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Interview : Cruso founders thoughts on 2020 and the new challenges ahead

Cruso founders Olivier Stévenart and Lionel Slusny share some of their thoughts about Cruso and the development of the brand during the exceptional year of 2020.

Olivier Stévenart and Lionel Slusny are the founders of Cruso. They partnered up on Cruso after Lionel met and fell in love with Olivier’s creations. Here are some of their thoughts about Cruso and the development of the brand during the exceptional year of 2020.

 

What are the main challenges you faced in 2020 during this pandemic?

 

Olivier Sténevart:

The market has been very unstable, all the actors of the industry were uncertain about engaging in new projects. We have faced a lot of transportation issues due to borders closures.  2020 has been challenging in terms of team coordination. We had to maintain the morale of our team and offer them a long-term vision. The bond of trust we have is based on a common project and this period of uncertainty in our market has called for a reaffirmation of our ambitions.

 

Lionel Slusny:

The general uncertainty has slowed down the decision-making processes with our customers and partners. Orders, deliveries… everything went at a slower pace. On the other hand, internally we had to be much more responsive in our decision-making. Handling these timing disruptions was the biggest challenge.

 

What were the positive aspects of this brand-new situation we all had to face? 

 

Olivier Sténevart:

I feel like we have all collectively turned to the actors in our societies who do us good... Those that carry inspiring and positive initiatives. The design community has shared our products and our vision enormously. In the team, it encouraged us all to hold on, it strengthened our convictions, and we are all ready to attack this year with even more energy and enthusiasm.

In Chinese, the two characters that make up the word crisis mean “danger” and “opportunity”. I think that sums up what to remember for 2021: in every crisis, there is good fortune. This New Year will be filled with opportunities that we will be sure to pursue!

 

Lionel Slusny:

This was an opportunity to focus on the essence of Cruso and what keeps us going. We have noticed a general trend in design towards a search of quality. Consumers are looking for products they can trust, and a certain proximity. Everyone has refocused on the essentials and Cruso's positioning has been confirmed.

 

What did you learn about yourself in 2020? 

 

Olivier Sténevart:

I was able to stay calm and take the necessary time for each decision. My ability to maintain a positive attitude in any situation will be essential to lead the brand as far as I hope to. 

 

Lionel Slusny:

I took a step back to recenter myself on my deepest motivations that brought me in the Cruso adventure, the kind of values that keep me motivated in such a situation. Namely, learning every day at the contact of passionate and experts in the field to help me push my own limits and grow. This introspection allowed me to let go of non-essential things. I took the time to appreciate the importance of my family, friends and close associates. I am more careful with the balance between my private and professional life.

 

What are your resolutions for 2021 following this experience?

 

Olivier Sténevart:

2021 must be a year in which we all stay on track at Cruso. We need to keep our professionalism, our rigor and have as much distance needed on our development. 

 

Lionel Slusny:

My first wish is to ensure that I maintain an approach centered on human relations. It is important for me to be available to team members and our various partners. I also hope on a societal level to see more solidarity and compassion between those who have been relatively spared by the crisis and those most affected.

How do you see Cruso evolve in this new context? Any new objectives?

 

Olivier Sténevart:

Cruso will have the opportunity to lead in the tendency to buy less but better. Our ecological commitment will enable us to meet the ever more demanding expectations expressed by the enthusiasts of furniture and responsible consumption. I want to keep this momentum and be even more ambitious in the new collections that we are preparing.

 

Lionel Slusny:

Like most companies in the design world, Cruso needs to focus on the quality of all its processes, whether it is product development, logistics or accounting. All in order to remove obstacles to our progress. I do my utmost to elevate the organization of Cruso to the best possible level, improve the customer's shopping experience and their support.

What impact do you think design will have on our societies in 2021?

 

Olivier Sténevart:

Design will be one the solutions for the future. It is a sectors where each actor is deeply passionate and has a real vision. Whether it affects interiors, furniture, technology or services, design will be a fertile ground for rethinking and improving our ways of living.

 

Lionel Slusny:

I believe in the ability of our interiors to create real well-being. Especially at a time when human relationships have become scarce and when most of your time is spent at home. It is important to take care of your living space, which is now also a workspace. Creating an atmosphere of serenity and positivity requires a thoughtful selection of the design and the quality of the materials that we will introduce into our home. Having discovered Cruso in its early days as a customer, I was able to feel it too! Design will take an important place in this societal search for reconnection with the natural, with simple and essential things.

 

Your main wish for the new year?

 

Olivier Sténevart:

I want everyone in the team to evolve well in their personal life and their professional projects. May Cruso continue to move in the same direction with even greater enthusiasm. 

 

Lionel Slusny:

I wish everyone a lot of energy for the new year, which promises to be a big challenge. May we all find moments to recharge and find serenity daily. 

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