Got it Made

Design company Made of Tomorrow has created a sharp new Tauranga HQ that doubles as an inspiring studio space and perfect showcase for its much-loved diaries, sleek metal shelving and more.

Design company Made of Tomorrow has created a sharp new Tauranga HQ that doubles as an inspiring studio space and perfect showcase for
its much-loved diaries, sleek metal shelving and more.

They say there’s nothing like a change of scenery, and it has certainly rung true for Matt Genefaas and Dan Craig, the duo behind design company Made of Tomorrow.

First, there was the biggest move from Auckland to Tauranga in January 2020. “We just needed to have a massive change,” says Matt. “We had another business we owned at the time as well and everything was getting quite overwhelming in Auckland. I was offered a really good job down here, which prompted the move. Neither of us had spent much time here before, but we both love being at the beach and the job offer lined up with that so it was like, okay, I guess we’re moving!

“And now we wouldn’t have it any other way,” he says. “Living in such a beautiful smaller town is really refreshing, there are so many young creatives, well, creatives in general, down here — I don’t think we can put ourselves in the young category anymore, haha. But there are so many people doing cool things and it’s not too flashy or pretentious, everyone’s really open and encouraging.”

Made of Tomorrow’s well-thought-out products on display at its chic new space. Top: Matt (left), holding French bulldog pup Billie, and Dan outside their new HQ.

Not long after the move south, however, the global pandemic hit and New Zealand went into its
first level 4 lockdown. “Everything went on hold and we weren’t working, we didn’t really know what to do,” admits Matt. “After that lockdown we sort of came back and had a whole fresh stance and view for Made of Tomorrow. It actually gave us some time to set up here, since all of our stuff was
still getting manufactured in Auckland and we’d been struggling with moving manufacturing down here in the midst of a pandemic.”

It was at that time, Matt reckons, they really started to find their feet, locating “amazing” local manufacturers that could complement those in Auckland, as well as finding ways to make that
split work. “Working between both cities for our manufacturing has allowed us to increase our volumes quite considerably,” he says.

And what started with just one product — a sleek folded steel shelf — has now expanded into
a considered edit of design pieces. The range features sought-after side tables, clever curvy mirrors, further chic shelving and their signature stationery, which includes quick-to-sell-out diaries made using recycled coffee cups (more on them shortly).

Matt says Made of Tomorrow started “from Dan and I not feeling inspired by the work that we were doing at the time. We wanted to do something that was inspiring and we wanted to create beautiful things, and cool things, that we didn’t necessarily think were already on the market. We loved how simple using sheet metal and folded steel was — there’s just a really clean design to it. We love creating simple, minimal products that aren’t too flashy. And the range has just expanded since then.”

Matt at work monogramming Made of Tomorrow diaries destined for customers around the country.

Dan checks out new product.

With production on the rise, it was time for another change of scene — though this time they stayed
in the Bay. “We basically grew out of our garage,” says Matt, “and realised we needed more space.”

They’re now installed in a newly finished 130m2 space in Tauriko, complete with a 7-foot indoor tōtara, suitably cool design features and plenty of room. The slick spot is studio, showroom and storage facility all rolled into one, and is already serving both the boys and their business very well. “Our vision for it was to create a place where we could come to work and feel inspired; that in turn would help with inspiring new products and just making things run as smoothly as possible so we could do more in other areas of the business,” Matt explains.

“It was important for us to create a space with our products on display so that we could come
in to work and see the whole range as an entity rather than just individual products,” he says.
“Because it’s so hard when you’re making something in an e-com business — usually the products
are just sitting somewhere waiting to be sent out. It has also helped improve our efficiency with sending orders, shooting new content and doing all of this sort of fun, creative stuff that we’ve not previously had the space to do.

“We kept the range really tight for a long time, and now that we’ve got a bit more space, we’re able
to create more products, bigger products, and we work across different projects now — lots of commercial fit-outs for hotels and private design jobs...” says Matt. “So having that space allows us
to do those big fancy jobs and makes things a bit easier.”

They’ve also just had their first public open day, an event they’re planning to hold on the regular
(next one is on 11 December). This is when new and old fans can sup a hot beverage from the coffee cart parked out front, and check out the full Made of Tomorrow range in real life, have their diaries personalised with smart gold embossing, and meet the dynamic duo in person.

The upstairs area at Made of Tomorrow is an ideal meeting space, while the white walls and floors also work well when shooting content.

And when visitors are finished with their coffee cups, they can be assured they’ll have a sustainable outcome — via the aforementioned diaries Made of Tomorrow have now proudly saved more than 70,000 disposable cups from landfill. As well as being entirely made from recycled materials, including all those old coffee cups, the diaries are fully recyclable with no sneaky nasty plastic bits, and draw on eight different businesses across New Zealand to produce.

“The diaries are the massive staple in our range,” says Matt. “It’s quite crazy seeing how much it
has grown every year. We’ve done them since 2016 and I’m just looking down the showroom now
at, like, eight pallets filling up the space — boxes and boxes. The volume grew from just a tiny little order, to us being one of the biggest diary manufacturers in the country.”

Now that they’ve started settling into their new work digs, Matt and Dan have also added a further change of scene — and their biggest design project by far — a new-build waterfront house in Tauranga. “We would never have been able to do that in Auckland,” says Matt. The house promises the same sustainably minded, functional but uncompromisingly stylish aesthetic their company
is renowned for (the pair are recording the process on social media @madeoftomorrowbuild)
and they’ll be sharing the abode with the latest addition to the Made of Tomorrow team, French bulldog pup Billie.

madeoftomorrow.com   madeoftomorrow

Story by Josie Steenhart
Photography by Cab Creative