There are no ‘sales people’ employed at Destination 3000, but rather, passionate and knowledgeable furniture professionals. This statement could not be more true. Every employee at Destination 3000 not only has a passion for good design but possesses an in depth knowledge of form, function and what goes into making a quality piece of furniture. The raw passion and in depth knowledge that the entire team possess combines with their incredibly unique range of furniture – lounges, chairs, lighting, tables, homewares - that is sourced from all over the world. This together with the exceptional value for money is what truly makes Destination 3000 the destination for furniture.
When asked what their favourite thing about the design industry is, the founders answer is a classic example of their breadth of knowledge ‘the freshness of true innovation and new ideas. The constant thinking of issues - whether they be creative, technical or business related, and the genuine amazement that exists when you are truly aware of your surroundings.’
Owned and operated by Andrew Watkins and Harry Strouzas, industry partners and friends who share a mutual respect and passion for great design, Destination 3000 was established in 2010. However the history behind its origin travels much further back. Andrew has a long history in the design industry with years of experience through his integral role at Moran Furniture. His expert knowledge of the furniture industry, product development and design flair led Andrew to starting his own Scandinavian furniture importation business in 2007. The same year Harry, who previously worked in the corporate finance industry before becoming a fully qualified custom furniture maker, moved to England to undertake a three year Furniture Design Degree at Buckinghamshire University. There his design sensibilities seriously developed and he ended up with first degree honors and the top of the course. Upon completing his degree, Harry returned to Melbourne and continued as head craftsman for a bespoke furniture company that just so happened to be sharing half of Andrew’s warehouse facility. The two became instant friends and the Destination 3000 seed was planted.
Destination 3000 is built on the mutual respect of each other’s backgrounds and industry knowledge. This results in a business that showcases a boutique and exclusive furniture range that has been exceptionally curated to stand out from the crowd. To achieve this, they have searched far and wide to source international pieces from both continental Europe as well as Scandinavia. However, they are both serious advocates of the Australian design scene, and ensure that there is a very strong local presence constantly present in their ever expanding range. Together the boys handle the ‘in-house’ designs and production, however they also support their contemporaries, such as SEM Design which has been adopted into the Destination family for the last six months. These Australian designers are hand selected for their quality, uniqueness of design and genuine freshness of ideas.
A prime (although very small) example of Destination 3000’s innovative range is their “Swivel Mirror”. This seemingly simple make-up mirror is designed by legendary UK furniture designer, Hugh Scriven: a personal mentor of Harry’s. This mirror is incredibly functional without compromising its beauty and simplicity. This unique design clearly shows that things don’t have to be big to be amazing.
Running a successful furniture and design business doesn’t come without significant challenges however. “We work in the field we love and are passionate about. We rely on each other like family and trust one another implicitly – a rare feat these days. We get to meet amazing people with diverse and interesting requirements. But the hardest thing is getting the balance right – the balance between product, price, suppliers, and exposure. Increasing our exposure can be difficult whilst also trying to incorporate a significant commercial network. These things are seriously challenging, but very interesting and fun.”
A Designer Dream Date
So who would this talented duo invite to dinner if they had the chance to ask only three designers?
“Firstly, Ron Arad. Love his work (both the furniture and architecture) as well as the philosophy behind it. We’ve been mesmerised by the London exhibitions we’ve seen over the years – especially the expose at the Barbican. Jean Prouve would definitely be there. His style is individual, industrial, strong, durable and beautiful. Genius made to look simple and which showed people that timber can be successfully combined in a process driven environment with a range of different materials, such as industrial steel. And finally the Bouroullec Brothers (Ronan & Erwan - we’ll count them as one designer here). They are stylistic, contemporary, commercial and chic, and we love the fact that they each have someone to throw ideas at and really thrash them out. Almost like the Coen Brothers of the design world – of whom we’re also massive fans of. Fargo, The Big Lebowski…………. absolute genius!”
Destination 3000 founders, Harry Strouzas and Andrew Watkins