Eric Coore is an engineer by profession and has a strong interest in woodworking. His wife, Kaya, has a career in science, but she is also a plant lover. Together, the pair married their passions to produce a unique business model specializing in both greenery and interior design.
“The first product we had was a planter box. My husband made the wooden box and I could put the plants I love so much in it,” Kaya said Saturday Life. She has had a love of plants for as long as she can remember and grew up cutting flowers from the garden and putting them in her room. Her passion transcended her garden and became a topic of discussion in other green spaces.
“Initially I was into roses and hibiscus, as well as houseplants. But over time the collection grew, and I settled on succulents. So the whole greenhouse is filled with succulents.
But this ‘once upon a time’ plant meets interior design story started on a romantic note between the years of 2013 and 2014. Kaya was up to her ‘hands’ in gardening duties when she decided to take her leisurely activity indoors to bring a refreshing look and feel for their personal space. She remembered that there was a limited supply of quality indoor pots available at the time, so her husband did what any lover would do: he decided to save the day ingenuity.
Eric came up with a brilliant solution to the interior problem by creating a kind of wooden enclosure for his wife’s plants in their apartment. They were very durable and suitable for the location, leaving elegant chic and aesthetically appealing impressions for all to see.
“I always wanted to start a business, but I was never sure what I would do. I have always loved woodworking and I studied interior design at HEART Academy so it was the natural route to go. But I’m glad it came while I was helping my wife,” Eric said.
The husband and wife duo took their creation on the road. And onlookers marveled at the innovation. They initially supplied products for stores such as H&L Rapid True Value and Evergrow Garden Centre. Although they received positive feedback and were grateful for such motivating reviews, many were unaware that they were real creators.
The experience of turning through a difficult time with a client gave birth to Octavia. “I wanted to capture the outdoors, on every person’s desk. So I sat down and came up with the design of the Octavia triple planter and the Octavia singles. These products have taken the place by storm. People were so impressed by them, it was a great feeling,” shared Eric. They received rave reviews at a craft fair held at Grovesnor Gallery in St Andrew and haven’t looked back since.
Seeing the importance of brand awareness, the expert curations soon led to the launch of Kabreco Designs. “In the past we have done shows like Moda Market, Jamaica Made and Expo Jamaica while working full time. But I stepped away from my career at the hospital in December 2020 to focus on building the business,” Kaya revealed.
Since its inception, the couple has grown out of the planter box and expanded the portfolio to include wooden accessories to complement the home and the office. From plant stands, desk boxes and key chains to key holders, monogrammed phones and pen holders, lamps, cutting boards and end tables, the designs are customized and tailored to your taste. Clients brought their visions to the couple with requests to make them happen. And the team follows through in a fantastic way.
Eric is not your average woodworker, according to his proud wife. She explained that her knowledge and background ensures that the products do not fall apart. “You have products that look good that cannot stand the test of time. So, that’s one of our competitive advantages,” she said. He still supports his wife and her extensive plant collection.
The creative process, from the design point of view, is based on extensive research. “So we know that the cedar is a better wood in terms of longevity; it is also termite resistant. I wanted to use cacti and succulents to compete with contained orchids in such a way that they could bring life inside on a desk or in the house,” she said.
As for the design aspect, he takes his inspiration from European construction and tries to add an island atmosphere and energy to the mix: “I let the wood speak to me, to find out the functionality while the pieces are stylish and timeless be made.” he said.
The plant-inspired products come with considerations, because Kaya believes in preserving plant life at all costs. “I really don’t want the plants to die. I’m almost a reluctant seller sometimes because I don’t want the plant to die,” she added.
One of their biggest customers to date is Sagicor, who have gifted around 170 people with their plants. They also enjoyed working with KERRYmanwomanhome, who carried their brand. With high quality and customer satisfaction at the core of the business, it is their dream to one day collaborate with visual artists on paintings.
Follow the company on Instagram: @kabrecodesigns for more information.