Jacaranda Studios

In the Grandpa Family editorials, we highlight creative, ambitious and exciting people who are close to us. This time we meet the people running the carpentry Jacaranda Studios.

On a chilly Tuesday in February, we find ourselves on Norra Grängesbergsgatan in Malmö, Sweden. Ali Atié and his colleagues give us a warm welcome as we step into the carpentry workshop where they craft furniture and custom solutions for architects and designers.

We spend a full day there, and the whole Jacaranda Studios team is photographed wearing our latest collection The Doer. During breaks we enjoy falafel, chat, and savour a “semla” or two (google it, it’s a Swedish thing). We also receive some great Malmö recommendations, and the day not only results in a number of great photographs, but also an interview and a playlist. Read, listen, and enjoy!

How long has Jacaranda Studios been around, and how did it start?

Ali: I took over Jacaranda Studios a few years ago and when I did I also invested in an entirely new set of machinery - carefully chosen with sustainability in mind. Since then, we’ve been going at full speed!

Tell us more about your background and how you all ended up at Jacaranda Studios!

Ali: For me, it started in a small village in southern Lebanon. At the age of 7, I began working in a small carpentry shop making corner blocks for chairs. My older brother already worked there. When our family moved to Sweden in middle school, I spent a lot of time in the carpentry studio we had at school. Even during breaks. Then, I continued studying woodwork and also helped out restoring a church in central Malmö. There, I learnt more about how to preserve and recreate. Now, I have the privilege of working with incredibly talented colleagues here at Jacaranda.

Nicklas: I previously worked as an Art Director in the advertising industry but I never felt quite at home there. Eventually, I quit and started studying furniture carpentry. During my studies, I contacted Ali. That’s how I ended up at Jacaranda.

Lo: I grew up in the countryside in Småland and had a passion for craftsmanship from an early age. Living close to nature and taking part in everything that life in the countryside entails… I’d say that was the start of my journey as a furniture carpenter. A few years ago, I moved to Malmö and studied furniture carpentry. After graduating, I worked for a while in a woodworking industry before I got in touch with Ali through a mutual contact.

Ylva: I got in touch with Ali while I was studying furniture carpentry and was about to complete my last year as an apprentice. Couldn't have found a better place! There is so much room for creativity and discussion here - and we have a lot of fun together.

What kind of projects do you work on?

Ali: Most of our projects are tied to an architect or designer. We really enjoy collaborations. Taking on and mastering challenges is one of our strengths.

Nicklas: We mostly work with things related to furniture manufacturing and custom solutions. We often take on projects that other carpentry shops aren’t interested in - we like a good challenge.

Lo: Primarily, we work with architects, which means we often get detailed drawings.

What would be the dream project?

Ali: I would say we're constantly working on dream projects. It's all about being able to express our creativity. Decorating entire houses is exciting. Especially when there are no limitations.

Lo: It's difficult to pinpoint a specific dream project. Personally, I think traditional furniture carpentry is most enjoyable. That could be chairs, tables, cabinets, or veneered furniture. The higher the budget and the more freedom, the more fun it gets!

Listening to good music and working with your hands is quite appealing to say the least. What do you listen to while you work?

Ali: Me and Nicklas have both worked as DJ’s in the past and are dedicated record collectors - so the music we listen to, and the discussions around it, are very broad. I listen to a lot of Balearics and house music. Music is a big part of our daily life here.

Nicklas: Music is a central part of the workshop. Besides working here, I have also been a DJ for 20 years, so music is always around me. I usually say that I listen to rhythmic music with a background in hip-hop. Now it's mostly jazz, dub, and house.

Lo: I have the pleasure of working with Nicklas and Ali, who have both been involved in the music industry in various ways. They are quite picky, so I let them manage the playlists. Often, it's a lot of old school hip hop, but also electronic, pop, and really all kinds of genres!

Ylva: I like listening to punk or rock on my headphones when I’m working.

What are your plans and goals for the future?

Ali: Focusing on developing our own products together with various designers. To inspire and feel even more inspired.

Nicklas: To turn this carpentry shop into a creative hub. To become a given choice for designers who share the same visions as us - no compromises and always moving forward without losing tradition and craftsmanship.

Lo: My goal is to continue expanding my knowledge and work whilst maintaining my passion and curiosity for the craft, so we'll see where I’m at when I'm old and gray!

What kind of clothes do you usually wear at work?

Ali: Since I pretty much live at work and want to be able to come and go without having to change, I often wear clothes that I can use for everyday wear. Durable ones.

Nicklas: Functional and durable clothing. But we all like to look fresh, so we don’t really wear traditional workwear. Usually I wear a shirt and a vest.

Lo: Generally, some kind of more casual old-fashioned workwear, I would say. What we don't wear are clothes that feel too "builder-like". I prefer to wear something that is both stylish, practical, and durable. There's a lot of good vintage Swedish-made workwear out there!

Ylva: A pair of old jeans and a t-shirt is my everyday uniform, even in the workshop.

Give us some good Malmö tips! Where do you hang out most?

Ali: Norra Grängesbergsgatans Street Festival in September. It’s a fantastic festival right outside our door. Plan B, which is the a club nearby, do a lot of good gigs too.

Nicklas: For a coffee and a croissant, we often go to Farina or Kaffebaren at Möllevångstorget. For an after-work drink, we like hanging out at Bar Kiosko after looking for vinyl records at Rundgång and Skivesset. Nya Brogatan is nice too, later in the evening.

Lo: A concert at Babel, a beer at Plan B, or a game of pool at Interpool. That makes for a great weekend night for me!

Ylva: Going for a swim, having a coffee at Solde, beer and vegetables at the farmers market on Möllevångstorget, pizza at one of Nobeltorgets local pubs. As a parent, I also love Folkets Park - it’s pretty much my second livingroom.

Big thank you to Ali Atiè, Nicklas Lund, Lo Krook Willen, and Ylva Svanholm!