Discover how IKEA fell in love with coloured handles

Today Pamar handles are recognised as being a valuable part of furniture. Years of research and development in the field of design and materials have brought our products to a level of excellence in the industry. The range of articles that we can produce however does not stop at high quality handles and higher prices. On this point, there is an important case history from our recent past, a professional experience which we are still proud of today and which explains the company’s flexibility in its product range.

Those coloured handles with a Swedish taste.

Angelo Redaelli, Pamar’s founder, was no great fan of fluorescent coloured handles. It was the ’90s, and there was a tendency for bright colours. It was in following this trend that we came up with the idea of producing simple but striking handles, with a certain visual impact. It was the ideal product for a trade show presentation and it was right there that one of the visitors fell in love, literally, with that particular article.

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He was a Swedish businessman, a representative for a company that was expanding at the time, and which today is one of the world’s most famous furnishing brands, namely IKEA. The initial order was for ten thousand coloured handles destined for children’s bedroom cupboards. Four pallets which for the first time set off from Brianza in the direction of Scandinavia, the beginning of a relationship that lasted ten years. In hindsight, even in this Pamar was ahead of its time, creating a product that had captured the attention of a company with such a keen eye for detail and innovation.

Something more than just a client supplier relationship.

The relationship with IKEA went further than just simple orders. The Swedish delegates often arrived in Italy to visit Pamar’s headquarters and they paid particular attention to how the company managed production. These inspections served, in effect, to verify that standards of quality were being met. Even back then, Pamar boasted a code of practice whose respect for the environment was exemplary, thanks to the use of an ultra-modern sewage treatment plant for instance, and the implementation of work contracts considered to be way ahead of their time compared to the rest of the country.

What we had with IKEA was an extraordinary opportunity, especially with regard to opening up our horizons. Not that beforehand we were a closed company, but the times were already shifting towards international exchange and a knowledge of other countries, other cultures and other ways of working. The close, continuous relationship with our Swedish clients gave us first-hand experience of a very different reality to our own, new and highly dynamic, evolving to such a degree that it has become what we know today, namely a world-class giant.

European competition between the different national IKEA purchasing offices always brought forward the quality of our work, something which enabled us to continuously put ourselves to the test and grow.

The fluorescent handle.

The relationship with IKEA ended in 2004 and left us with a great deal, above all the conviction in our ability to be highly competitive also in designing and producing handles in a market sector such as low-cost furniture. At a time in which the international economic crisis was very much felt (2000-2002), the real plus was not only in focusing on product value and the usual quality, but in also making room for creativity and functionality, thereby turning fluorescent handles into a success story.