The history of Artifex Australia: 1978 - 2021
Artifex Australia was established in Perth in 1978. A common story of its time, Artifex was born post WW2 by two brothers immigrating from Europe. Each bringing hard work, great skills and the desire to do better. Perth was considered quite isolated in the furniture industry, freight and air fares were expensive and marketing difficult to control, however passion and determination are hard to stop. The brothers forged forward eventually breaking into the East Coast market and winning many loyal fans with their flair for innovation and excellent design, building high quality furniture, utilising only the best materials available.
One of these materials was Jarrah; a West Australian icon and well sought-after hardwood that exceeds all standards of mainstream furniture manufacturing. From the very beginning, this has allowed Artifex to build furniture to last the test of time. Furniture treasured by its owners and often recovered and passed through the generations, rather than becoming landfill.
In 1984 Artifex Australia’s first classic was born. The simply named “Chaise” sofa was launched, available as an armchair and various sofa sizes. Compared to what most established Australian manufacturers were doing at the time, this design was at best risky. The standout contemporary design with adjustable arms allowed it to be a chair, sofa, chaise lounge, and a particularly good bed! Australians East and West loved the practical design with strong northern European influence.
Today we still love Chaise. We could never say goodbye. Chaise remains a part of our current range and proves that it deserves to be there by the number of Australians who continue to choose it for its great design, beautiful build, quality and finish. To keep with the times, we have also introduced “Monaco”, a modern twist of our classic Chaise sofa. With adjustable arms that move up and down and highly comfortable foams, we hope the Monaco will be just as popular, living side by side in harmony.
As the 2000s arrived, Artifex had become a West Australian success story, acknowledged for its quality and innovation. The company was well represented around Australia and even some parts of the world, with products in the showrooms of some of the very best independent furniture and design retailers. Unfortunately, the 2000s also brought a big change for the Australian market which was fast becoming flooded with poor quality, low cost, imported furniture. The price driven retailers could not resist and quickly dumped Australian produced furniture in favour of much cheaper imports which had bigger margins. This decimated furniture manufacturing in Australia causing some to end production and many much-loved brands ceased to exist.
With passion, determination and devotion to quality paying off, Artifex survived and continued to service those remaining loyal retailers and growing their catalogue of products. Artifex became a firm favourite with many architects and designers across the country who knew that to endure the commercial environments and residential interiors, strength, and quality of build, made a huge difference in performance.
Come 2015 the brothers were successful and established, they had so much to be proud of; but nevertheless, it was time to think about themselves and their families, as retirement loomed.
So the hunt was on; with all its history, the sweat and love poured into growing this company, simply selling it was not an option. If it were to continue and remain true to its core values “craftsmen for life”, they had to find someone that would continue their story with passion.
Enter Michael D'Andrea, a cabinetmaker by trade with over 20 years’ experience in the industry and a passion for all things furniture. Michael previously worked in sales and business development roles in the commercial furniture arena with studies completed in furniture design, project management, and creative writing.
Michael's personal understanding of the business, from day-to-day experience of the factory floor, design and prototyping, to the face-to-face interaction with customers, both commercial and residential, deemed him a perfect fit. His hardworking passion and dedication are very much a part of his hands-on approach leaving the brothers assured the company would be in safe hands.
Michael is West Australian and proud of it. Under his stewardship, Artifex has grown and maintained its reputation as a reliable and consistent supplier of beautiful high quality furniture to a loyal client base for both commercial and residential purposes Australia-wide.
Fast forward it is now 2021 and the landscape in Australian furniture is so vastly different to even 20 years ago. It seems that Australians are spoiled for choice, but those within the industry know this is not really the case with continued education required for customers to learn the real difference between Australian made vs low quality imported furniture.
We hold firm to the mantra and belief that Australians deserve the absolute best produce in the most environmentally sustainable way; We continue to remain dedicated to high quality sustainable furniture and all the values that we hold close to our hearts.
“Let’s wholesale Australian made, Australia wide. Let’s employ Australian craftsmen to create furniture for both residential and commercial spaces around the country, with all pieces manufactured under one roof and all pieces built to last.”
“We will do it well, we will manufacture beautiful and create high quality products. We will do this by providing our clients with the opportunity to really understand the difference in construction, performance, sustainability and value"