I had the pleasure of interviewing Guarav Nanda, founder of Bend Goods, a furniture and design studio in Los Angeles. With a commitment to being innovative and playful and driven by a passion for making functional yet sculptural objects, Guarav pursued his vision for a brand, which he called Bend. I dug in to find out more.
1. I love the chair dance video on your page. You look like you have a lot of fun at work. How would you describe the culture at Bend?
The Bend team is a very small and creative collective of people. We all wear many hats to keep the machine well oiled and moving forward at a smooth pace. The great thing about the team is that we all have many different interests and are very different people. What makes that great is that it keeps the perspectives and opinions on each design and company initiative diverse and allows us to take differing opinions and come up with something new and fresh. Something that maybe has never been done before.
2. Where do you find inspiration for new products?
The California landscape has always driven my inspiration. There is no place like California in the world. I love the desert in Palm Springs, the beaches of Malibu and Santa Barbara. The coastal forests of Big Sur are always a great place to decompress and find creativity. A lot of our furniture is inspired by the southern California lifestyle in general. There is such an adventurous but still laid-back spirit here. It’s hard not to be inspired everywhere you go.
3. Who would you say is your mentor?
I grew up with two very entrepreneurial parents. Listening to them brainstorm together and come up with ideas, and then watching those ideas being executed had a big impact on me. The funny thing is, I don’t think that they set out to be mentors to me. They obviously wanted to be great parents, but they were mostly just living their lives. Watching them do these ventures showed me that any idea you have can become something great if you work at it.
4. What do you like to do to unwind after a long work-day?
After a long day, I typically hang out with friends and grab dinner, sometimes see a show depending on what’s going on. In LA there is never a lack of new restaurants to try. I love to just get out and try new things, grab a glass of wine and relax.
5. What exciting new products can we be on the lookout for?
I am excited to say that we just launched a number of new products. We have been developing a few of them over the last year and took them to some trade shows earlier in the Spring. We launched a couple new chairs; the Low Back Counter stool and our new Captain Chair. We are also doing plated metallics as finishes for the first time. Many of our new and existing items are going to be coming in Copper, Chrome and Gold. In November we also have a bunch of new color-ways dropping. It’s going to give some of our classic designs a new look and reinvention.
6. What is the one material thing you cannot live without?
I would have to say shoes for sure. I have a pretty healthy addiction to shoes and shoe design. I love the way that you can mix materials and colors and just let them be a statement about you and your style. There are many pairs that I own that I wouldn’t want to live without.
7. Where would you love to travel to that you haven’t been to yet?
That is probably the toughest question that I can be asked. I truly love to travel and would love to go everywhere. I would love to go to Morocco and troll the bazaars for textiles and France for the flea markets. I love travel and also love design so my trips usually are brought on for some reason that ends up being about Bend in some way.
8. What was your proudest moment at Bend?
It’s cliche but every day I am more and more proud of this company and my team. We continually set and achieve goals that at the beginning can seem like impossible tasks, but somehow we find a way to make the most outlandish and seemingly insane ideas into reality.
9. What is your favorite city and why?
Right now I would have to say our home city of Los Angeles. We recently moved Bend into a new location and we looked for a good 8 months to find the perfect spot. There are so many unique and interesting parts to this city and each one so completely different from the next. I truly do love it here and I’m happy that we are able to call this our home.
10. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs?
You will have good days and you will have bad days but don’t stop believing in yourself and your idea. Ideas will evolve and brands will change but every step of the way you are learning and growing and so is your idea.
A special thanks to Guarav for taking the time to answer my questions! Be sure to check out our Bend Goods selection here!