In addition to reupholstering the image of Marie’s Corner, Silber says he wants to restore in consumer consciousness “the fact that we are still a product that is made traditionally by hand which people see when they see the factory in Spain. There are no machines, only a pneumatic cutter”.
“People had forgotten it was a product that was anchored in a made-by-hand tradition. They recollected or had a memory of that that but they had forgotten it a bit so we had to reestablish our reputation of who we are and who we want to be. We worked really hard over the past three or four years on returning to the true values of the brand.”
The tailor-made element is also a strong selling feature for the Wavre-based company in that it adds character and exclusivity to the high-end brand.
“Customers can select the material they want to use, the finishing touches, the stitching, even the legs, the dimensions, the different levels of comfort. It’s not a product that is finished and then ‘that’s it, that’s all’. People can really choose and bring their own ideas to it.”
The associated costs that go along with this added luxury are something Silber says are completely justified when the customer sees what goes into making the product.
“People who are in the know, who have had a Marie’s Corner sofa at their place for ten years, they know, they can attest to that. We’re talking about a product that can last for years and years.”
He finishes up by telling me about business-to-business projects that Marie’s Corner has provided decor for: BFO private wealth consulting firm in Gent, Bonbon restaurant in Brussels, Cuines 33 restaurant in Knokke-Heist, a lodge in the Ardennes, a golf club in Wanze, a ski chalet in France, among others. The five-year plan is to make a Marie’s Corner hotel with a partner, wherein Marie’s Corner will set up the communal spaces of the hotel which will function as a kind of showroom.
A few potential customers wander into the project store at 39 Namur Street. After a look around, they play musical chairs between the Jackson and the Hollywood models. They look like they could be in their own living rooms, ready for a glass of wine or tea. One person looks around, possibly wondering if putting her feet up on a pouf would be beyond the pale. I lead by example.