UNC brings you the work of entrepreneurs, imaginative characters and hard-working, traditional people. They are The Originals. The first ones to be introduced as such, are Gabrielle & Huib Bom. They brought the Ethiopian Duka to our country.’
In 2004, Huib and Gabrielle Bom felt the need to share their knowledge of the furniture business and help to create expertise and employment in an underprivileged country.
They travelled more than 10.000 km and landed in Ethiopia, on the look-out for a place to build their carpentry, specialized in custom design. Together with the WWE foundation, which financed the project, they kicked off Ethio Dutch Furniture (EDF) in 2005.
That same year, machines and supplies were imported and the first kitchens were produced and installed. They found three local talents from Addis Ababa, and trained them for 12 months, teaching them all the ropes of the carpentry business.
In the meantime, EDF has celebrated its 10th birthday, and those three local guys, Daniel, Dawid and Baruk, have proven themselves as great talents. EDF is no longer connected to WWE, but has grown into a healthy business with 28 employees. Daniel is a co-shareholder and Baruk and Dawid are responsible for all productions within EDF. The carpentry is completely run by Ethiopians, but Gabrielle and Huib still frequently travel to Ethiopia to assist the people and work on new initiatives. After all, it’s their second home.
One of the most outstanding pieces that EDF produces is the DUKA stool. It’s carved from a single piece of wood and is surprisingly light weight. The wood finds it origin in the so-called Bofofee-tree, which completely grows back in a year, making it an environmental friendly product. Each Duka is unique, made by talented craftsmen.
The DUKA tradition
The beautiful Duka is part of an ancient-old Ethiopian tradition. Huib: ”The coffee ceremony is an important part of social life. By inviting friends, family or neighbors, Ethiopians show their hospitality. The hostess and guests will sit on the duka while preparing the coffee traditionally. Ethiopians certainly take their time for this ceremony, up to two or three hours. In that time, they’ll discuss everyday things and exchange the latest news.”
We’re proud to have such a beautiful, unique product part of our first Urban Nature Culture collection, and would like to thank Gabrielle and Huib Bom for sharing their love for carpentry.