Milica Marić, Owner At Wood Mood Design

Furniture Harmonised With Nature

The first WOOD MOOD piece was sold in 2010, and a full 12 years passed before the opening of the company’s sales salon in Belgrade, with the range of products having changed significantly until today. It embarked ambitiously from the outset, with large accent pieces that beautify and ennoble a space

When one works with the desire for employees to be happy to be part of the WMD team, and for satisfied customers to recommend us to others and return to us, then success cannot be lacking – says Wood Mood Design (WMD) owner Milica Marić, before revealing why it is important for customers to share the values championed by the brand.

Despite you hailing from a family that has a long tradition of processing and working with wood, the Wood Mood Design brand didn’t emerge overnight. How would you describe the journey from your first pieces of furniture to this unique sales salon?

Even as a child, I found it more interesting to play with little pieces of wood. My parents deal with the production of fine art equipment and accessories, while it was my grandfather who was the traditional old carpenter…

I also quickly developed an interest in technical drawing. I saw that somewhere, probably from my father, who’s a mechanical engineer. I was somehow constantly imbued with the artistic and technical aspects, so – despite having completed my schooling in the natural sciences and mathematics department at high school – I opted to enrole in the Faculty of Applied Arts in Belgrade to study interior architecture.

I came up with my first pieces, a WM club table, while in my second year of college. That wasn’t a study course assignment, but rather my resolve to design and create an attractive and appealing table, lightweight, on wheels, which would replace the heavy wooden desk in my room that I had to move every night and which caused me a lot of back pain. The idea emerged when I was sketching symbols while chatting with a friend on the phone. Inspiration can strike in different places and at different moments.

When I completed my studies, I submitted my works in contests, in a desire to discover whether anyone liked what I was doing. I won several international design awards in Italy, Brussels, L.A., Slovenia and the most important one – the Golden Muse Design Award – in NYC, for my design of the Long Socks desk. That is valued and recognised among customers.

Theory is certainly important as a foundation, but people who launch any business should recognise the importance of practice and dedication, and money will come

I also participated in a contest that was held under the patronage of the Government of the Republic of Serbia. We made the works at company Simpo and then prepared the exhibition. The fact that, after graduating from college, I learnt at such a large and organised manufacturer is of immeasurable importance. Practical experience is essential after graduating from college, while theory is certainly important as a foundation. People who launch any business should recognise the importance of practice and dedication, and money will come.

I remember how I started… I did most things as a service for other manufacturers, and then a car accident that happened when I was overcome by exhaustion changed the course of WOOD MOOD. It was then that we decided to buy a CNC machine and some simpler machines, as WMD had already started developing after the first furniture fair and the award for exceptional aesthetic design solution. Awards have continued to come ever since, while sales have grown…

The first WOOD MOOD piece was sold in 2010. From then until today, and the range of products has changed significantly since then. I set out ambitiously, making large accent pieces that beautify and ennoble a space. Twelve years passed before the opening of the sales salon in Belgrade. When I was ready to accept the risk, an unusual space emerged, filled with warmth and originality, as customers usually comment.

You participate in almost every segment of production – from initial idea, technical development and CNC machine programming, all the way to presentation and sales. Is it fair to say that this isn’t really a regular approach to doing business?

I am the owner, but primarily also the designer. And that need I have to create has already produced the recognisable brand that is WOOD MOOD DESIGN. That comes with responsibility, both towards the people with whom I work and towards the customers. I want the people I work with to be happy and satisfied to be working at WMD and for our satisfied customers to recommend us to others and return themselves. I learned to programme and work on the CNC machine, which also means a lot to me when it comes to the development of new products, but I also plan to involve others in that.

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