Bombinate Stories: Brand founders on a mission

By Bombinate

Our story began with a road trip across the mythical Silk Road, 50 nights through the lands of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, all the way to Mongolia, which ignited our quest for traditional craftsmanship, incredible quality, heartfelt impact and most of all, founders' stories. It’s important for us that every piece on Bombinate means something – to you, and to the people who designed it. Behind each of the brands that make it onto our platform, there're founders who got inspired during their own journey, spiritual or otherwise. Let's discover together the uplifting stories behind some of our favourite brands.

Marco Massini, co-founder of Shangri-La Heritage

Daniel Verzeroli and Marco Massini

Born in the North of Italy, Daniel Verzeroli and Marco Massini left their home country to work abroad, but decided to make their way back after only a few years and set up their own menswear label, Shangri-La Heritage, a brand inspired by the mythical and unreachable valley of Shangri-La. Fuelled by a passion for high quality, beautifully crafted motorcycle gear and an appreciation for expertly tailored menswear, Daniel and Marco went on a quest to find the finest artisans.

They spent time on the road, on their own motorbikes, seeking out the best tanneries and manufacturers in Italy that could craft their pieces. After years of research, they found their own Shangri-La in Lecco, Italy — ever since then, their collections are anticipated by bikers and collectors alike who appreciate pieces made with care.

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Marion Descottes, founder of furniture brand Kulile

Marion Descottes

Kulile means a person who is growing up in the Changane dialect of Mozambique, and it’s an apt name for modular furniture that grows as you do. Years ago, when Kulile's founder Marion Descottes lived in Mozambique, she met a talented craftsman who made the furniture she designed for her own our home. It wasn't long before those pieces became successful and she started to receive requests to design similar styles. Back in Europe, she launched Kulile: evergreen design and passion for woodwork.

Based in France, Kulile’s modular furniture pieces are customisable – choose the base style, shape, finish and function to create a space that’s uniquely yours. Plus, because France is known for its city living, each collection’s optimised for small spaces, with a slim profile. Their pieces have a simple Scandi aesthetic – made more modern with a cool use of colour – thanks to tapered legs, light wood and curved silhouettes. Easy to style, and easy to make your own.

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Katja Schuurman, founder of Return to Sender

Katja Schuurman

Interior brand Return to Sender was founded in 2006 by Katja Schuurman. During the many journeys she took both for work and leisure, Katja discovered that the poorest people in the world are sometimes full of ambition. They don't lack the will or the talent, but they lack opportunities. That's how she came up with the idea of founding Return to Sender — she yearned to establish a reality where fair trade could be the engine behind sustainable development.

Since then, their mission is to help women in disadvantaged countries create a better life through their craft. Together with seven of the best Dutch designers, she handpicks female artisans and gives them a platform to create a better life and future. The design process is a collaborative one, and the end result – handcrafted home accessories inspired by traditional techniques – helps these vulnerable women get back on their feet. Because the profits are returned to sender.

Klaus Jorlet and Søren Andersen, co-founders of We Do Wood

Klaus Jorlet and Søren Andersen

We Do Wood is dedicated to making the furniture industry more sustainable. So when Denmark-based founders Klaus Jorlet and Søren Andersen realised that Moso Bamboo outperforms all other wood in terms of positive environmental impact, it was a no-brainer to use it in all of We Do Wood designs. Their pieces range from peg boards to shoe racks and tables, and are all crafted using FSC certified suppliers, ensuring nothing goes to waste. They have shown their concern for the environment since day one and worked towards minimising their carbon footprint. Currently, their end-to-end supply chain, from plantation to final product, is C02-neutral or better.

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