Your family has been working in the wood sector for generations, would you like to tell us about this tradition?
The Schurians have a very special tradition: for four generations all the first-born are called Georg and they work in the wood business … I don’t think there are many families like that! It all began (in 1896) in the early 1900s in Feldkirchen, Carinthia. My great-grandfather Georg (or as we call him, Georg Primo) was a boy in a sawmill. He was a very peculiar boy, with a mathematical mind: he had calculated that by selling lumber from a nearby forest, he would earn enough to buy the sawmill where he worked. So he borrowed the money (from his uncle, the village butcher), bought the wood and took over the business.
Is there any episode of your “wood hunter” activity that you like to tell?
For example, some time ago, a Carinthian farmer contacted me to come and see some logs in the woods near his farm. I arrive, I introduce myself and he exclaims: “Schurian? These trees were already big when his grandfather was little. ” That’s right, they were logs from 150 years ago, which fell due to a strong wind. When I saw them, I couldn’t resist and I bought them all, partly for the personal connection with personal history, partly because they were beautiful.
When I saw the first table made by Cristian, in the garage of his house, I understood that it was the beginning of a new adventure: Tabula.
With what criteria do you choose your suppliers and collaborators?
I strongly believe in autonomy and in the sense of responsibility: I am absolutely not a centralizer, on the contrary I choose the people I work with precisely on the basis of their ability to make choices, manage situations, bring their own contribution of professionalism, experience and passion. This principle stems from my personal beliefs but also from training courses that have enriched my culture as an entrepreneur and lead me to manage working relationships on the basis of a somewhat “alternative” philosophy, compared to other companies that put first place the economic aspect.
Tell us about your team, who do you share the Tabula project with?
Tabula is a dream that began a long time ago, when I realized that with standard industrial processes in the furniture sector, a large part of precious wood is wasted, especially when it comes to large logs. It all started with my meeting with Cristian and his ability to give shape, with his hands, to this dream. When I saw the first table made by Cristian, in the garage of his house, I understood that it was the beginning of a new adventure: Tabula. Our team was then joined by Alessandro who follows relations with customers, putting all his experience and availability into it. Tabula is a project conceived as a continuous “work in progress” and therefore we are always open to new meetings and collaborations, for example in the field of design: always as a spirit free from clichés and in love with that wonderful and unique raw material that is the wood.