Luxury furniture makes technology part of the design
A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: Truvia Luxury Systems.
What: Truvia Luxury Systems
What it does: Creates hand-built, custom-designed entertainment PCs integrated into high-end furniture and other "personal environments." Custom high-end units start at around $55,000 and the line of technology-integrated furniture will range from $4,000 to $9,000.
Where: Redmond, with furniture and technology developed at seven U.S. locations.
Background: Founded in 2002, launched this month. John Wojewidka, founder and chief executive, has 20 years in the PC and consumer-electronics industry. In the late '80s, he created a secondary computer-market product-valuation guide and magazine. In the mid-'90s he created an online B2B event-development company.
Genesis: Wojewidka said that when he was president of a small video-card manufacturing company in 1989, he specified cards that were to be more visually attractive than the boxes they were going into. But it was only a few years ago that he got "some traction and recognition" with that approach. Now, he thinks most people are looking for more emotion in the technology they buy. "Apple and Sony have defined their own signature looks of technology and have created an internationally recognizable, very successful aesthetic," he said.
Employees: Three, plus furniture designers and makers, technology suppliers and other partners.
Funding: Self-funded for now.
Target market: People who buy high-end furniture; who want extreme, high quality PC technology or home theater PCs; and who want a personalized look to their technology. Also interior designers, architects, builders and commercial operations such as hotels.
Outlook: "The international response from our launch has been far greater than I imagined," Wojdewidka said. "I've gotten requests for information from Australia, Denmark, Lebanon, the U.K. and from all over the U.S."
Sales: Six customers in process at various stages, including two commitments and two interior designers with long-range plans.
Slogan: "The world's first luxury line of entertainment PCs."
Favorite gadget: Sony PSP. "They nailed this one," he said.
First computer: An IBM PC with two floppies and 640 KB of RAM, bought in 1981. It had a color monitor with the resolution of a low-end handheld today. It cost $4,000 — "and was plain ugly," he said. "I'm still recovering from that one."
Quote: "Today, the technology has become so commoditized, it's become a check-off item. I would hope this will inspire more people to demand better design and better integration of technology into their personal lives — not keep technology as the focus of our daily lives. We have better things to do and experience."
— Brier Dudley