The Sixinch Story
"We all have creativity in the 'space between our ears', a space 150mm wide or to put it in imperial terms- a good six inches." Sixinch’s mission is to give creativity a chance and a form. Thanks to the foam coating procedure, it is now possible to produce innovative concepts that have a dramatic impact without the associated headaches. The result is a unique design that is water- and weather- proof and easy to clean. A solution that is ideal for both professional and private interiors.
In 2002 the designer Pieter Jamart wanted to use foam coating for his graduation project, but he couldn’t find a supplier that was able to meet his needs. So, he started to experiment in his garage until he created the perfect composition. In 2003 Pieter founded Sixinch together with his business partner Michel Sels.
Since founding the company Pieter and Michel have dreamed of achieving international success. And it came surprisingly quickly thanks to orders that flew in from all corners of the world. The villa of one of the biggest Bollywood stars in India for instance was completely furnished with Sixinch, and Al Pacino recently became the proud owner of a Louis II armchair.
But they rapidly realized that traditional corporate growth was not the best option and they chose to start up smaller production operations with local partners. This meant starting up new companies each time in which Sixinch Belgium owned shares. The new local production locations echoed the headquarters in terms of design and furnishings.
This ‘copy-paste’ business model dispensed with a number of obstacles: the partners are familiar with the local cultural and above all business customs and speak the language. The time differences are also no longer a problem. Exchange rate problems are now a thing of the past as are high shipping and import costs. Moreover the goods no longer spend six months in transit; they can be delivered rapidly. So that Sixinch is always one step ahead of the competition.
The first of these corporate forays into the international market took place in 2007 in Japan. After Sixinch Japan was set up, a showroom in Tokyo was opened and a brand new factory was built in Sapporo by the foam coating partner Shinji Mikami van Field Club INC. After two years of uninterrupted success and a turnover that had doubled, Shinji Mikami decided to add licenses for two other countries, namely Taiwan and South Korea. The following year Spain and Portugal followed with Sixinch Iberica, and this year Sixinch Italia joined the group with a production unit in Turin.
But 2013 was the year of The American Dream. After a long search for the right partner, Pieter and Michel joined forces with Wieland Designs that manufactures automobile seats for Ford in Indiana. Together they started a production unit in the town of Elkhart. The first Sixinch NA (North America) products were launched at the NeoCon® trade fair, the biggest American trade fair for design professionals. They were a great hit. The Cliffy 6000 even won a 2013 Best of NeoCon Editors’ Choice Award, organized by CONTRACT, the leading American design magazine.
And this year saw the launch of Sixinch Russia during the 19th International Exhibition of Architecture and Design ARCH Moscow on 25 May. The exclusive agent has a showroom in Moscow and will also have its own production plant. Sixinch China and Philippines were set up and preparations are fully underway for creating production units to open in each country next year.
2015 promises to be rich in surprises with huge design plans: Sixinch NA has signed a contract with Gensler, one of the biggest design and architecture offices, known among others for its project for JFK International Airport in New York. And at some time during the year, an exclusive collection of around 15 ‘Gensler for Sixinch NA’ will be launched. And as if that were not enough, we must also mention the fact that negotiations with India and South America are also underway. The aim is to start up around 15 new international partnerships. There’s no doubt about it, Sixinch outgrew Belgium a long time ago with its foam coating designs.