The Patio Life team has been involved in the South African outdoor furniture business since 2001. Primarily, with the launch and management of MBM (South Africa), as a subsidiary of MBM Germany, an exclusive German outdoor furniture brand. This included the import, warehousing, distribution, and marketing of their high-end range of patio furniture throughout South Africa.
In 2012 when Patio Life registered as a company it was increasingly obvious that the South African outdoor furniture market would become flooded with mass produced products from Asia. As would happen in many different industries. This was not environmentally friendly or good for local manufacturers. Many of the low-price items had a limited life span and had to be regularly replaced and could not be recycled. Additionally, the sourcing of raw materials for these imports was questionable. Especially those made from “sustainable forest” hardwoods.
It was under these conditions that Patio Life team started the company with the purpose of designing and manufacturing outdoor furniture using only South African factories and artisan workshops. The first two years were difficult as the company found its feet, set up relationships with clients and, improved its collaborative design skills. More importantly though, was finding boutique factories and artisan workshops we could work with that could consistently make high quality custom designed furniture.
In 2014 our business took off firstly with Clinton Savage Interiors (Cape Town), and then a huge project commissioned by Shaw and Bekker Interiors to custom make to spec. all the outdoor furniture for the extensive refurbishment of the River Club (Cape Town). Followed by work, amongst others, for Fransvliet Guest House (Franschhoek), Blue Views (Cape Town), Blue Apple Interiors (Cape Town), Amajaro Estates (Paarl), Biosculpture (Bloemfontein).
Over the years until now, 2021, we have teamed up with extraordinary designers on their projects requiring customised outdoor furniture. Some large with multiple bespoke items some small with just a few original designs. We have supplied furniture throughout South Africa and for export to Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi, Seychelles, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and Namibia.
Custom making furniture from original designs is never simple. Even with the most modest designs. But we learn and continue to learn, as do the craftsperson’s with whom we work.
Patio Life makes quality products, and we are proud they are made and will continue to be made in South Africa and exported around the African continent. In our own small way we are gratified to help in providing employment and the upskilling of its peoples.