Recently we got up close and personal with the team at Esthec USA to get a flavour of what’s happening with our partners across the pond. Supplying us with an insight were Rafael Ochoa, Gabrielle Clark and Corina Barrios Matthies.
Meet our Esthec USA team..
Born in Venezuela, Rafael moved to Germany at a young age, where eventually he graduated as an industrial designer. He has an extensive background in introducing and launching a wide range of products, from mass-produced consumer goods to Super Yachts. He has been director and vice president at Esthec USA since March 2014, and his current goal is to grow Esthec as a brand over in the States. Also, he has a hard time pronouncing certain words in English, occasionally earning him laughs and raised eyebrows from the recipients.
Gabrielle is the office manager in the US. After starting with Esthec at the office in Livorno, she moved overseas last year to put the USA team into tip top shape. Originally from Minnesota, she has a vast load of experience under her belt. She’s on top of everything at the office, working all the cogs as a key player in Esthec. Gabrielle is very efficient; when it comes to lunch, it’s no later than 11:30!
Corina Barrios Matthies
Also on the team in the US is Corina. Born in Houston, Texas and raised in Venezuela in a German household, she is an interior designer. She’s been with the team at Esthec USA since August 2014, developing relationships with new and current clients, as well as being actively involved in sales and events. Another interesting fact about Corina; she takes a long time to drink a cup of coffee. It’s a timely procedure, with many reheats involved.
The team share office space with the Van Dutch team, so it never gets tedious. It’s a high paced environment where people are constantly coming and going. For Gabrielle, being as prompt as she is, the day begins at 7:00 am, whilst Corina is at the office by 9:30 am, and Rafael spends a lot of time on the road between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, meeting clients and closing deals.
How they’re making America fall in love with Esthec…
So, we fired some questions at the team to find out more about how things go over there. When we asked about the main reason for people in the US choosing Esthec over other decking materials, the team explained that the bulk of their work is introducing and educating clients on the benefits and advantages of Esthec. According to the team this is usually received well, with clients “falling in love immediately”! High level sales skills are required as the target is the high-end market. They say that the key is to help the client realize that choosing Esthec is a guarantee for a lifelong product that requires low maintenance and has beautiful aesthetics.
The team claimed that the biggest challenge was to outshine perceived competitors in a country that is known for having endless options on the market.
What’s hot and what’s not…
We asked the team about current and future trends in the decking and yacht industry. According to them, due to the costs of maintaining natural wood applications, there will be a push in the landscaping industry towards low maintenance alternatives. In addition, minimalistic designs that create outdoor spaces that can be enjoyed all year round are hot! Outdoor areas have become an extension of the living room, rather than just a space for the occasional barbeque.
In the yacht industry the trend seems to be bringing the indoor out or creating a seamless transition between interior and exterior. What can also be seen, says the team, is a trend highlighting time as the ultimate luxury by visually connecting with the water. Prevalent is the use of materials that are sleek, clean with simple lines, and low maintenance.
Flagship projects in the US of A…
When asked about their favourite project to date,they told us about the Eden Roc Resort in Miami Beach. It was their first hospitality project and has become their flagship pool terrace project.
Right now the team are working on a number of projects simultaneously, from the Ritz Carlton Residences, to work that involves joining forces with an important outdoor furniture showroom that will be opening stores in Miami, carrying the Esthec Terrace as part of their product line.
We look forward to seeing more of their work and give many thanks to Rafael, Gabrielle and Corina for providing us with some insight into Esthec USA.