Pay a visit to some of the Costa del Sol’s hippest and most popular beach bars, restaurants, shops and cafés, and you’ll notice a growing affinity for eye-catching, sturdy, bespoke wooden furniture that is not only comfortable and durable, but environmentally-friendly, too. Dutchwoman Kristel Schoeman-Daneel – the creative mind behind Marbella’s Woodfactory – noticed a gap in the southern Spanish furniture market; namely, a lack of availability of weathered, rustic looking furniture made from reclaimed wood. Three years later and Woodfactory is decorating many of the Coast’s coolest establishments…
What brought you to the Costa del Sol?
A contract with the promoter of La Perla Living (Dutch owned), setting up the services department of La Perla Living. And of course the challenge of moving abroad – I was just 24 years old at the time – and the warm and sunny climate!
Your life before relocating to the Costa del Sol?
I just finished my degree in hospitality management services and was working in the sales department of Marriott Hotels Amsterdam.
Woodfactory furniture is proving extremely popular. What prompted you to start the business?
I started Woodfactory three years ago as I always missed basic, natural decoration furniture in Marbella and at an affordable price. So I started to design items for myself.
Tell us about what you do and what it involves.
I design and produce – with my team of carpenters – furniture and projects made from reclaimed wood. This can be tables, chairs, cabinets and complete lounge sets (with cushions), but also floors, doors, walls and kitchens. We make everything to measure in our own workshop.
What part of your work do you enjoy the most?
I love creating a new and beautiful piece of furniture made exactly to measure as per the wish of our clients and at the same time respecting the environment by using reclaimed wood.
How do you start your day?
Preparing my four children to go to school! I drop them off and then I go to my warehouse and start to discuss the work plans for the day with my carpenters.
Aside from work, what do you love best about the Costa del Sol?
Outdoor living thanks to the great climate and the international community.
Your favourite beach?
The east side of Marbella has great beaches, but nothing can beat Tarifa’s beaches.
Your favourite Sunday lunch venue?
There are many! Siroko Beach, Macaao Beach, El Ancla, Besaya Beach or El Gueno on the boulevard in San Pedro… by the way, you’ll see beautiful Woodfactory furniture in all these fabulous places!
If you jump in the car for a weekend away, where do you head for?
What do you miss about Holland?
The Christmas ambiance. We can never come close to it here in Marbella. It has to be cold and freezing and snowing! And relating to work, I sometimes miss the hard-working mentality of the Dutch.
What does the future hold for Woodfactory?
I will continue to do what I am doing, as I absolutely love what I do!
What advice would you give to someone relocating to the Costa del Sol and wanting to start a business here?
Invent something new or different, take risks and work hard.