Ever since we opened our Ho Chi Minh City workshop in 2007, with only 25 workers, we’ve prided ourselves on a strong team culture.
Now, over 14 years later, with a more than 350-strong family, the bonds of team spirit are more important to us than ever. Our highly-talented and loyal local workforce is the beating heart of what makes Square Roots the business that it is.
Ed the Alchemist
Ed’s life’s work has been to re-imagine traditional techniques, materials and finishes to bring out the natural beauty of solid wood furniture.
After studying at the London College of Furniture, he began honing his knowledge of traditional wood finishes, at furniture makers, Rupert Bevan. There he specialised in gilding and painting, as well as French polish and modern lacquers
Ed’s skills brought him to Vietnam in the mid 1990s, where he helped train local artisans in specialist furniture finishes. Many trips to Asia followed, where he sourced products and designed furniture for local manufacturers in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and India.
After meeting Justin Wheatcroft in 2003, Ed and Justin set up Square Roots in 2007.
Justin the Woodsman
Born in the shade of Sherwood Forest, Justin’s deep bond with nature has informed his approach to design and craft. This connection would become a life-long passion and career path.
While living in Hanoi in 1998, Justin began making furniture that works with the natural shape of the tree, creating a live edge to the finished product. Justin travelled from Croatia to Canada to source the right timber to bring these designs to life.
Justin met Ed in 2003. Their friendship, and business, grew out of their shared love of furniture that embraces the natural wonder of wood.
Luu Thi Thuy Duong
Luu Thi Thuy Duong
Duong joined Square Roots in 2014 and was quickly promoted to the role of HR manager.
Over the past seven years she has worked tirelessly to develop a respectful, open and collaborative corporate culture.
She has developed close links with the Long An trade union and leads our community outreach programs which focus upon local education initiatives.
She has played an oversized role in Square Roots winning the coveted “ Best Companies to work for in Asia” award in 2021 – by HR Asia.
Since Mauro joined in 2015 he has made a hugely positive impact. Not just on the technical aspects of machining and assembling the Square Roots products, maintaining quality and training new workers but also on the company culture. His sample making workshop is a hive of creativity and he is always in the thick of every company party.
Schooled in the Italian chair making industry in Manzano he has brought with him over 30 years of furniture making experience and is core part of the technical team that allow us to keep exploring new, more ambitious designs and to strive for every better systems and quality.
We see our employees as family. That’s why we continually seek to improve factory working conditions. And why we hold regular team social events, such as staff football tournaments. One of the highlights of the year is our three-day trip to the coast with the entire workforce and their families.
But our sense of community goes beyond the factory walls. We invest and participate in education programs, as well as contributing hundreds of chairs and desks to secondary schools in the surrounding areas.
While founders Ed and Justin chart the creative course at Square Roots, they have developed close bonds with a select group of designers.
These talented individuals have spent a good deal of time absorbing the essence of our brand and we thank them for their valuable creative input.
Born in England, John Reeves is an internationally recognised award-winning designer, whose passion lies in working locally and regionally on an interactive level, where design is not just communicated but felt.
Championed by Heals, the Louis collection has won many awards in the US and the UK. Reeves Design has gone on to exhibit in Milan, London, Paris, Tokyo, Singapore, Chicago and Los Angeles.
His careful, considered approach and eye for soft curves, as well as detail, helps create design with simple elegance and a clean, contemporary feel.
Being born and raised in Denmark has clearly been decisive for Morten Georgsen’s approach to design. His unmistakable sense for proportion, reflected in his simple, though sophisticated, creations, evidently point back to his Scandinavian heritage.
Georgsen’s attitude is to observe and enjoy life. This is the driving force and inspiration in his creative process. Georgsen is probably one of the bestselling furniture designers in the world. His studio is based in Valencia in Spain where his team of dedicated designers support him.
Matthew is a London-born furniture designer. After graduating at Central Saint Martins in 2002, Matthew founded his own creative studio, specialising in the design and manufacture of furniture and interiors. He has worked with the likes of Liberty of London, Heals and Alexander Wang
His experience and understanding of the relationship between design and manufacture has helped Matthew to develop a unique and invaluable perspective. This expertise led him to found Studio-hygger in 2016, a design consultancy specialising in the realisation of furniture designs for the commercial and retail market, as well as the luxury bespoke sector.
Acclaimed Paris born designer, Jose García Ballesteros, has worked in the furniture industry for 25 years. Living and working in Valencia, Spain, Jose has worked with renowned brands the world over.
Jose’s work reflects his international profile, drawing on a range of cultural influences for his designs. Blending mid-century style with a post minimalist approach, he looks for elegance in everything he makes.
He incorporates new sustainable materials and techniques, smooth and discreet curves and a constant eye on functionality, for every piece he designs.
He won the Silver A´Design Award 2020 in collaboration with Square Roots.