Be Astonished by the Hard-Working Nature of PREGGO Luxury Factory ⇒ CovetED had the pleasure to visit the luxury factory Preggo and discovered a team skilled in moulding ideas and polishing concepts by hand. From the drying lacquer to the furniture pieces still to be assembled as well as the shimmering designs already completed and ready to go, it was in this place, we had the extraordinary opportunity to speak to Davide Pereira, Preggo’s CEO, and the people responsible for the different areas of this luxury factory.
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Based in the city of Oporto, in Portugal, Preggo hasn’t stopped its growth. With more than fifteen warehouses spread across the region, and as disclosed by Davide Pereira, Preggo, a member of Covet Group, gears up for the beginning of an expansion which will allow to “bring together logistics and production in a space of 30 000 m2”.
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It is definitely a significant step for a factory that defines itself as an international supplier for designers and architects. Preggo will offer an integrated service of luxury furniture and lighting, in four strands: Preggo Wood, Preggo Metal, Preggo Upholstery and Preggo Lighting.
Art and Know-How
With more than ten years of existence, Davide Pereira enlightened us of how Preggo came about, “a dream of two young designers, Amândio Pereira and Ricardo Magalhães, who are the co-founders of Menina Design and Preggo, I would join them at a later time.” Preggo is the structure that came to support the “ideas and projects imagined by the two designers. The industry clearly wasn’t ready to meet their most indulging concepts”, explained the CEO of Preggo who affirms that it was in Preggo that they found the idyllic growth conditions and production for Boca do Lobo and several other brands that manufacture there.
When asked what makes Preggo so exceptional, Davide Pereira didn’t hesitate in answering: “the part of the manual work has a lot to do with it … Preggo has this ability to understand the idea of the designer or the architect, of our client, and execute it in an outstanding way, we can produce it with high-quality and at a fantastic price,” he proceeds on to describe the brand services as transversal, “from the moment that the customer’s idea comes into our hands to budgeting, monitoring prototyping, production and follow-up, shipment … a customer who comes in with a collection can complete it in its entirety at Preggo”, using their four productive structures: Preggo Wood, Preggo Metal, Preggo Upholstery and Preggo Lighting. “Our internal positioning knows no boundaries,” clarifies Davide Pereira.
Engineering and Craftsmanship
The conversation continues in the enthusiastic tone of those who are proud of what they produce. Now, Davide Pereira tell us about one of the crown jewels, Diamond, a piece that was produced for Boca do Lobo and according to Pereira represents “what we are and what we make … the part of the product engineering that involves craftsmanship, the base is made by a woodcarver … and from the innovation that we bring when it comes to finishes”
BRABBU, a renowned Portuguese brand, works on a regular basis with PREGGO, while in the international spectrum, Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron and American luxury brand KOKET have also collaborated with the group. The CEO disclosed that yet another type of clients have also worked with them, “such as young Portuguese designers who are looking forward to launching their brand or need a partner in crime, basically up and coming designers who need a helping hand in developing their ideas and projects,” much in resemblance of what was the beginning of PREGGO. Pereira reveals that what makes Preggo grow in technique are the clients, as well as evolving in a way that allows them to closely observe the process of production, even when they are in other latitudes.
Innovation and the Future
PREGGO goes much further than just satisfying the clients’ needs, it visits and follows up on other industries besides furniture and design, as Davide Pereira explains, “I just arrived from a chemical and plastics trade fair, with our Director of Research and Development, even though it has nothing to do with our sector. This is what we do. We visit trade fairs, from the automotive world to cosmetics and fragrances, textiles, fashion, and much more. It is in these places that we draw inspiration to bring the innovation required.”
“Obviously, we make sure to attend the leading international fairs of interior design, including Maison et Objet, iSaloni, designjunction and London Design Fair, because it is there that we realise how much we are innovating in comparison to our competitors, so it is our strategy to be present in these exhibitions,” asserted Pereira who has announced that Preggo will be featured in the upcoming January edition of Maison et Objet.
Moreover, the CEO explains that Preggo has “a project that was created this year, which is Preggo Lab, we also have a section of research and development as well as another one regarding product engineering”. Davide continues, “What happens is that we want to slightly shift the relation we have with our clients. Everything that is finishes, textures, materials, are augmented at Preggo through our clients, meaning they are the ones who request our services and challenge us, so we can go after these challenges and we try to present what they are expecting. Nowadays, what we are doing is completely the opposite, we try to pull in our clients and we will be the ones to innovate, to present news and trends, and to tell our client, that this is what we can do and we are prepared to produce high-quality pieces.”
After describing his ambitions and those of his team, the CEO makes one last statement about the future of Preggo: “Clearly, the next phase for Preggo will be to launch product brands. This is one of our main goals for 2018. We want to put into motion the first product brand, and we are working on it. We are thinking of, maybe, doing a more remote project, like a showroom. I believe that within two years, we will be ready to move forward with this project.”
Now, let’s hear from the directors and artisans that are responsible for guiding and creating the marvellous designs from the four branches of Preggo Group.
Joana Sousa, General Director Preggo Wood
Preggo Wood has been present since the inception of Preggo Group, and Joana Sousa believes that what differentiates her team from the rest is the “woodwork and the part related to finishes,” as she explains, “they aren’t as industrialized and the people who work with us know how to give them meaning”. Besides woodwork, Preggo Wood blends in its pieces, gilt carving or hand-painted tiles, among many other artistic techniques.
Telmo Marques, General Director Preggo Metal
Managed by Telmo Marques, Preggo Metal specialises in working with “noble materials, brass, copper and bronze”. “We are a quintessential metalworking branch because we bring aesthetics to the production process,” explains Telmo Marques, stating that what they cherish the most is giving life to “the dying crafts”. In reference to designs, the head of Preggo Metal highlights the “Nº11 Chair and the Metamorphosis Dining Table from Boca do Lobo”, these are pieces which he regards as excellent examples of the challenges they have to face each week.
Metamorphosis Dining Table by Boca do Lobo
Ricardo Lourenço, General Director Preggo Upholstery
“At Preggo Upholstery there is a sense of understanding with the clients, as they can check the finishes and ways to upholster that they may not be as accustomed to,” elucidates Ricardo Lourenço. He goes on to say “we create sofas, chairs, and we even upholster the furniture. We use several techniques because upholstery is a vintage sector, extremely traditional in Portugal, and we often use quilted details and draperies, and with the assistance of our designs, we are able to modernize this art that has existed for so long.”
Fernando Pereira, General Director – Preggo Lighting
Fernando Pereira has enlightened us of how challenging this period of change and growth has been from Candeeiros Alves. Fernando Alves founded the family company, thirty-eight years ago, and about a year ago, Preggo Group acquired it. Pereira discloses, “We have just inaugurated two pavilions, two aisles with 2000m2 of space,” the team currently has twenty-three people, and shows many signs of growing. “Without a shadow of a doubt, the quality will improve and we are going to increase our productivity”.
Dorsey Suspension Lamp by DelightFull
In regards to the future, Fernando explains, “We hope that we are being a solution for the group, and to that end, we have to instruct people and motivate the younger ones. Our goal is to create an atelier to educate them; we have been going to schools and trying to inspire them to come and work at Preggo Lighting”.
Cosme Ferreira, Artisan Preggo Wood
We had the chance to encounter Cosme Ferreira, the head of the joinery, who was analysing a new sketch. With now thirteen people in his team, the artisan recollects the time, about twelve years ago, where there was only three of them, “I practically started this group,” he reminisces. “I enjoyed producing much more than commanding, but I still do produce,” he confesses while remembering the piece that gave him the most satisfaction in creating, the Diamond Sideboard.
Diamond Sideboard in production
What the artisan likes the most is “to get here and have more two or three designs like this one. This is what motivates, to have work, I feel delighted to live in the midst of people who grow and grow more each time. It leaves me completely rewarded, really indeed. Fulfilled I am almost; however, there is always that one piece that makes me say, “This is the one that I hadn’t done yet! It makes me feel happy”.
Fernando Abreu, Artisan of Preggo Metal
At Preggo Metal, we found Fernando Abreu, who was almost finished polishing a mirror frame, as, at each slam of the hammer, this new piece was starting to take shape. The artisan recounted that the team started with three members and has now grown into eighteen.
When asked what he likes to do the most, he answered, “different pieces, for the very first time, because the challenge lies in those”. While working constantly on pieces like the Millionaire Safe or the Lapiaz Sideboard, the team’s biggest challenge, to date, is a dining table, “it was the Empire, which was done in its entirety,” but the hardest part was, “to lean the sheet on to the furniture.”
We wanted to know what is the feeling to see a completed piece to which he answered: “I am proud and I feel like taking a different approach for the next time.” This is due to the fact “that most of it has to do with manual work,” and while in some occasions they do resort to machines, they feel like “the material reacts differently.”
Paulo Justo, Artisan of Preggo Upholstery
Amid cheerful fabrics and tropical ones, warm velvets and studs as well as foam and threads, there was Paulo Justo drawing patterns with an attentive eye. The artisan affirms, “What I like to do the most is new things”. Preggo Upholstery creates, “every type of pieces, from sofas to armchairs and chairs.”
Zulu Chair by BRABBU
In addition, Justo told us “we have upholstered a few things here” in reference to applying fabric to sideboards and consoles. They use “all kinds of fabrics,” depending on what the client wants. Preggo Upholstery started with four members and now it has ten, “two seamstresses, six upholsterers, a fabric and a foam cutter, and Rui who is our adviser.” Paulo speaks yet about what is to come, “we are training people,” however he feels like, “there is a lack of artists … the passion needs to be there, but the truth is there is a shortage of artists.”
Fernando Alves, Artisan of Preggo Lighting
Besides being an artisan, Fernando Alves is the founder of Candeeiros Alves, which is now Preggo Lighting. We had the opportunity to come in and talk to Alves, who was assembling a new luminaire. “This part is where it all begins, the place where we make prototypes,” explains the artisan while in between cutting and welding machines. This is “an extremely manual system and it gives me so much joy to manufacture … nothing is automated, it’s all manual, we produce the pieces we want to produce,” specified Fernando Alves.
Recalling the moment where he saw the designs exhibited in fairs, he discloses, “It gives me great pleasure to see the pieces that are made here and I enjoy seeing the reaction of visitors, because it is exceptionally positive, to listen to their comments, which, fortunately, are always quite pleasant.”
Now, take a look at this amazing video that tells the history and essence of luxury factory, PREGGO, in other words, learn about the Handcrafted tale of Preggo!
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