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THE MOST Challenging Design Brief of my career – JATEX INTERNATIONAL

August 25, 2011


THE MOST Challenging Design Brief of my career –  JATEX INTERNATIONAL 
Taking a thin trading frame and building a healthy design leader.
It was fascinating, exhausting, tough and brilliantly satisfying.
I took a new riser into the vendor sector with only my track record as leverage and pushed them through sheer career adrenaline and ambition at times, to supply great product at exactly the right price-point.
Nick Garrett
Jatex International USA
2005 - Nov 2006: Jatex International, USA Design: 
Furniture and Accessories

Appointed with the brief to bring immediate fresh 
change to unusual blend of product ranges 
which became one of my biggest career challenges. 
Jatex wanted a spicy twist of Turkish 
wovens, copper features, warm tones and Italian flair. 
This posed problems of material 
handling: I created 3 stories which were made in 
2 forms:

1. Copper: XXL Minimalist bowls and platter sets
2. Soft Furniture: Ethnic weaves and leathers dash 
Italian frames dash Chicago Lounger
My key concern was that the two partners were not in accord.
I had to work with two different world views to find
a common theme.
Additionally because copper was unpopular 
in the market place I struggled to dig out a "Look". 

Creative Challenge: I had not designed metal wares 
for 2 years and I felt a bit 'rusty' mmm pun sucky sorry about that.. 
After a failed plate design while working on site in Istanbul, 
I created bolder forms, large minimalist platters and bowls 
that overcame style limitations and thankfully these came 
through sampling beautifully and were an immediate success. 
I found the threads by pure hard work, extra long hours and finally
I pulled together the edges forming a unique brand for Jatex: 
Classic Chicago lounge, minimalist and rich spicy twists.

“Jatex now have a truly popular Global theme

Chicago Style Jatex USA  
Finding the brand ID for Jatex International USA needed a sharp eye for line as the
detailing required the signature richness of copper leaf or copper inlay.

Product development for Jatex 2008 taking them from start-up into Home Accents mainstream importer success, USA.

A snapshot of my first 6 months of NPD –  all designs Nick Garrett


The Last Word – Jatex President

Jatex International employed Nick as lead designer from approximately 2005 to 2007.

During that time, Nick was tasked with growing the Jatex brand in the U.S. Market. We wished to expand our market share in both the home furnishing and home accessory market with a contemporary rustic look that appealed to our customer base.

Nick had the innate ability to understand not only the US Market, but Jatex’s particular customer base and to design products that suited our brand. I always appreciated Nick’s ability to work with our existing overseas vendors and to guide them in terms of making products that would be unique to Jatex – whether through color, glazing techniques or shape and form that was still within the vendor’s comfort zone – ensuring that the production would go smoothly. Oftentimes I would watch Nick as he would “teach an old dog a new trick” and be amazed how he could push a vendor’s previous boundaries and end up with a new and exciting design.

Nick was also tasked with designing furniture frames that would then be upholstered with our one of a kind antique kilim rugs. These frames brought Jatex to an elevated level in the market. He assembled an overseas team and oversaw every aspect of the furniture production from frame dimension and design to construction and hand finishing. Nick also designed and developed a series of accent furniture pieces that were created from copper – a metal that is key to Jatex’s popularity and success.

–Tracey J. Taylor

President, Jatex International, Inc.

1994 to 2010

One Comment leave one →
  1. February 8, 2014 1:40 am

    Reblogged this on Nick Garrett Furniture Designer and commented:

    Jatex design case.

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