Being different and daring to stand out from the rest is certainly key to achieving success in any industry. For Hani Ali, founder of LAIN furniture, she does just that by producing well-crafted, bespoke wood furniture pieces.
LAIN focuses on individualised and personalised furniture; each piece has its own story and uniqueness, with a taste of Malaysian flavour. Influenced by Malaysia’s multicultures, LAIN brings the best out of Malaysian, coupled with Australian culture, where attention to detail is very important in creating each furniture piece.
LAIN brings the best out of what we could gain using local timber in its furniture and design, such as Nyatoh, Chengal, Balau, Merbau and Meranti. “At LAIN, we explore the endless possibilities and push the limits of our local wood. We have a great source of raw materials and we could enhance their potential with unique pieces,” explains Hani, who also teaches carpentry and woodworking skills in her studio in Subang Jaya.
Trained professionally at the JamFactory Contemporary Craft & Design – one of the largest centres for design, production and exhibition in Australia renowned for producing emerging artists and designers, Hani may well be the only woman who runs a business making and designing wooden furniture in Malaysia.
“I think the fact that I am a female running the show makes the story interesting. In the early days, I had to put in more effort to gain trust from the male-dominated industry. But, I never ride on the female ticket. When I was at JamFactory, I was the only female associate in the studio. I was discriminated against and it took a lot of patience and persistence to get to where I am now. I gained respect and confidence by showing how much I knew about the industry.”
Hani and her team come from a variety of backgrounds – individuals with great passion for woodwork and love making furniture, just like herself. She is particularly interested in working with young souls, keen on experimenting with wood in different ways and processes, as she believes you will learn with experience.
LAIN’s studio not only designs and produces furniture for a string of clients such as architects, interior designers, retailers and corporates, but also opens up its workshop to artists and designers who wish to build prototypes and design pieces using their workshop facilities – providing introductions to furniture making machineries and tools. Hani, who is on the National Occupational Skill Standards (NOSS) panel for Product Development in Furniture Design & Making, also conducts classes in the studio and liaises with design programmes of local colleges.
Hani aspires to open a curated furniture art gallery in Malaysia one day.
See more of LAIN pieces in places like Snackfood in Bangsar, Cakejalantiung Cafe in Shah Alam and GUDANG in KL. Get your LAIN pieces today! Check out LAIN Furniture at @LAINFurniture on Facebook and Instagram.