FAMILY- THAT IS OUR DNA
Pilat&Pilat furniture is sturdy, Frisian and durable. But at the same time warm, rich and familiar. And with good reason, all models have been named after a member of the
family. ‘At Pilat&Pilat, it is all about people’.
Just as well that Pilat is a big family. By now, many scores of furniture designs populate the Pilat& Pilat Famylje collection (Famylje is the Frisian word for ‘family’). Tribeelder PakeSytse, whose name was given to a sturdy table with a belfryshaped support in 2012, was from a family of thirteen siblings. The founder of the Frisian furniture business, Gjalt Pilat, was also from a family of thirteen. ‘Sometimes, a piece of furniture is taken out of the collection after many years. When that
happens, I really miss that member of the family, admits Gjalt Pilat. The names of Lutske, Hindrik or Jelle may pop up again with a new look after a few years.
At the farmstead in the Dutch village of Twijzel – renovated and extended many times over the years – both the family business and the Famylje collection were to flourish. This is where Gjalt Pilat started selling and restoring antique furniture more than forty years ago. Little by little, he also started using the timber workshop for designing his
own furniture range. He had an eye for design as well as a good business sense; and the rest is history. The Famylje collection was created in the 1990s. In recent years, more and more retailers in the Netherlands and abroad are stocking Pilat&Pilat furniture products. In Twijzel, about a dozen people are engaged in the design and sale of furniture on a daily basis. The workshop is currently used for small jobs and repairs only.
Some fourteen years ago, Pilat moved the production to their own plant in Bosnia, where a large supply of wood is available basically on their doorstep. As well as many skilled craftsmen. And like a family, the family business sees a steady growth.
Nord Ent/Lockwood has just an extension behind the back. A real necessity, since the factory is now also in the process of manufacturing for others.
TWIJZEL IS STILL CONSIDERED THE HOME BASE
Today, Pilat&Pilat is a strong brand in durable, wooden furniture. ‘And we are manufacturer and distributor of
the various Pilat collections, explains Kristien Pilat. Gjalt Pilat’s oldest daughter has been working in the company as a designer from 2001. She also brought her own line of
children’s furniture Warber with her. Peter Tromop is the third designer within Pilat&Pilat.
Although Pilat&Pilat have also been growing in Bosnia and many more national and international retailers are stocking
the collection, the entrepreneurs remain true to their Frisian origins. The farmstead in Twijzel is still the company’s homebase. This is a place for the drawing board and the cradle for new collections. Besides, their showroom gives a fair idea of what Pilat&Pilat is all about. Kristien: ‘We gladly put the sale of our furniture into the hands of the many good dealers of our extended family. In our own showroom we have plenty of space for the collection and our way of interior layout. ‘For many people, a trip to Twijzel can also be a nice day out. Take for instance the walkways starting at our back door, the interior café, as well as the regular exhibitions from artists
and other designers/brands. According to Kristien, the strength of Pilat&Pilat is in the timelessness of the brand. ‘Our furniture is both contemporary and rooted in the tradition of woodworking. In a particular way, all the designs also carry the Pilat stamp: the signature is clear and austere, but the finish and the materials
are abundant. Familiarity and hominess are deeply engrained in the robust designs for cabinets, tables, chairs, benches and accessories. The sense of being part of a family is also undeniable. There is a pleasant atmosphere; everything is very much at home and familiar.’