After meeting at a mutual friend’s exhibition, Mirza Music-Zander and Mensud Bjelosevic founded their bespoke design business inspired by the craftsmanship of their native Bosnia-Herzegovina. Exquisitely upholstered classics line the high shelves of their Schöneberg showroom, while the adjoining workshop is abuzz with sewing machines, plush fabrics, leather, springs, and an array of tools.
It was time for a change: Mirza Music-Zander and Mensud Bjelosevic turned the old interior design shop in Berlin upside down. The two proprietors — one a trained interior designer and the other hailing from event management — renovated and revitalised the location, turning it into an exciting new business.
Their showroom on Potsdamer Strasse is characterised by clear, quality design. Their workshop is located just behind the showroom, with the only thing separating the two a glass window. Filled with sewing machines, fabrics, leather, springs, and an array of tools, the workshop is testament to the transparency, quality, and love the designers invest in their work.
The high shelves boast a selection of modernised design classics: chairs, armchairs, and small sofas that speak right to the heart of any design-loving visitor. Accessories like dinner trays and tableware are also available. Both of these Bosnian-born Berliners are passionate advocates of good style. The sustainable furniture created in the lofty rooms of this former butcher’s shop has found its way into private homes as well as popular galleries, bars and hotels.
For the two owners, who met at the exhibition of a friend and compatriot, maintaining a business relationship with their home country is a matter of some importance. Therefore they make an effort to work with Bosnian workshops — and not just when they’re designing rooms or renovating classics. Mirza Music-Zander and Mensud Bjelosevic also sell exclusive pieces form Bosnian furniture manufacturer Zanat in their shop.
The brand’s sophisticated products combine classical woodworking techniques from the Balkans with modern forms. A number of employees at Unique Factory come from the Balkans, too. Mensud Bjelosevic emigrated to Southern Germany in the 1980s, moving to Berlin in 2005, and Mirza Music-Zander was able to escape the war in 1992 as a child and has lived in Berlin ever since.
Thanks to their common history, the duo share a sixth sense for the needs of their ten employees from eight countries: “We have a good idea of what it means to have to keep proving yourself over and over again.”
All photos by Lena Ganssmann
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