Vola is a workplace who have been making just one bestselling tap range, designed by Arne Jacobsen, since 1968, and have no plans to create a new product line – ever. This is a company who are so intent on preserving their invaluable brand DNA, that they decline multi-million dollar contracts if the request calls for customisation outside of their existing product range, because… well, they don’t make stuff just for the sake of it.
Every staff member, from the manufacturing team to the marketing gurus, understand what makes Vola, Vola. ‘Vola is Vola’ says marketing director Birthe Tofting. ‘We try not to be anything else than we are’.
I’m always intrigued by how successful companies operate, and my trip to Vola came at an interesting time. The Design Files has grown a little this year – our team has nearly doubled in size, and truthfully, though I am relishing our new-found (wo)manpower, I’m still slightly taken aback when I walk into our office and see SIX people tapping away on their keyboards. WOAH. For me, that feels like a lot of responsibility… and having a team of ridiculously clever, endlessly inspiring, idea-generating staff in the office has highlighted to me how important it is to be clear on what it actually is that we do, and equally, what we don’t do.
For the first time, with eager new faces to initiate into the previously not-very-well-articulated ‘ways of TDF’, I’ve realised how important it is to clearly identify our vision and our goals as a business, and to actively choose our path, rather than simply meandering along.
I can’t say I’ve penned the perfect company manifesto yet (!), but as travel tends to do, this trip has clarified my thinking, and left me itching to shake things up a bit in 2018. TDF will be TEN years old next year, and it feels like we’re just getting started!