15 questions for Eva Torrente, Sales Director, Trasman
Trasman is one of Spain’s leading furniture manufacturers, and we are thrilled to announce that we have secured the exclusive distribution rights for Trasman in South Africa.
As we go ahead and launch this innovative, well designed, high quality, functional furniture for kids and teens at Nest, we wanted to introduce Eva Torrente, Sales Director at Trasman.
We decided to do a little Q& A with Eva to give you some more insight into the fabulous Trasman brand.
The Spanish-born, Barcelona based Eva Torrente is a 42 year young woman, who is totally passionate about furniture and sustainable business. Eva is a true believer in the empowerment of people through constantly sharing and listening. She is known to tell her story so passionately, that she has successfully managed to encourage a company to go from selling 100% to the Spanish market alone, into selling and being known in more than 32 countries in 5 continents.
1) Eva, can you give us some understanding of the beginnings of the Trasman brand?
My father started his own carpentry in a modest remodelled old farm, against my grandmother’s wishes for him to become a banker. His kitchen cabinet business grew so much that he then took on an industrial site, where he went from flat-pack kitchen cabinets to manufacture the first shoe cabinets, bookshelves and small furniture specially for the DIY channel.
2) How do you remember your own first steps into the world of furniture design and manufacturing?
My first steps were actually quite daunting. I was a female, young, and ‘daughter of’. This made it harder than I expected. Thus, having to prove myself to others. The most challenging part was changing that Spanish mentality we have inherent to us that lead people in the organisation to believe that we were just another Spanish furniture manufacturer.
My big dreams of exporting and making a name for ourselves were often faced with many ‘but’ or ‘we can’t’. I chose to focus on what we could and surrounded myself with people who believed in our product and were willing to go the extra mile with me.
3) Trasman has been widely recognised in over 32 countries worldwide. How has the brand’s vision of design evolved since it started?
It has evolved a lot, and most exciting: we still have a long way to go.
We are in a very price-sensitive industry. On families priority lists, furniture might not even be at the 10 top. So, a turning point for us was to detach ourselves from the clients who needed to fill a gap solely for a ‘cheaper’ item, and look for clients who’ll appreciate the functionality,
design and quality.
4) How does Trasman differentiate itself in the international market? What are the main features of design?
Functionality. Traditional manufacturing often puts the focus on costs, then product overall image. If we talk to our direct client (i.e. large retailers) they’ll often put the focus on those two as well. But, being a family based company, we care about the people and we put them at the focus of our attention.
When you ask parents what’s important for their kids furniture,
surely price will be one, but they often talk more about safety, space saving functions, gadgets, etc. And when you ask the actual user (kids) they’ll tell you: we want to have fun.
So by listening to our product users, we can produce items that they’ll want to buy and they have shown to us, that what we ourselves thought it was a very Spanish looking product (for the colors, and the obsession we have to fit a lot of things in small places) can be sold globally.
5) What do Trasman customers demand the most and what do they appreciate about the products?
Fun products, newness, problem-solving furniture. Bunkbeds, studio beds and midsleepers are a must on our catalogue. Since Covid we have seen the demand increase for pieces of furniture that will make you enjoy more your time at home: desks, vanity tables, bookshelves.
6) It is a known fact that Spanish design is at the highest level, competing worldwide with much to offer. What does it mean to Trasman for their range to now be available for sale in the South African market?
It’s a dream. We like to say we seek partners, rather than clients. All our product, selling channels, procedures, everything we are at present is simply an outcome of the relations we have built over the years. Every product has a story behind, where a client once mentioned one thing or another at a meeting and we took note of it. Product development is totally
useless if you don’t produce what your clients need. And we are 100% convinced that South African clients can help us learn and develop even more. Particularly because our entry to the SA market will be through a strong partnership with Nest, who are just as passionate about product as us and are in direct contact with a thriving market.
7) Why did you choose to partner with Nest Designs?
We are well aware that we’ve gone from selling to 100% traditional brick and mortar shops to a good mix of 60% traditional – 40% online. Entering a new market for us in an old way of doing business would simply not make sense.
We feel that Nest has a thorough understanding of the SA market, but most specially they are dedicated to kids’ furniture and they take pride in quality and design.
With this exclusive partnership we ensure that our product is marketed as it deserves and we can complement Nests’ current range.
8) 2020 has been a challenging year with many businesses feeling the impact of COVID-19. How did Trasman react to changes?
Due to our internal communication and management style, we can implement changes very fast. We decided to leave aside the ‘fear’ of what may/can happen and decided to focus on what we were experiencing as a single company, and that was a sudden and totally unexpected increase in demand. So, our main focus was in trying to give a reliable service despite the sudden and continuous negative news.
In terms of product design and development, our main focus is again on new and functional products that will make those staying at home a lot happier. Lastly, we are ensuring that our packaging continues to evolve
and improve to suit the ecommerce needs, making smaller, lighter and more protected parcels. But we still have a long way to go.
9) Where do your designers get their inspiration from when designing your innovative collections and products?
We allow them to dream! It may sound cheesy but the word ‘crazy’ does not exist on our dictionary. We gather comments and information from clients all over the world, and we listen to the most important users: kids!
10) How would you describe a Trasman Kid’s design?
If I must choose one adjective it would be: Functional. Although strive for highly qualitative furniture that ensures kids are safe and will last a long time, whilst keeping a reasonable price, thus making parents happy as well.
11) How long does it take to develop a Trasman product?
The actual design can happen really fast, from the moment the idea is born until we see a first sketch it can be less than 10 days. However, we then go through a process of prototyping, and this can be repeated up to 6 or 7 times, in order to see possible improvements, easy assembly, hardware constraints, and product adaptability to user’s needs. When we are happy with the actual product, it needs to be sent to the testing lab where they do all the resistance and safety tests.
So, although the product could be ready within 3 weeks, as we used to say in the old times, the overall timeline of a bunkbed for instance can be around 6 months.
12) What is your favourite product in the Trasman Kids range?
The midsleeper for sure. It is such a robust and complete solution one must see in real life to understand. Having a higher bed makes the child feel really safe, but being within arm’s length makes it easier to make the bed every morning and tuck your child to bed at night.
13) Do you have a best-loved Trasman product in your own home? If so, can you tell us what it is?
I have all the storage solutions that are on our catalogue because I’m a big fan of tidy spaces. So, wardrobes, shoe cabinets, chests, you name it.
14) What are your 3 top tips for parents looking for beds for their kids?
Ask yourself first what pieces you need now and foresee for the future development of your child (ie: bed, wardrobe, desk, chest, drawers) and then research and compare all that’s available rather than taking the lowest price without options. Functional products may be higher in price but offer multiple solutions in one.
Always ask for safety standards and certifications. A lot of products do look nice but are not safe to use. Sadly, a lot of retailers cater all furniture products and are unaware of safety requirements.
15) Lastly, a little bit of fun. Mid Sleeper Bed or High Sleeper Bed? Top bunk or bottom bunk?
Sorry, can’t choose, it’s evolutionary, from cot to bed, bed to midsleeper and if you must share then bunk bed. And a cool high sleeper for your teenage years!
Thank you Eva, for taking part in our interview, it was great chatting to you!
Life today is fast-paced. In this environment, things happen quickly and continuously. In 2020 not many people read anymore, so the fact that you have taken time to read this post, whether you are here for the first time or you are a regular, thank you!
To offer something worthwhile to read beyond a headline and to be able to give you real insight into the Trasman brand from one of the faces behind the business and to also impart why we do what we do at Nest, means a great deal to us.
But having said that all of that, we believe that what we are presenting today is product that speaks for itself! At Nest we are always pushing to keep our look and high quality product range fresh, varied and evolving.
Experience the Trasman Collection first hand right here and get 10% off your order with our limited offer.