POLaRT is a furniture company that blends Victorian styles with bright pop colors, creating sculptural designs that are eye catching and playfully bold while still maintaining a distinguished presence. Founded in 2011, the company is based in the town of San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and is part of a larger conglomerate known as NICHEO which also runs a sister company called POLREY which has been in operation since 1979.

POLaRT is the youngest sector of the organization and also the brashest and boldest. Designer and businessman Josue Reynoso is the founder and chief executive officer of the company which is befitting of his background as the son of a self-made designer and manufacturer of furniture.

Josue has adopted many of his father's principles and practices when it comes to craftsmanship such as paying close attention to detail, thinking up unique designs and maintaining a strong work ethic.

Despite being relatively new to the market, POLaRT has made huge waves in the high-end furniture market particularly as it can be customized to suit each consumer’s needs. Recently, Josue Reynoso discussed his company, creative process, and more via an exclusive Interview.

Introduction to design

Blasting News (BN): Your father was a designer, so did you grow up in an environment where there was a lot of attention paid to form and color?

Josue Reynoso (JR): My father is the most creative person I know.

He started out in the furniture industry without knowing his design direction. He was, however, intrigued by the idea of molding something out of polyurethane. His first approach was sculpting figurines. He then decided to make a console and a coffee table.

The French Provençal style made sense to him; though the designs are very intricate, it’s more cost effective to reproduce them in molds than to carve them out of wood.

I grew up in a house that was a combination of Mexican architecture, French Provençal furniture, and my dad’s practicality; our dining table was an octagon, to fit my five siblings, my parents and myself perfectly.

BN: How much do you think your childhood influenced your interest in design and how did your background help you break into the industry?

JR: Since I was a kid, I’ve loved to travel. When I was working for my dad, I was constantly on the road visiting customers, who had come from all over the world. I learned about many different cultures, religions, and societies. This led me to major in “International Business” in college. For me, design & architecture are the perfect companions to travel and reading. They’ve helped me in the design industry, being such a dynamic and democratic career.

BN: POLaRT designs are fun, beautiful, and delightfully quirky, so how did you get the idea for this style and what has consumer response been like?

JR: I didn’t invent our style. It’s been popular for ages, but it’s often overpriced. POLaRT has been more about democratizing the style; while we offer customized options, we keep pricing in mind. Our customers come from many diverse backgrounds, from students to grandparents, and from tattoo shops to ice cream parlors.

The designs of present

BN: How many designers have provided concepts to the company and how do you choose which ones to market?

JR: For our first five years in business, we stuck to our own designs. Our parent company had ample experience producing French Provençal style that we decided to rebrand as: “Modern Outdoor Baroque.” We narrowed down the selection to what we thought would better fit our customers, added outdoor versions of most of our frames, and extended color pallet, which we tend to present monochromatic, but can be mixed into over 1,400 combinations. These days, we’re working on collaborations with sculptors rather than designers. Our first collaboration is out now, which is the Calavera chair: a skull shaped chair that homages our Mexican “day of the dead” holiday.

BN: How long does it typically take to design one of your pieces and what are they made from?

JR: Prototyping is a major challenge. It requires acute attention to detail, because it’s how we make a mold, and it can be created from a wide range of materials. Once the mold is completed, the products are injected in polyurethane, which features a steel structure on the inside. The polymer will perform outdoors, and the finishing looks like wood, with other additional characteristics, such as frame complexity (carving, shapes, curves, etc.) and the added resistance of steel.

BN: How many different models have you created and do you have any favorites?

JR: I mostly enjoy improvements I’ve made to already existing models.

Comfort is most important when it comes to furniture design, which involves changing up materials. "Bookie Bourbon" is my personal favorite. My dad and I worked together on this project, and the first sketch came from drawing the outline of a cabinet we had on an MDF board. I like the version where the interior is painted like wood because it makes it look like the bookcase comes from a hollowed-out wooden slate.

Customization, theater, lighting and more

BN: You have said that these pieces are customizable which is so cool! How does the customization process work and what have been some of the most interesting orders you've received?

JR: For starters, you choose between indoor and outdoor furniture, both differing in upholstery material.

Then you choose from our selection of finishes (we have twenty now) as well as your desired fabric or material (we have thirty-eight in total), and we customize it for you. Every project is different and tells a different story. My personal favorite is featured inside our NYC partner’s showroom, Maison 24. It reminds me a bit of the "Clockwork Orange" movie!

BN: These designs are so eye-catching--have any theatrical shows sought to use them as props and would you ever consider showing off your furniture via plays or TV shows?

JR: Most recently our designs were featured in a play in Como, Italy, and there is a project in NY for later this year. We have also appeared in several shows; “Snoop Dog and Martha Stewart’s Potluck Dinner Party” featured one of our chairs.

BN: What events and/or projects are coming up for you soon and how do you envision POLaRT evolving in the coming decade?

JR: I would love to see POLaRT as a one-stop-shop. So far, we only sell furniture, but I’d like to add lines of lighting, carpeting, and housewares, with the same unique and different styles. We are not afraid to be eclectic and mix up styles. Many contemporary fashion designers invite their followers to mix colors, shapes, and materials. Committing to one brand is passé. In a world of options, browse your options and spread the wealth.

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