I remember my father Sante, bent over his drawing board designing a piece of furniture.
He was a carpenter and had such creative power and determination that he decided to start a furniture company and to involve his whole family in the venture.
It was the beginning of Cesar and that piece of furniture was a sideboard. Even today I see some of his creations in country houses around Pramaggiore, and I stop to talk to the people who first put their trust in us.
Some of the first furniture we built were kitchen units, our earliest successes They were modular units we could fit together according to the space available in the room, a total revolution in furniture production at the time. To design the layout, we would start from a defined point in the room and the arrangement of the units would follow from that. The piece of furniture for that particular point was a corner module. This was the place for the television, the most popular household appliance at the time and, the place around which the family would convene.
When furniture became a status symbol, we were ready. And when people wanted a makeover for their homes, the kitchen played an important part. We devised a product which offered two panels for the door of each unit. Each panel had a different colour on the outside and the inside. In an instant you could change the colours of the kitchen doors. At home, I would experiment and have fun changing colours according to my mood that day. This way people knew what to expect!
In order to have freedom, you have to be organised. It may sound like a paradox but this is exactly what we experienced when we first designed a modular kitchen. We had to change our production methods to put clients in charge. They could choose the colours, the materials and the finishes. This was a significant innovation that enabled us to develop a creative process that we still use today.
The development of our designs has been influenced over the years by changes in habits and lifestyles. The success of the peninsular unit allows for more worktop space and offers a natural separation between the kitchen and the living area. Islands have become the central point of home entertaining - a stage where hosts can display their cooking prowess. I spend a lot of time looking at how we behave in our kitchens – it is my responsibility to customers buying our brand, Cesar. To me, there is no better service to our clients than ensuring they live happily in their own homes.
When people ask me how important the human element is in our sector, I always reply that it grows stronger by the day. Cesar is a manufacturer of furniture, we are not a workshop and we continuously invest in the innovation and optimisation of production. However, it is the experience of the team working at Cesar that delivers such quality and sophistication in the finish of our products. All this while keeping in mind the most fundamental aspect: the design. Beauty that can transmit emotions, is luckily, still impossible to create with machines.
Our strengths have always been the willingness to listen to our clients’ needs, the ability to see beyond their wishes, and the eagerness to satisfy them. This translates into a custom-made approach through which we offer maximum creative freedom and flexibility. We have been highly successful within selected markets abroad where not only our ‘Made in Italy’ style is appreciated but also our understanding of different living habits and our flexibility to adapt to them. With the same desire to evolve and respond dynamically and positively to market demands, Cesar has recently undergone a management restructuring. The company has welcomed a new partner and this has brought with it a new entrepreneurial vision.
Today, as Cesar's CEO, I see a company that has evolved in know-how, method and design capability to a level previously unthinkable. Sometimes I find myself looking back to the first years I spent here and I have to admit to myself that, in truth, I always wanted to do my father’s job. I have learnt everything from him, and above all our values. Of these values, the most important is our passion for a job well done and the pleasure in seeing a smile on the face of the people who have put their trust in us.