INTERVIEW WITH BENJAMIN CAJA – THE MAN WHO BRINGS THE ORIGINAL ACAPULCO DESIGN CHAIR FROM MEXICO TO EUROPE
Benjamin Caja is an old buddy of mine and he lately told me about his new project. He wanted to import the original Acapulco Chair from Mexico to Europe. Not even 6 month later the shipment had arrived – he easily sold out his first container. An interesting story about how following your instincts with passion leads to a successful business:
MB: Who is that guy in the picture next to you (see above)?
BC: That’s Leopoldo Rubio, he’s a craftsman at the construction site in Mexico.
MB: What inspiration did you get from Mexico in general?
BC: My brother Daniel Caja and I very quickly adopted the Mexican lifestyle. We randomly picked a taxi, squeezed in an Acapulco Chair and looked for good photographic solutions along our ways. My brother who mainly focuses on street photography liked this approach and I think the outcome of the photos speaks for itself. My partner in Mexico always said „tranquilo que vamos con prisa“ which means „dont stress, we are in a hurry“.
MB: What do you think makes the Acapulco Chair such a desirable product?
BC: I have never looked at it as a success story in an economic sense. At least not only. In Germany people always have looked for practical solutions. But the newer generations are yearning for a different lifestlye. The Acapulco Chair is combining aesthetics and comfort. That is what makes it successful.
MB: What’s your idea?
BC: My mission is to bring another perspective to Acapulco Chair lovers and purchasers in Europe. It is not only a garden chair that stands by the pool. People outside Mexico tend to believe it is a holiday chair, but in Mexico it is a lot more than that. You will see Acapulco Chairs in stores, in cafes, in bars and restaurants, as an interior product and in public places. The chair works perfectly in many different environments.
THE ORIGINAL ACAPULCO CHAIR IS MANUFACTURED AT A PRODUCTION FACILITY IN MEXICO CITY
MB: How is producing in Mexico?
BC: Mexico has a strong tradition of handcrafted and premium quality products. The workers’ skills and professionalism ist exemplary. A lot of so called “Acapulco” chairs sold in Europe today are made going East. The original Mexican Acapulco Chair is bigger and thus more comfortable.
MB: What’s so special about it?
BC: It’s mid-century style is just overwhelming. Also the original designer is unknown and this is giving the chair a certain aura of mystique.
MB: What’s going to happen in the future?
BC: Definitely popularising more Mexican products.
MB: Close your eyes. Who’s sitting in your Acapulco Chair?
BC: Brigitte Bardot in the early 60s zipping a Gin Tonic.
MB: Thx for the chat.
Find out more about Acapulco Design or buy your own chair @ acapulcodesign.eu
Pictures taken by Daniel Caja
By: Magnus Busch