Could you tell us something about your background?
Esther van Merode: “Pieter (Pieter de Rijk, red.) has a background in logistics. I went to a Hospitality Business School and subsequently worked many years in the world of retail fashion. One day we saw Cocomosaic during a fair in Gent. The ball then immediately started rolling. This was a year and a half ago now.”
Why did you choose a profession related to interior design?
“It wasn’t a conscious decision, but a chance combination of passion, knowledge and experience.
Furnishing and decorating shop windows used to be my main passion. Pieter always had the ambition to import products. The only link missing was the right product. When we saw the wall tiles of Cocomosiac we didn’t hesitate a second and immediately jumped into the deep end. By now, we have specialised ourselves in natural wall coverings.”
What makes natural wall covering so unique?
“What makes our products unique is that the natural element of the material remains visible. In creating their tiles, Cocomosaic glues small bits of coconut or teakwood to each other. At Wood4Walls, the residual parts of European wood types form the basis for three-dimensional wall panels. Spraycork consists of tiny cork pieces that are sprayed on the walls in multiple colours. The products of Cocomosiac and Wood4Walls are put together by hand. As a result, each panel is unique, both in terms of materials and overall composition. The imperfection of nature ensures that each wall feels natural and is beautifully balanced.”
What does sustainability mean to you?
“Sustainability is the most beautiful feature you can sell. Sustainability is very important these days. We should treat natural materials with care, cherish them and try to re-use residual materials in future products.”
What aspect of your work do you enjoy the most?
“We try to create a pleasant lifestyle for as many people as possible. By selling products from the Second and Third World, we aim to improve the overall living conditions of the people living there, while at the same time providing the people here with more beautiful, atmospheric and unique interiors.”
Why did you decide to exhibit at ETC Design Center Europe?
“We believe ETC Design Center Europe is an excellent platform. There are a lot of colleagues here, from many branches of the design sector and, through collaboration, you can always create something beautiful. It was almost an honour for me to participate in the Expo.”
What can ETC exhibitors offer customers and interior professionals?
“Here you can find beautiful, exclusive products of extremely high quality. It’s great to help out colleagues and customers to create beautiful interiors. ETC Design Center Europe is the perfect foundation for such partnerships.”