Book showcases evolution of Cebu furniture industry

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012


FORMER Cebu Furniture Industries Foundation, Inc. (CFIF) president Charles Streegan hopes the 300-page Cebu Furniture Book which he co-published will help reinforce Cebu’s furniture industry in these challenging times.

Streegan told reporters on Monday that the launching of the book is meant to showcase the evolution of the furniture industry from the simple rattan to the mixed-media creations.

“This is basically to inspire the industry and show that Cebu still has a lot to offer for the present and the future,” Streegan said at the book launching of “Cebu Furniture: A History of Inspiration and Innovation” held at the Gilt, Crossroads.

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The book was published by Art Post Asia. It features “untold and unique stories” of the 60-year history of the Cebu furniture industry.

The book features a graphic timeline of over 100 classic and modern landmark pieces that made Cebu earn the recognition being the furniture capital of the Philippines.

In his foreword, Streegan described the project as a “tribute to the industry, an appreciation of its history, a recognition of the many remarkable and passionate people who pioneered and blazed new trails, and a perspective of history, which we hope will serve to refresh and strengthen Cebu’s forward-looking furniture industry.”

Streegan said about 2,000 copies will be released for both the local and international markets. A hardbound copy costs P3,500 while the softbound version is priced at P2,900.

The Cebu Furniture book was published in cooperation with key players of the local industry, CFIF, and international partners and buyers.

Streegan said a portion of the book’s profits will be given to the CFIF.

Streegan said the book will be “instrumental” as this would also serve as reference for the academe.

“This will serve as an inspiration to all designers or would-be designers and to students as well,” he said.

The book will also be launched during the Manila Fame Show on March 15. Manila Fame Show combines the Manila Now, CebuNext and Bijoux Cebu trade shows, an event meant to embrace “all sectors of the lifestyle industry.”

Design

Streegan said there is a need to strengthen the design capability of Cebu-based furniture makers in the international market considering the slow economic growth of US and Europe.

Streegan said the industry is still on a “flat growth this year.”

He said although a lot of companies have diversified their markets and even took advantage of the domestic market, the industry is in tight competition with the influx of cheaper furniture imports from China and Indonesia.

“We are not only competing amongst ourselves but also with other countries, even in the domestic level,” he said.

Streegan said that despite the challenges, furniture companies are still aggressive in marketing their products by joining trade shows. Others are also looking at other potential markets such as Asia and Russia.

“The industry should continue producing products that are compelling to the market.

These products should also adapt to the changing lifestyles of the buyers,” he said.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 14, 2012.

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