Steadfast 30, a Moment Spanning Two Generations (Vol.1)

As SEED reaches the age of thirty and embraces the next generation with maturity, we wish to write and share the story of SEED before and after the accomplishments. Through the dialogue between two generations, we will open every capsule buried deep within the sands of time, forming a beautiful connection between you, us, and light.

As the leader of SEED, Meiric has the right to be strong-willed more than anyone, which is usually grounded in years of experience, wisdom, and insight, as well as the “I want it this way” attitude. His confidence may have come from the perseverance and courage to press on when that was the only option back then.

SEED ties to many pivotal moments in Jen’s life. When she was little, she helped with packaging at the production line. After graduating from university, Jen wanted to be a social worker. But she later decided to work for the company and help it grow. Jen is a deeply compassionate person. She cares for those around her and every family through the warmth of SEED’s lights.

What is the most memorable moment of the brand so far?

MD:When I first started the company, the business could not keep up. Then, I met Hans, a Danish distributor. He suggested that I make small glass pendants, which is why SEED ventured into glass lamps. However, the glass lamp market back then was not the same as today. This was the turning point that brought the company back to life. Hans also gave me suggestions on the content of the design and business model. You can say that SEED evolved with Hans. It was not until the financial crisis of 2008 when European life values changed dramatically that our company went through another transition.

J:The most memorable moment was my first trip to Hong Kong for an exhibition. I was only twenty-two and still an assistant at the time, so all I did was introduce the products. But since it was my first business trip abroad, and there were so many people at the exhibition, I felt that our brand was very popular, which somehow made me very confident. 

The most touching moment was the opening of the Hsinchu store in 2018. We opened a store in Hsinchu because we believed it had a lot of opportunities. Also, the owner of the local furniture shop was so enthusiastic and kept on inviting us to go there. That was the first time I felt someone really looked forward to SEED opening a local shop. That year was also ten years since I came to the company. We started to shape a new style for the brand and determine the standard we wanted to achieve.

▲ 2021 Design Shanghai

▲ Hsinchu Brand Store

What is the biggest change about the design process in the company?

MD:I feel like a child who has grown up. We handle everything from upstream to downstream. We are pioneers in this field to a certain degree. It is all a process of trying new things. In the past, we had to put out a new product at the same time every year, which made me anxious. But the design is something I am least worried about now, especially after Jen joined us, and the team started to develop a decision-making process for products. I used to be the one to give the green light, but it is not like that anymore. Now, we all take a look at the designs and have a discussion, though I still make the final decision. However, everyone has a say in the process, and I think this is a change for the better.

J:In terms of product design, when I first joined the company, the domestic sales were still centered on export sales and the opinions of foreign buyers. But now, we need to obtain more information about retail customers, which requires certain tools and then making a decision based on MD’s experience. However, there must be a balance between design and market opinion to meet the demand without limiting creativity.

MD:In other words, customer opinions matter but are not the be-all and end-all. Sometimes, I just want it that way! I am strong-willed, and this has always been my style. Many foreign clients have commented that “your products are too ahead of their time” but I think it is great to be ahead. Take cement as an example. Decades ago, you would have never known that you could make lamps out of cement if you only listened to the market opinions. Sometimes, you just have to follow your instinct and show customers what makes you different.

To make products that are not on the market is why we can enjoy the sweet rewards. ” – MD

▲ UFO makes its own debut in Europe on 1992.

What is a “good design”? Why is it important in our lives?

J:A good design must be beautiful and practical. Besides these two qualities, it must also be interesting and interactive. There are a lot of beautiful and practical products on the market, which are nothing new to us. But without interaction, they can sometimes be a little boring. Also, the supply exceeds demand in this day and age, which is why we often ask ourselves: “If customers do not buy this lamp, what difference will it make to them? Do they have better options?” Sometimes, we even ask: “Is it better not to provide than to provide?”

Besides having a good design, we want the product to be durable. This falls in line with environmental protection because making a product very durable so it can last ten years is, in a way, protecting the environment. We will not discuss high-end green materials now because a lot of green materials are not necessarily more durable than traditional metals or fiber-reinforced plastics. This goes back to our philosophy—good products are durable, and you do not have to search for other ones on the market when their time is up. Therefore, SEED’s marketing strategy is not to bombard customers, as if we are the only option. But the longer you use our products, the more you will recognize their importance.

Life is complicated. If a product helps users back to the basics to make their lives better, it is a good design. Jen