JK): I came from the dark side, 14 years of corporate life in the Information Technology (IT) field. I’ve known Nathan for over a decade, from back in the days when he launched Air Division. In fact, I was their customer back then. Later, Nathan left Air Division and together we followed our calling into forming Grafunkt.

Nathan (NY): We both love shopping and design and Jef is good at sniffing out a good deal. I actually wanted him to work for me at Air Division at that time because I think that he would have been able to bring Air to the next level, but in the end I left and decided to partner with him for Grafunkt instead.

And you never looked back. What do you think sets Grafunkt apart from other furniture labels?

NY: We love what we do as business owners, and we don’t hide in our office. In fact, you can see how we work if you walked into our Playfair showroom. We have a transparent office so that if you have any problems with your purchase, you could come straight up to us and we will sort things out in an open manner.

Grafunkt furniture

Customers and friends from my past company continue to come back to us. Now with our open office, we see customers everyday, including weekends. It is a relaxing process, which reminds me of my younger days when the goldsmith served my parents and I packets of Yeo’s to drink. At Grafunkt, we serve beer!

JK: Our personal touch, be it sourcing for products or creating the mood and setting that we want our customers to experience pretty much sums up our past experiences, learnt lessons, and inspirations that we hope to share with customers.

Visit Grafunkt at 9 Raffles Boulevard #02-34/35/36, Millenia Walk, Singapore.

Read more in The U Press N˚4 (Singapore edition).