The vast glass facade provides views across the marina. It is a beautiful and aestheticially pleasing look – just like what we meet behind the glass partition when we enter Multiform’s new store at Bådehavnsvej 11. Proprietors Jannie Kjær and Bettina Mortensen invite us in to talk about the move, visions, craftsmanship and job satisfaction.
A collaboration comes to life
They opened their doors on 1 November, a well-attended launch reception was held and they were off to a flying start! Jannie and Bettina decided to open a store at the waterfront together following a number of coincidences that turned out to be extremely lucky for the two women.
“At one point, I had an offer to take over another Multiform store when the proprietor wanted to move onto something else. But I felt that I needed a partner. At the time, I would have loved to have Jannie with me, as I knew her and knew that she was great at her job, but unfortunately for me she already had a job that I knew she would not be keen to leave and I ended up not asking and chose to do something completely different myself.”
Jannie takes our coats while Bettina continues telling the story.
Around us we can see the various kitchen models. The keyword is exclusive. The pleasant, natural aroma of wood surrounds us and our eyes are caught by the sleek surfaces and luxurious details. It is a pleasant place to be.
“The next thing that happens is that Jannie ends up moving to Multiform and starts a branch here in Aalborg together with another partner. But in December 2017, the partner decides to do something else. Leaving Jannie in the same situation as me.”
Jannie smiles and explains how she, without knowing that Bettina had been thinking about collaborating six years ago, invited her to the store and asked whether they should enter into a partnership. They are both certain that this process was meant to be. The two had to find one another.
Kitchens for a lifetime
“You simply feel happy to go to work here,” Jannie says, as we enjoy the views across the marina.
She explains that the move from Aalborg South was the right decision.
We feel that customers are more likely to visit a town centre location. We wanted to be closer to town and to feel that we were among our customers. We are seen by a great number of people who walk down here and we feel a lot more visible now.
Customers are in the driving seat at Multiform. This is clear when Jannie and Bettina explain how the kitchen sales process takes place.
“A handmade kitchen, which is what we offer, can provide quality of life. “Opening a solid wood drawer is so different to opening a metal drawer,” says Jannie and opens up a drawer from the Form 1 model. A classic and timeless kitchen, which was the first model created by Multiform’s founder, Carsten Michelsen. He created the design in a backyard in Aarhus in 1982 and it continues to be one of the company’s best selling kitchens.
“If we look around, we can see that many other kitchen companies create what appear to be copies of Form 1, which says a lot about how aesthetically pleasing it is. It is leaning towards classics such as the Y chairs. When it comes to design, Form 1 is just as well known,” Bettina says.
Multiform won the prestigious international Archiproducts Design Award in both 2017 and 2018.
“In the distant future, archaeologists will find the remains of a Multiform kitchen. This was Carsten’s vision back then and it remains the vision today. They are built to last a lifetime. Everything is produced here in Denmark and it is a joy to visit the joinery. In total, Bettina and I have been in the industry for 35 years and we have never designed two kitchens the same. There is no recipe to be followed,” says Jannie.
Honesty in focus
To build and install a Multiform kitchen is a process. Bettina explains that the timescale is usually 8-12 weeks from concept to final result and, for her and Jannie, it is crucial to be able to provide the best possible service during the process.
“We cover all bases when we design a kitchen together with our customers. It is important to us to establish their exact situation and what their needs are from a kitchen. Honesty is crucial when it comes to relating to our customers. They need to be able to tell that we are not simply trying to sell something for the sake of selling. For us, the most important thing is that the customers can, in the end, sit down and be happy that they chose Multiform.
“This is also why we often end up getting to know customers very well. We are with them throughout the entire process and, in a professional way, we actually make friends with the people we sell kitchens to. We make a point of understanding our customers and we find that people choose us because they know that they will get something special here.”
Finally, when it comes to the concluding question of whether they believe that the kitchen can be considered the most important room in the house, the answer is clear.
“It is absolutely the most important. Families are busy these days and when we finally get home we need to spend time together. Why should one of you sit in an armchair in the living room while the other is in the kitchen? The kitchen/family room also acts as a living space today. It is a place to gather.
47 years of age
Plays golf when there is time
Enjoys winter swimming in the North Sea and hygge with friends and family.
Has three children aged 22, 17 and 14 years
53 years of age
Enjoys badminton and crossfit during her free time
Enjoys hygge with the family and winter swimming with the Isbjørnen Viking Association
Married with two children aged 25 and 22