Artefacto's Magic City Success
By Rebecca Wallwork
|the Bloom chair in light yellow, created by Filipino designer Kenneth Cobonpue|
While Bacchi enjoys establishing relationships with young designers, he’s also fond of the more traditional design-world names, including Christian Liaigre. “I’m a big fan of the French designers. I love the organic nature and the chicness of French interior design. It’s so human.” This is no small point. Artefacto designs must not only be eco-friendly, beautiful and made with care—they must be functional. They are not museum pieces but designed to be lived with and make a home a home.
“Furniture must be practical, comfortable and showcase good design,” says Bacchi. “It’s not about which of those things is more important. The three factors have to be combined. If you don’t have the three together, you have a product that won’t sell.”
Which brings us back to that inventory. “When we started out here nine years ago,” he says, “the majority of the design showrooms were Italian.” The product was world-class, but customers often had to wait for 12 weeks or more to receive their furniture. Artefacto created a solution: “From day one, we have been top of mind for designers and for consumers who want their home done quickly.”
Which, it should be pointed out, has never meant production-line packages. “Artefacto has the ability to customize the product so it’s made only for you,” says Bacchi. “Nobody will have the same pieces.” The company also gives customers the option of working with a designer to create an entire home on the spot—or to make purchases piece by piece.
As his fellow Brazilians f lock to South Florida, making their fortunes at home while securing futures for their families in the States, Bacchi knows he is in a prime position to grow Artefacto well into the years ahead. With the new initiatives here—and 25 showrooms in his native Brazil—what’s next for Artefacto? “Increasing our market share in South America,” says Bacchi, “in Colombia, Panama, Peru, Bolivia—countries that are growing.” And even though he followed his own father’s footsteps into the Artefacto world, Bacchi is content for his two sons to carve careers of their own design, “as long as they are happy.”
Bacchi, who lives with his fashion designer wife, Lais, and their two children in Coral Gables, believes Miami is the perfect North American home not just for his family but his family’s business: “The level of architecture here over the past decade, and the buildings that are yet to be made, they are perfect for our product,” he says. Model residences designed by Artefacto at Icon Brickell, Trump Towers in Sunny Isles, Marquis Residences and Capri South Beach are visual proof.
But it’s not all about bricks and mortar or floor-to-ceiling views of Biscayne Bay. “Artefacto loves to work with natural fibers and materials, and I think this goes very well with the Miami lifestyle,” Bacchi says. Even his thirst for global roaming is sated here. “I love the mix of cultures we have in this city. The South Americans, the Americans, the Russians, the French and the Italians—everybody. The international mix really creates the spice of Miami.”
Portrait by Ben Shaul