This Father’s Day weekend in honor of all the dads who’ve encouraged us to explore our passions, we’re honoring a long legacy of fathers, sons, and daughters collaborating creatively – the Ercolani way.
We’ve written about the father of Ercol Furniture, Lucian Ercolani and his Originals Collection, and how his reinvention of the Windsor chair set a new standard for furniture in the UK. But he would have never set foot on the long winding path of creating Ercol without his dad’s push to explore furniture design.
As a young boy in East London doing errands for the Salvation Army, Lucian stumbled upon a poster that advertised a furniture design course at the Shoreditch Technical Institute. His father Abdon had once made picture frames in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and was now working with the Salvation Army as a carpenter. He encouraged Lucian that the path of furniture was worthy of exploration, being a maker himself.
So Lucian did just that, he took drawing and design classes at the Institute and then entered the City & Guilds exams in theory and construction of furniture. Familial encouragement and mentorship is threaded throughout every step of his journey and is a key part of the culture he would soon foster at Ercol.
Another Ercolani brother grew up to be involved with furniture world as well: Lucian’s brother Victor actually started a cabinet company called Cabinet Industries in 1920, the same year Lucian founded Ercol. While Cabinet Industries was lesser known, it was just as successful in its field of laminate wood and cabinetry.
Lucian had two sons, Lucian B and Barry, who would follow in their father’s footsteps and join Ercol in 1945 as joint managing directors. And in 1976, when Lucian R Ercolani passed away, Lucian B became the next Chairman of Ercol.
His daughter Roma went to study at Central St Martins in London and her son, Edward, would be Chairman after Lucian B, while her daughter, Vicky, also works at Ercol!
This generational theme is even seen throughout the Ercol factory – with many employees working alongside their siblings and parents after following in their grandparent’s footsteps.
Like his father before him, even after stepping down as Chairman, Lucian remained involved in the company until his death in 2010.
Fast-forward to modern-day, Henry Tadros, the Great Grandson of Ercol’s founder, Lucian R Ercolani, joined Ercol in 2011 – and is the fourth generation to take part in running the company! Henry started on the factory floor for his first year before working through the rest of the business, was then appointed International Sales Manager, and finally become a Director in 2018.
Each family member made their mark with original designs, innovative collaborations, or an essential commission that took Ercol to the next level. For us, Ercol is the perfect example of how a family business creates everlasting communities, relationships, and memories.
If you’re thinking about swinging by the showroom soon, you can get the look and feel of the Ercol craftsmanship with the Originals Stacking Chair, Originals Butterfly Chair, Flow Chair, Originals Counter Stool, Originals Love Seat, and Svelto Coffee Table.