town, Braşov County, has a furniture factory which has carried the Rupea name worldwide. It
was financed by two entrepreneurs with a mind for business. Ida Toro and Emil Ghişoiu, who discovered that old furniture, if reconditioned, can be very
good merchandise for export.
Gathering and reconditioning old and used furniture, thrown away by peasants, Ida Toro and Emil Ghişoiu set up a proper antiquity business, efficient
and much appreciated in the West.
“The idea of an old furniture business isn’t entirely mine. It came from a handful of sasi businessmen who live in Germany, and who, after testing the
market there, realized that our old passion for wooden peasant furniture can become a stable source of income”, says Ida Toro, general manager of the
Furniture made in Rupea reaches the United States, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Austria and Northern European countries. Romanians are not among the most
faithful costumers of the company, some because of the price, other because they dislike the ethnic style. “Most objects we find are either Hungarian
or Sas. The Sas ones are massive, with sombre colours and a dark painting, whereas the Hungarian ones are smaller, more carefully sculpted and with
floral decorations”, says the head of the company. The furniture they take from Moldova sells very well in the United States, while the Transylvanian
furniture is particularly liked in Holland and Belgium.
Promoting the products made by the Mobila SA Rupea Company is mostly done online. The company’s website offers information on the entire range of
products done here, while the company has contracts with important furniture distributors around Europe. Through them, the furniture can reach stores
in Western Europe. Also, another important way of promotion is through the Sas community in Germany. When the business was first set up, half of it was
owned by Sas businessmen who have since left the country.
Nothing is done at random
For a Transylvanian wardrobe, a painted wood bed or a century-old trunk, most of the clients patiently wait their turn on a list. Waiting can take up
to two months, and an order rarely drops under 12,000 Euros. The hired craftsmen carefully study each object in turn, in order to find any kind of
defection or sign of wornness. The especially beautiful items are photographed and entered in the company’s archive. In this way, they can then be seen
by future customers and replicated.
Still, nothing is done at random here. Old models are kept and redone on newer pieces. After being photographed, the furniture items go inside a
reconditioning and restoration workshop. The employees work fast, with clear shipment deadlines. “The most difficult days are when we send the
merchandise abroad. Sometimes we’re still here working well after midnight, because we have to wrap everything carefully and load it in trucks”, says
Mobila SA Rupea doesn;t have a great number of employees, but manages to make a profit with only a few dozen people. In 2008 it had a 500,000 lei
turnover and a 24,000 lei profit. “The furniture company is one of the investments who have made Rupea known worldwide. We take great pride in that and
we are eager to back investors who help the town develop”, says the Rupea Mayor, Flavius Dumitrescu.
The economic development of Rupea town, triggered by the fortress’ rehabilitation
The Tradition of wood carvers in Apuseni, turned into a successful business in Câmpeni