Family, Furniture and Fun – Hegi Design House
Gerringong. NSW. Australia
Nelli and Juri Hegi are the creative couple behind the Gerringong-based design studio Hegi Design House. Creating beautifully hand-crafted furniture through sustainably sourced materials, Nelli and Juri infuse minimal elegance into every piece they create and provide over 15 years of experience to a brand that embodies honest design.
Nelli and Juri’s story began in the former Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic, now Kazakhstan, and is one of exploration and growth. “Our designs are inspired by both Australian and international architecture and are a reflection of our heritage, as well as our geographical context,” says Nelli. “Our path into the profession has been non-traditional; I am not a professional product designer and Juri is not a professional welder, nevertheless, we endeavour to make our work refined, resolved, and unique.”
Nelli, a graduate in business by education, and Juri, a formally trained joiner, moved to Australia in 2013. What followed was a seven-year process of discovery that included the establishment of Hegi Design House, numerous handcrafted furniture pieces inspired by their international backgrounds and the addition of two small humans to their family –“handcrafted by us but not for sale yet,” jokes Nelli.
Motivated by their growing family and inspired by the world around them, Nelli and Juri have infused their soulfulness, genuine love for furniture design and fun-loving nature into all aspects of the business.“We think that people are rediscovering the value and authenticity of handmade, locally produced designs, therefore our aim is to have an open, honest conversations on supply chains and sustainability,” explains Nelli. “We want to focus on transparency and trust; we do not want to hide our tools and what products we are using to create our pieces.”
“Our designs are inspired by both Australian and international architecture and are a reflection of our heritage, as well as our geographical context.”
The chairs, tables, daybeds, stools and accessories that make up HegiDesign House’s portfolio are testament to the pair’s values and their love of natural materials. Whether creating in the workshop, relaxing in the family home, or promoting the business on social media, Nelli and Jurihave a tendency to not take themselves too seriously, preferring instead to let the integral sense minimalist sophistication be displayed by the designs they create. “We want to create really great designs, with the idea being not to design for people but rather design with people,” says Nelli. “We want to tell a story based on our customers’ needs and wants. Our focus is to engage and entertain our customers while we educate and co-design with them together.”
From moving across continents to starting their own business, as well as their family, the past few years have certainly been fruitful for Nelli and Juri. As to what the future holds, “we cannot wait for the next stage of our journey,” says Nelli. “We are working on a brand-new collection, new products for our current ranges and an exciting collaboration with a local Australian designer: watch this space!”