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Growing our Legacy: Looking Forward

17 October, 2018

“Adaptability and constant innovation is key to the survival of any company operating in a competitive market.” – Shiv Nadar

With 30 years’ worth of business experience behind us, we’ve certainly learned the importance of being adaptable in order to keep our customers’ wants and needs a top priority. As owner and director, Shirley Mast explains,” What time has taught me is that there is no recipe for a successful business. Rather, what is required is to constantly watch the changing world and adapt the business accordingly to ensure that our clients get what they require in terms of service and product and always at the most optimal level possible.”

Arabella Lowback

Arabella Lowback Chair

It’s with this philosophy, and a strong focus on innovation, that we’re approaching the next 30 years. And as part of our commitment to pushing innovation throughout the business, we’ve made several key appointments to our management team over the last while.

Andrew Mast, General Manager
The son of owners, Charles and Shirley Mast, Andrew has, quite literally, grown up with Woodbender. He officially joined the company in January 2013 as the Production Manager’s assistant and has since gained valuable experience in the Accounts, Operations, HR, Sales and IT departments, all of which he brings to his current role as General Manager – https://bit.ly/2ypfju2

Andre Gouws, Sales Manager
Andre joined the Woodbender family in May this year and besides bringing a wealth of experience to his position – he’s worked across several different industries and a diverse range of markets – he’s adding a new energy to the business, too – https://bit.ly/2AefEBj

Grant Longmore, R&D Manager
Since Grant joined us in April this year, he’s been hard at work experimenting with designs and manufacturing techniques, refining the production process and designing new products, including several bespoke pieces for our new Strand showroom that showcase the beauty of the bentwood technique. He was also recently invited to exhibit at 100% Design South Africa – https://bit.ly/2EtbTw5

Margaret Steenkamp, Marketing Manager                                              Margaret joined in February this year, focusing all her energy on growing brand awareness.  Since she joined the Woodbender family she has been involved in exciting new projects including TV, Radio, Digital and Print.

As we look to the future, it’s also important to pause and look to those who have played a significant role in our history – our suppliers who deliver the materials we need to create our furniture, as well as the media, who have helped us tell our story over the last three decades. To thank them for their crucial contribution to our business, we will send them a Legacy Box that will included Yellowwood seeds from the Outeniqua Yellowwood on Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West.

Why Yellowwood seeds?
For several reasons. First and foremost because the tree from which the seeds are collected is thought to be between 150 and 400 years old and to us, that speaks very clearly about legacy! Secondly, because the Yellowwood is South Africa’s national tree and Woodbender is a proudly South African business. Thirdly, because the Yellowwood has been known to reach heights of 60 metres and as a business, we seek to stand out for our quality, integrity and innovation. And finally, because Vergelegen holds a special place in the Woodbender story as it was here that Charles and Shirley Mast said “I do” 33 years ago.

Tree Planting

We may be 30 years into our journey, but as a business, Woodbender is committed to building a lasting legacy. As Andrew explains, “By working at Woodbender, I’m helping to continue the legacy, and I hope my children will be able to contribute to it themselves one day.” Watch this space – there’s plenty more to come!