How did you start as an agent?
Bart Brugman: “My father was already working in this field. When I was young, I often worked for him during the holidays. After high school, I continued my studies for a year and did some other things, but I always came back. I then started producing music for several years, which wasn’t so easy in the Netherlands. In 1985, I founded Brugman together with my father and brother, a company that still exists in Landsmeer to this day. In other words; I’ve been involved in this line of work since a very young age.”
What aspects of your work do you enjoy?
“Working with beautiful objects. This is very important in my case. Every product should have its own story, otherwise I won’t find it interesting. I work in the highest market segment and, fortunately enough, here you almost exclusively work with beautiful products. The second thing I enjoy is working with people. Once you’ve been part of this profession for so long as I have, you gain a lot of experience, which makes the work a lot more fun and exciting. I still learn something new every day, but it is nice to be able to see an object and immediately have so much knowledge to draw upon.”
Are there someone who inspires you?
“I always mention two people when I’m asked this question: Piero Fornasetti and Tony Duquette. Both create their products with their own hands. They were people who designed and manufactured something out of nothing. They had a rich imagination and were able to create the most beautiful things. They are an endless source of inspiration. Their designs cannot be found in museums, but occasionally an interior brand picks up some of their designs, which you then see reflected in their collections.”
How did you end up at the ETC Design Center Europe?
“The expo has been around for a while. In early 2011, we decided to open a second showroom here, in addition to the one in Aalsmeer. However, these days we have so much success here that we recently decided to close our showroom in Aalsmeer. Simply said, it’s very convenient for customers to visit the expo and meet multiple companies at the same time.”
Why would you recommend a stylist or architect to visit the ETC Design Center Europe?
“This is the ideal place to visit because there are a lot of companies in a single location. It’s simply very practical. Moreover, the quality of the expo continues to improve and the exhibits are becoming more and more interesting.”
What does the future of the interior design profession look like?
“ETC Design Center Europe is the future. There are only two locations in the world with a similar offering; the D and D Building in New York and Chelsea Harbour Design Centre in London. In Paris you have a neighbourhood or two that offers about the same, and where the Paris Déco Off takes places. The one difference is that these locations also sell directly to consumers. Or interior decorators visit these sites with private customers, after which customers make private purchases and the decorator gets a commission. In the future, this may also be the case for ETC Design Center Europe. We’re already noticing that we’re becoming increasingly important in determining interior design for our customers. People increasingly require assistance and request additional input. However, as of now we only focus on specialised dealers!”