The place where wood comes to life
September 22, 2022
A skilful craftsman can bring to life a piece of wood by transforming it in fairy tale characters. This is the magic of Andrei Gramațchii, a young designer from Varnița village, Anenii Noi district, who crafts eco-friendly wooden toys that win over the hearts of children of all ages and from all over the world.
Since his student years, Andrei had a dream - to manufacture products that are healthy and environmentally friendly. His first toys were produced in a small garage in Tighina, where he started his journey as an entrepreneur. Then he found some industrial premises in Varnița, which had not been in use for a long time. Andrei arranged them to serve as workshops. The young craftsman works alongside his wife and father. They have a common goal - to craft exclusive products, inspired by things that can be found in a museum or grandparents' attic, that have a story to tell. “Our products have an emotional value that can stand the test of time. Our mission is to make tangible products that will last. People just need to look at them and enjoy the story they tell,” says Andrei.
To harness his creative potential and develop his business, Andrei Gramațchii submitted his application to a grant competition announced by the UNDP project “Advanced Cross-river Capacities for Trade” (AdTrade), funded by Sweden and the UK. “It was a chance to develop the company and promote our products on foreign markets,” says the young man.
With the help of the project, Andrei bought three pieces of equipment that made his work in the workshop much easier. Now he can perform the most difficult jobs much faster and with greater precision. This gave him the drive to move forward.
“Achieving all our professional dreams was our main goal and we needed specialised equipment for that. Thanks to the grant, we purchased a laser to engrave the wooden pieces, a lathe that helps us to produce rotating axial objects and a milling cutter with which we cut the wooden pieces along the contour. This allows us to create sustainable items, with an authentic design, which encourage people to live simply and in harmony with the environment,” says the designer.
He says that wood never remains for too long period in his workshop, as it is quickly transformed into toys featuring characters inspired by Romanian fairy tales. Such toys are a joy for children’s eyes and help develop their fine motor skills.
The toys are only the beginning, as the entrepreneur aspires to fully equip a child's room, from interior design to furniture and decorative wooden objects.
“Thanks to the support we benefitted from, we developed our business, created new quality products and promoted our products outside Moldova,” concludes Andrei.
Gramatschii Design Studio products are already sold to customers in Romania and Germany, with other export destinations to follow. Andrei's dream is to be able to deliver educational toys to all educational institutions in Moldova and to reach all over the world.