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How a heritage 'Pionier stoel' inspired a family's furniture business

Many references in the English language hinge on analogies and association with the simple chair, an item which used to hold high esteem until the industrial age of mass production. 'To be on its last leg' is an expression that stems from the practice of sawing the ends of chair legs off in previous centuries - implying that it is decrepit and nearing the end of its life - much like the traditional carpentry industry of creating handcrafted items. A film or story is said 'to keep you on the edge of your seat' if it is full of suspense, and if you're surprised you would say that 'you nearly fell off your chair'.

The humble chair has many stories. From poor people to kings, pot plants to pets - many have made use of and enjoyed a chair on a daily basis without giving much thought to its cause, and creation. In the case of South Africa's very own Pioneer chair - as made by Pionier Furniture - it is a classic story of taking the time to honour tradition and craft each chair accordingly!

"The name Pionier is derived from the 'pionier stoel' - directly translated as 'pioneer chair' - a chair that can be seen in the Drostdy Museum in Swellendam," says At du Preez with pride. "This was also the drive for us to be the pioneers in our field, to provide a personal service to all our clients from the conceptual stage of what you would like your cupboards to look like, till the last speck of dust is wiped off the counter in your newly installed kitchen."

1. One who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle.
2. One who opens up new areas of thought, research, or development

Pionier is the chair that started it all for a family-run business in one of South Africa's oldest towns. Pionier Furniture is reflective of both the company's spirit and also encapsulates their attention to custom made items such as the flagship product, the Pionier chair.

Whilst many may not be aware, this chair is a classic shape which has been around in South Africa for nearly 20 years. It also comes in various styles besides the original shape - namely nook, bar, corner, stool and high back. Customers can even choose the colour of the chair and the seating - whether wood, grass or upholstered - and woodworking techniques can also be applied. The most popular current trend is for words and letters to be cut from the back of the Pionier.

Pionier's furniture, most notably their chairs, are respected by designers and interior decor specialists around the world. Pionier furniture can be found across South Africa and around the globe in places like Greece, the United Kingdom and beyond; from homes and guest houses to restaurants.

Pionier Furniture also make a lot more than the chair that started the business in the early 90s. Creating custom items from dining room suites to built in cupboards, as well as upholstery and even designing kitchen displays to maximise space.

Issued by:
Nadia Rossouw Public Relations
Contact: Nadia Rossouw | Email: | Tel: 021 551 2790/ 083 679 8338

On behalf of:
Pionier Meubels Custom Made Furniture Contact: Riaan du Preez | Email: | Tel: 028 514 3291

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