You can't change your spouse, but you can redesign the atmosphere

Published date10 June 2024
AuthorWALLA! HOME
Publication titleJerusalem Post, The: Web Edition Articles (Israel)
The brand KARE has experienced remarkable growth over the years and has become a leader in home design, spanning 60 countries today. What was your vision behind the success

"In 1981, when we were students, Jürgen (Schönhofen's partner, who is responsible for design) and I opened a small shop in Munich. At that time, we realized that the German furniture market was very conservative. We told ourselves that there was no need to stick to conservatism because design can be both wonderfully styled and joyful.

This is how we started. There were initial challenges, like any company taking its first steps, but with an innovative spirit that continues to this day, of 'let's do what it takes to reinvent ourselves.' That's the challenge. Especially in the post-COVID era with the advent of technological changes, including AI. It's a time of many changes in customer behavior. After opening the first store in Munich, we continued with another store in Vienna. We constantly thought about how to create a product that is more than just another piece of furniture bought in a store. We decided to invest significant financial resources in international design exhibitions to showcase our items, but not just to sell another piece of furniture or design item. Instead, it should have value for many years. The idea was that we're not just selling the product, but a product that includes our design spirit and mindset, thinking outside the box. We developed several products. We were the first in Europe to develop a CD storage cabinet in the 1990s. This product was in every home at the time, achieving great success worldwide, and we sold it back then, even in Israel."

Is the demand different from country to country? In terms of taste and preference? There are many differences between them, right?

"We don't tailor trends to each country but follow general global trends. In every country, there are always people as crazy or eccentric as we are. Besides that, of course, there are differences. Japan, for example, is one of our largest markets, where the demand is for smaller furniture because everything is 'mini.' On the other hand, in South America, the audience is different from the Middle East in terms of tastes. The unique thing about KARE is that we don't have just one style; we cater to various tastes. We can create different styles for different people, and that's why we're still here."

What is your dream for the brand? And have you achieved it already?

"I haven't achieved the...

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