As members of the country’s renowned Lotus Bedding Group family, the decision by Onnalin “Onn” Lojanagosin and her brother to co-found Seasons, over a decade ago, seems like a natural step. However, in addition to being a clever businesswoman Onn is also a recognised painter.
Onnalin “Onn” Lojanagosin is the Managing Director of Seasons, one of Bangkok’s leading luxury furniture providers, reputed for housing some of the world’s finest home décor collections along with collectible fine art.
Prior to the establishment of Seasons, Onn’s interest and passion for art, particularly for painting, saw her complete a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts from Camberwell College of Arts, before obtaining a Master’s degree in Fine Art at Central Saint Martin’s College of Art and Design.
Not one to back away from challenges, she more recently became a graduate of the Florence Academy of Art – all while overseeing operations at Seasons and successfully maintaining its position as a frontrunner in the market.
There is no formula for choosing between two careers or two passions. Onn has been fortunate enough to be able to not only indulge in both, but also to combine the two in her daily life. “I think knowledge and understanding of fine arts certainly helps with the way you look at furniture,” she says.
“When you comprehend the very foundation of technique in fine arts, be it with regard to proportions, colour-harmony in paintings, composition in painting, and general guidelines in fine arts, you realise how applicable they are to interior design.”
Onn has played a key role in the election and procurement of the highly sought-after furniture brands at Seasons, and whether owing to her education, or to her keen eye for quality and refined craftsmanship, Seasons has grown to become a coveted embodiment of both fine living and art. And while it is indeed a high-end furniture store, Seasons also represents something deeper.
“True luxury is not something that you can put a number or a price to,” Onn explains. “Luxuries are things such as passion, time, space, and peace of mind; all of which money cannot buy. In my view, a truly luxurious brand is defined by the level of passion that is inherent in the product, where you can feel the love and time the owner poured into his work.”
This concept of luxury is very much reflected in the framework of Seasons and its exquisite collections. The furniture store boasts top-tier brands such as: Baxter, known for its unparalleled traditional craftsmanship and quality rooted in Italian heritage; Fornasetti, an iconic Italian brand reputed for its recognisable monochromatic designs; and Barovier&Toso, specialists in the art of Venetian blown glass (coveted the world over for having kept the ancient tradition alive for 700 years, passed down through generations).
“It’s crucial for us to choose something that is unique, particular, and specialised in its own ways,” Onn points out. “For me, there is no other brand like Baxter, a pioneer that focusses solely on leather, procuring the finest leatherwork. Fornasetti’s legacy, which has been kept within the family until today, focuses heavily on tradition and handcrafted product, whilst Barovier&Toso has maintained the same outstanding level of quality for seven centuries.
The fact that we were able to secure such prominent brands as our partners, since the first year, was one of our biggest milestones. They have been with us from the beginning and continue to be favourites amongst our clientele. In fact, these three brands are very indicative of the way in which I curate and pick furniture, and they also reflect the DNA of Seasons – which emphasises passion, unmatched quality, and subtle timelessness.”
Not that any of this was easy. Given her lack of experience in the world of business, Onn admits the path to success entailed a steep learning curve. “It was a rough and tumble start, and it took a lot of trial and error to get to where we are today. I learned a lot from my mistakes,” she adds with a laugh. “One of the most challenging things for me is dealing with people. Working with humans is much more challenging than with art and design. With people, you must be able to customise every interaction depending on the individual.”
It’s been 15 years since the establishment of Seasons, and to mark the company’s anniversary, private events and cocktail parties are taking place throughout the year.
Additionally, a new purposefully designed Seasons branch, adorned with Fornasetti wallpaper, recently opened at Ratchapruek.
It’s no surprise Onn doesn’t have time for much outside of work. “I don’t have time for hobbies,” she jokes. “The minute I have any free time, I dedicate it to my paintings in the comfort of my studio at home. It makes me sad when I don’t paint for a while.”
It’s not uncommon for introverts with a penchant for creativity such as Onn to turn to art as a refuge, a place where they can peacefully get in touch with their inner world and feelings. Though she’s often been inspired by some of her favourite artists, including Elaine De Kooning, JMW Turner, Alberto Giacometti and Marina Abramović, as well as designers like Kelly Wearstler and Piero Fornasetti, finding her own identity as an artist has been an ongoing journey.
“I love the vague quality of paint language,” she says, and her paintings – a reflection of her sheer talent – exemplify her ability to foster a sense of mystery. “I’d like to create art that’s suggestive rather than informative, and has a dialogue with its viewers. Something that reveals more and more the longer you look at it.”
To date, Onn’s work has been exhibited at different venues in Thailand, including ATT 19 and Mae Fah Luang in Chiang Rai. “If I can allocate enough time to it, I want to create paintings for our showrooms,”she says.
With so little time for herself, most of her travels are business trips to Italy. “I try to stop by London to visit a few friends whenever I can,” she remarks. Looking ahead, besides wanting to have more time for her artwork, the now 39-year-old hopes to have an in-house design company to serve as a one-stop service point. “This will facilitate assisting clients with interior design but ultimately, we want to have enough products and resources to cater to developers looking for big quantity of products fitted for commercial projects.”
There is still much to be done, and as much as the company may grow and alter, the one constant is how Onn leads her team… with compassion. “I think it’s important to find the right balance between compassion and authority.”
When it comes to advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs, she warns not to go for easy shortcuts. “Anything great in life is difficult and takes time, so having resilience and perseverance is key to achieving success,” she shares. And when things in life become overwhelming, she finds solace in Buddhist teachings and meditation, which not only allow her to centre herself, but also be more mindful in everything she does.
In another lifetime, an alternate career choice for Onn would be that of a perfumer, a profession that served as an inspiration for her latest artworks. “Or maybe an alternative medicine healer,” she muses.
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