By Cheryl Lai-Lim
July 19, 2021
In the first of a three-part series on local furniture companies defending their Asian roots, Akar de Nissim’s Jasmine Ng shares with us how the brand produces pieces that combine exceptional craftsmanship with elegant designs.
With their cross-cultural influences, careful details and elegant proportions, these qualities have since become hallmarks of furniture by Singaporean brand Akar de Nissim.
“The materialization of our east-meet-west design concept happened almost a decade ago, combining the distinct elements of Ming-style home rooms with European sensibilities,” says Jasmine Ng, director of the operation of the company. “Our customers share the appreciation of having well-made pieces that exude a distinct design and bring a feeling of lightness to the environment.”
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Akar de Nissim’s stunning creations use premium materials such as natural marble slabs and Tahitian mother-of-pearl shells. Each bespoke creation is forged with an assiduous attention to detail, as evidenced by the best-selling pieces such as the Iris coffee table and the Pavillion lacquered box; some of these pieces are also currently on display at Tatler House Singapore.
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Our customers share the appreciation of having well-made pieces that exude a distinct design and bring a feeling of lightness to the environment.
—Jasmine Ng, COO at Akar de Nissim
The brand’s strong point is its signature 10-layer lacquer process. Unparalleled know-how carried by the brand, the lacquering process requires the greatest finesse on the part of craftsmen. The multiple procedure begins by meticulously coating each piece with at least four coats of primer to better intensify the color of the applied lacquer. The individual lacquer coats are then varnished to seal in the vibrant color tones.
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Craftsmen will then hand polish each piece, working tirelessly to ensure that the creation radiates luxurious shine and softness. This know-how has allowed the brand to establish itself with elegant pieces with a strong personality.
Here, Ng tells us more about Akar de Nissim’s collections and the brand’s focus on e-commerce.
How to guarantee a high level of production?
Jasmin Ng (JN) The consistent quality of our woodwork stems from the dedication of craftsmen, the selection and preparation of raw materials, and the specific know-how of fine lacquering. It is an ancestral skill in which our Vietnamese production team excels.
Tell us about one of Akar de Nissim’s bestsellers.
Jn Iris, our signature coffee table, is a work of art. It can be adorned with the precious star-effect shell Tahitian mother-of-pearl, a striking gradient of buffalo horn checks, or even a guilloché-effect straw marquetry. Each table top is exquisite with its own unique qualities, embraced in its frame with our signature “squircle” design and finished in a fine, glossy lacquer. In its entirety, the coffee table is completely handcrafted and hand polished to a mirror finish.
The consistent quality of our woodwork stems from the dedication of craftsmen, the selection and preparation of raw materials, and the specific know-how of fine lacquering.
—Jasmine Ng, COO at Akar de Nissim
How has the company adapted to the challenges of the pandemic?
Jn Online shopping is growing in popularity and has become a necessity. Thus, we have updated our website with features that illustrate the customizable options for Akar furniture and accessories from Nissim. This personalized process of bringing tailor-made creations to life is a precious aspect for us.
Our website’s augmented reality (AR) feature also caters to the curiosity of homeowners who want to see how a specific piece of Nissim’s Akar fits into their interior. This AR function allows you to view each product in 360 degrees. On your mobile, you can place any piece of Akar de Nissim in any setting, wherever you are. Moreover, the AR function can also help to bring additional inspiration to all design enthusiasts.
How does it help a local brand when Singaporean consumers buy local?
Jn In this area, there can be a disappointing recognition of what is created at home or nearby. The grass could be just as green on our side, it depends on its own appreciation and perception of what is deemed “precious”. As we move forward in our global expansion, a key aspect that we seek to maintain is our collaborations with talent from Singapore (for future collections).
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This story was first published in the July 2021 issue of Tatler Singapore, now available on Magzter and on newsstands.