7 Jalan Dato’ Abu Bakar 16/1
46350 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Email: [email protected]
A father-and-daughter team manages Sixteenth Avenue, a store dedicated to furniture made from solid wood. “We offer a modern take on solid wood and timber furniture, incorporating metal and glass for a more contemporary feel,” says founder Laura Yong.
“My daughter handles business at the store while I manage the operations at our factory in Tropicana,” Steven Yong says, after a short banter about who is the boss. They conclude that both of them are, with Steven as the manager and Laura the founder.
The Yongs opened the store in May last year as more and more customers were visiting the factory, which was not suitable for the viewing of products.
Although Sixteenth Avenue specialises in wooden furniture, one can also purchase custom-made leather or fabric-covered sofas. According to Laura, this segment was created in response to high demand from their customers.
Sixteenth Avenue is located in a three-storey building along Jalan Dato’ Abu Bakar. There are some parking bays outside. Walking into the store, one immediately notices that the warmth exuded by the wooden masterpieces contrasts starkly with the coolness of the grey cement walls and floors. The décor is minimalist, broken by some metal decorative wall pieces that are for sale. Apart from the natural light coming in through the windows, the showrooms are lit by a few small spotlights hanging from the ceiling.
At the back of the store, an array of wood slabs are lined up against the walls, ready for customers to select from for their custom-made furniture.
Made from an assortment of solid wood from Indonesia such as kayu jati (teak wood), angsana, cengal, raintree, tamarind, acacia, merbau and balau, Sixteenth Avenue’s furniture include dining tables, console tables, bar tables, side tables, coffee tables, dining chairs, bar stools and bed frames. It also offers accessories such as floor candle holders, umbrella holders and table lamps.
All the pieces are designed in-house and crafted at the factory. Customers can choose a water-based or an oil-based finish. The former results in a more natural look with a distinct grain and texture while the latter provides a more finished look and smoother texture.
“We do have customers who have a specific design in mind or interior designers who are looking for furniture for a particular layout,” Laura explains.
Should a customer fall in love with a 12-seater dining table but finds it to be too big for his home, he can always resort to the customisation service to get the same design in a smaller size. “The time taken to complete each piece depends on availability of the wood. The entire customisation process usually takes about two weeks if the solid wood is readily available. If the slabs have to be imported, the process would be longer,” says Steven.
The Yongs understand that customers may be eager to have their ready-made furniture delivered immediately but, to ensure optimum quality, it has to be sent back to the factory for finishing touches.
Servicing is provided at no cost for a year thereafter. Steven points out that his pieces have been treated and recommends that they be kept indoors or in a shaded area to maintain their quality.
This article first appeared in haven,digitaledge Weekly, on Issue #74 August + September 2015.