A Visit to BONAMI – interview with Václav Štrupl
Václav Štrupl (Bonami) – Offices are especially important for employees; they must have a soul.
The world of Václav Štrupl, the head of Bonami, the design furniture and accessories retailer, is surrounded by interesting things. We visited him in Bonami headquarters in Holesovice and talked to him not only about the office design, but also about Bonami‘s moving plans.
My first question is coming from Jan Řežáb, the head of Socialbakers, who is asking:
You set a fast pace, you still manage it, don’t you run out of ideas, do you recycle them? Are there any limits?
We recycle ideas, but there are limits to it. It’s about either our bestsellers, or we want to show products new customers missed. Regarding the pace, at the beginning we introduced one new collection daily; these days we have a team of people whose only job description is to seek out new things and to arrange campaigns. They travel to trade fairs, follow the Internet and follow trends. We’ve discovered 2,000 brands already and we now release around 5 collections a day. And that’s what Bonami is about - always something new.
You had plans to relocate recently, but they didn’t work out in the end. Why?
That’s right, but we finally ended up staying here, as we expanded our rented warehouse space. Now we are building a new conference room in the mezzanine. But since this is too small, I'm sure it will be necessary to re-locate and I hope that we'll find something again with a soul. That’s going to be hard because we need about 350 m2, but we want something with a soul and for a good price.
I wanted to ask whether you use your own collection in your offices but I can see that is the case at first glance.
We definitely use our own products, but need to buy the basic furniture in regular furniture stores. It is essential for us to fit conveniently here, but I'm sure the new office will be better designed.
Do you think that employees benefit from nice-looking offices?
Yes. I went through four moves with my previous employer. It is not only a benefit, but also the other way around, and I realized how important it is to people. I mostly sit around the same people all the time – I’m not the boss who has his own beautiful office and is not interested in the employees. I do not mind even emptying our bin if necessary.
To what extent do you solve the balance between beauty versus functionality?
For us it’s paradoxically mainly about functionality. It’s essential for me that everyone has a sufficiently large desk, monitor and quality chair so it is ergonomic yet nice in the end. We’ve got delicious coffee here. In my previous job, I quickly found out that good coffee and a quality coffee machine are very important. We also order groceries and try to ensure that we have healthy food in here; I forbade fast food takeways and energy drinks. We want to support healthy diet, hence a range of fruits, vegetables or dairy products.
I’d like to ask you again about the new meeting room – will there be anything unique there?
There will definitely be a made-to-measure picture painted by an artist here at Bonami, inspired by our logo. We got it from Milton as a Christmas present. We’ll have one formal conference room equipped with a projector for formal meetings. There will be an informal meeting room right next to it with sofas, access to a kitchenette and equipped with our products so we can show our visitors everything we sell at Bonami. We want our visitors to feel at home.
A question from Vašek Štrupl for Miloš Čermák:
Hospodářské noviny ("Economic Newspaper") is now located in Karlín in a huge modern open space. I am eager to hear what this great personality with a capital P thinks of this type of space? I would imagine this notable personality would prefer his own office.