Swedish furniture company Fogia, established in Stockholm in 1981, works closely with some of Scandinavia’s most successful designers. We visited Fogia’s concept store inside a subtly overhauled 19th-century steam engine workshop just outside Stockholm to meet CEO and owner Marcus Huber and PR & marketing manager Richard Prime.
Located in the municipality of Nacka beside an inlet of the Stockholm archipelago, the 1200 square-meter concept store Fogia Market appears almost like a well-furnished home.
“Fogia began its ‘design life’ as a manufacturer of tables that joined glass tops to Plexiglas frames,” says Richard Prime. “The Swedish word “foga” means “join” and thus the name Fogia.” Over the years, Fogia has developed its production range to furniture and interior items, working closely with a tight-knit group of european designers, such as Swedish Stefan Borselus and Carina Seth Andersson, Andreas Engesvik from Norway and studios like Norm Architects, Note, TAF Studio and Main.
Furniture made to order
“Fogia believes in the natural Scandinavian heritage of blending excellent craftmanship with intelligent choice of materials,” continues Richard Prime. “We’re aiming at making the most out of the materials and create aesthetic expressions.”
Most of Fogia’s products are handmade in Europe. There is no stock of furniture, every piece of inventory is made to order. So, don’t expect delivery the next day after you have found your favorite bookcase or sofa at one of the Fogia dealers around Scandinavia and Europe. Fogia is now expanding into the international market. Last year, the company opened a showroom in New York and won the Collection of the Year Award at the 2018 edition of ICFF in New York.
An element of surprise
“We don’t follow the trends, we make our own paths,” says Marcus Huber who took over the company with partner Lars Lindgren in 2011. “There is often an element of surprise. When the National Museum in Stockholm reopened after five years of restoration last year, Fogia was commissioned to make site-specific chairs designed to fit into a curved recess in the restaurant. The result was Niche, a one and a half seater designed by TAF Studio.”
Months later, an internationally acclaimed single seater club chair, influenced by the design and also named Niche, was added to Fogia’s collection.
When we ask Richard what makes Fogia so special, he smiles and says, “It’s a combination of design, choice of materials and good craftsmanship. I will give you an example. Some time ago I wanted to change my old sofa at home and the new one was of course a sofa from Fogia. The movers came and my old sofa was quickly removed. It took considerably more time for my new sofa to arrive at my apartment. I could not believe it since their truck was parked nearby. When they returned with my new sofa, I asked the movers why it took them so long to come back. I still remember their answer: “Your new piece of furniture is just a better quality item compared to your old lightweight sofa; so it takes a bit more manpower to get it from the van!”
Sustainability is a keyword
Fogia’s product manager Hanna Nilsson is incredibly focused on producing as sustainabily as possible without compromising quality. Each Fogia item is made to last for a long time, and we’ll take no shortcuts where this is concerned.
“Before launching a new model, we never rush,” explains Richard. “It can take years to launch a new product. We wait until it’s perfect. We want to give our designers space. We don’t make furniture specifically to launch at the furniture fairs. These days, our products are released when they’re ready.”
An ambitious company
“Ambition is the answer to success,” says Marcus Huber. “We’re not locked into a system on how to do things right in our industry. We have our own vision that governs how we operate in the design framework. We work in close collaboration with creative people both within and outside our company.”
Fogia works with several styles in their furniture collection, with a story behind each product. The concept store in Nacka, Stockholm is the perfect place to exhibit the items and let each of them communicate their own story.
Welcome to Fogia’s concept store in Stockholm
If you have not had the chance to visit Fogia’s concept store in Stockholm, you have missed an important part of Swedish furniture history. Or, more accurately, you have missed an important part of its future.
There is also a small café that serves drinks and snacks to browsing visitors at the rear of the store.
All photos: Tor Kjolberg
Handmade Furniture from Sweden, written by Tor Kjolberg