This Family of Furniture Designers Takes an Artistic Approach to Business (Video)

Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Meredith’s advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.
Meredith Wood

Family Entrepreneurs: Balancing Business With Art from Blue Chalk on Vimeo.

Design comes first for the Hanafusa family. For over 50 years, the Miya Shoji studio has crafted exquisite, high-end furniture, prioritizing beauty every step of the way.

“With nature, it’s easy,” owner Hisao Hanafusa explains. “We don’t have to design anything. Just find a nice, old wood. Slice it. Beautiful? You use it.” But don’t let Hisao’s modesty fool you. His keen eye for natural beauty is a major factor in the success of this family business.

“It’s more of an artist’s way of thinking through business,” Zui Hanafusa says of his father’s approach to running the studio. Zui understands a thing or two about business, as well—before working alongside his father at Miya Shoji, Zui worked in the corporate sector. He saw an opportunity to learn a new trade and uncover some family history in the process. So he applied—with a formal résumé!

What’s it like to work at Miya Shoji? When asked about his business and design philosophy, Hisao’s answer is shockingly simple: “Fun! It should be fun. Not serious.”

Watch the video for a closer look at this family’s incredible designs.

Editorial Note: Fundera exists to help you make better business decisions. That’s why we make sure our editorial integrity isn’t influenced by our own business. The opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations in this article are those of our editorial team alone. They haven’t been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the companies mentioned above. Learn more about our editorial process and how we make money here.
Meredith Wood

Meredith Wood

Editor-in-Chief at Fundera
Meredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Meredith’s advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.
Meredith Wood

Our Picks