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Rodolfo Panisi is the President and CEO of Cambria International, a leading American natural stone supplier and pioneers in design and innovation within the materials sector. Ahead of Cambria joining us at kbb Birmingham this year, we took 5 minutes to catch up with him...
Could you tell us a bit more about Cambria as a brand?
Our company is the only family-owned, American-made engineered stone manufacturer. Cambria is relatively new within the world arena, as we started our operations in 2001. In less that 17 years we have become the worldwide reference in the engineered stone worktop industry - our manufacturing process uses Italian technology developed over 20 years ago. We modified, innovated and adapted to develop exclusive and unique engineering stones with a performance twice as great as granite.
Behind the success of Cambria is the Davis family; their story is like many throughout US history, one of an immigrant family from the North of England who made their roots in Minnesota and created their very own 'American Dream'. Our logo, company name and product names also carry our heritage.
Why have you chosen to exhibit at kbb Birmingham this year, and what are you most looking forward to?
Cambria is new to the UK market, and our main focus is to make ourselves and our products known between the kitchen industry trades. We also hope to share the Cambria vision and introduce our philosophy to the market - we see kbb Birmingham as a brand awareness opportunity.
Which of our four conversation points does Cambria align most with?
Materiality is definitely our niche. Quartz, or better known as composite stone technology, has been around for more than 30 years...this technology has given the kitchen furniture market a durable and low maintenance surface for decades.Cambria reinvented the way raw materials are coloured and mixed together, creating exclusive and modern designs. Quality has also been key to our success due to the high investment in all levels of the supply chain.
How would you describe the change in material trends recently?
The kitchen is beocming the new living space in the home. People are gathering around food, the cooking experience and kitchens are becoming the new point of socialisation in the house. Kitchens are larger, often incorporating the living room to host guests - the challenge has become the extensive ranges of materials and other possibilities which make a unique cooking and gathering experience. Fundamental is the use of surfaces that create emotions, are resistant and easy to maintain and good for entertaining. We like to think that Cambria, with the research of new surfaces like our new Cambria Matte as well as continuous innovation in design and colour, is able to satisfy the new exigent lifestyle needs.
Do you think there is a need for diversification within the materials industry?
The worktop industry is very diversified and rich in alternatives. Granite, marble, limestone, composite, porcelain, glass, solid surfaces, laminate, metal and wood are all possible options for kitchen tops. Because of the high level of competition, each surface has been often reinvented, redesigned and perfected multiple times through new technologies and ideas.
Where do you see the surfaces sector heading in the next 5 years?
The industry is heading its research for more sustainable and technology integrated products. Kitchens have been rediscovered by the new generations and the need to satisfy their demands.
What would you say are the forthcoming colour trends?
The industry is heavily set on white shades and white marble vein materials. A new trend is coming from the porcelain slab producers featuring more monochromatic looks often on the grey spectrum, with more clean lines.
What makes Cambria stand out?
Cambria is currently producing one of the largest selections of designs for worktop use and we constantly keep it growing strategically. We believe that personalisation is key in the kitchen surface and our strength is to strongly cater to designers and consumers that want to create a unique kitchen experience. Our designs are provocative, extreme and able to create emotions that set us apart from the mainstream.
Join us, along with Cambria at kbb Birmingham 2018, the largest and most established kitchen, bedroom and bathroom event in the UK - register for your ticket here. Keep in touch with us on Twitter using @kbblive and #futurekbb.