“UAFM in the faces”: an interview with Alexander Chastukhin, owner of “ALBA”

ALBA author’s furniture studio

Oleksandr Chastukhin, the owner of ALBA (more precisely, it is designated as a studio of author’s furniture), is a self-taught person in the furniture business. But there should be no shadow of arrogance or contempt about it – on the contrary, only respect for his organizational and entrepreneurial abilities. And he mastered the basics of furniture production, working for almost four years in the Odessa company “Pelican”, where he came as a student. During this time, in practice, he mastered the skills of woodworking, artificial stone. And the companion with whom they started the company just wanted to do something serious.

The name in the studio company is such that it was hard to find out why ALBA. Everything turned out to be simpler than expected. Here is how Alexander explained: “After thinking about the name for a long time, we began to combine the first letters of our names and surnames, and at some point “Alba” sounded. We looked at each other and immediately realized that it was. Choosing this name by accident, we did not even suspect that it would make so much sense for us in the future”. But, as is the case in the partnership business, the entrepreneurial paths of the co-founders have recently diverged, and now only the name of the studio is reminiscent of the former partnership.

– Did you get enough money to create and start your own company in four years of mastering the furniture business?

– Of course not. We are lucky in this important aspect of starting a business. Our relatives with a former partner are co-owners of one company. They provided us with start-up capital, without setting strict deadlines for repayment of borrowed funds. This was very important at the stage of the formation of our studio of designer furniture.

ALBA’s mission can be considered the desire to simplify the process of housing for customers through the implementation of both ready-made design projects and their own.

The main specialization is complex solutions for apartments and houses, but the Zaporizhzhia furniture studio also fulfils single orders for the manufacture of furniture of almost all categories. Assumes responsibility for every aspect of the project, from assistance in choosing the style, colours, materials and installation and free warranty for five years. And this is due to the fact that it has its own production, design department and experienced furniture and interior designers.

– Companies with specializations like yours work closely with design bureaus and construction companies. What is the main difference between the implementation of their own projects and those offered by the customer, developed by other designers?

– There is only one significant difference: the implementation of ready-made projects speeds up the execution time of the order. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and patience to communicate with the customer, coordination all the nuances of the project.

But recently there has been a tendency to reduce the number of complex orders. If we take in cash equivalent, then orders for certain categories of furniture now prevail. Relatively prevail, because in general, sales due to known circumstances decreased, and January has not yet shown a change for the better.

– Which of the first orders was the most important for your young company?

– This can be called a large kitchen project worth about ten thousand dollars. The customer liked our work, and he offered us to furnish the whole house. This was a breakthrough for us in the market. The studio became more famous and visited.

– What are your plans?

– We intend to create several successful models of furniture for various purposes and to establish their serial production and sale through our own store in particular. It is already functioning in our country, but not quite as we would like.



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