By Vicki Matranga
Design Programs + Services
Get to know the people behind the stylish products that will appear at the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show in Discover Design. We’ll be posting conversations with exhibitors to give you a glimpse of the inspirations, influences and ideas that go into creating the exciting products that you’ll see in March at McCormick Place.
Today we are speaking with Jens Moeller, the founder of Denmark-based ScanWood.
Where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
In daily life! Once you start the design process a product develops on its own.
Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
I get inspired by the things I see—buildings or nature. Or, I might see a problem in an existing product which I then try to improve.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step—to product development?
For an all-wood product I can just make the item and bring it to the shows and see the buyers’ reactions. But showing prototypes or a small production results in the problem of how to calculate the price. I either try to estimate what the item should sell for or calculate my costs back to my selling price.
If a new design incorporates another material for which I need a vendor, this can be a smooth or difficult process. I have to choose the design / product for which I can find the partner who understands and respects the process of launching a new design that requires initial small quantities.
How do you identify the key user audience for your products?
I focus my business on the independent cook shops—I design for them.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
My approach is functionality first and then we develop the details of the designs. We always strive for a design that is as simple as possible.
Wood in itself has a positive emotional appeal, because of its appearance and how it feels in the hand. Another emotional appeal comes from consumers who consider sustainability. Environmental awareness has become a mega trend.
Where are your products manufactured?
How do you see design’s importance in our industry as it moves forward?
For a small player like my company, it is difficult to get a new design / product on the shelves in today´s market. I jump into new designs because I like the work, but buyers who have that same approach are rare. If a new design doesn’t get a chance within a reasonable timeframe, it disappears.
Mr. Moeller, you’ve exhibited at our previous Shows. Tell us about your experience with Discover Design and how our Show helped build your relationships with buyers and media.
I hired a company to help me promote one of my products before and during the Show and that was successful. It is difficult to do post-Show promotion. Once people are back in their offices, they are gone. It is most important to get buyers to come to the booth and meet with them during the Show.
Can you give us a preview of what you will be introducing at the Show?
I have a product that brings the consumer and the producer together. This is a new trend and I think it will grow.
Thank you, Mr. Moeller, for sharing your practices and challenges. We look forward to seeing your latest products at the Show.
Visit ScanWood in Discover Design in booth S3264. Learn more about their range of elegant tableware and kitchen tools at
Discover Design is the premier design destination at the International Home + Housewares Show. Located in the South Building, the invitation-only category features more than 100 exhibitors from around the world. Companies driven by innovation and design present distinctive products and collections in Tabletop, Gift, Textiles and Home Décor categories. The Discover Design Gallery, accessible to buyers and media, features select products that are entries in the Global Innovation Award (gia) for Design. Learn more about Discover Design exhibitors and their products by checking Housewares Connect 365 at