Budapest-based husband-and-wife team János Héder and Judith Zoltai started their careers as specialists in porcelain, interior design and architecture. These days, their stunning specialty is beautiful custom-made chandeliers dripping with crystals in a limitless variety of unexpected shapes—ovals and squares, waterfalls and starbursts. Combining modernity with tradition via simple luxury, their gorgeous lighting solutions are instant works of art. They told us a bit more about their hugely successful brand Manooi.
We began experimenting with chandeliers and luminaires in 1995 because we were fascinated by light. It became our prime focus—even in our interior designs and architectural projects.
The idea that everything originates in the stars has always enthralled us—they are the source of light and life itself. Once we began handcrafting personal stars and universes, we realized this was our destiny.
Our first range of bespoke chandeliers was created after Düsseldorf EuroShop in 2005. It brought us the assurance and backing we needed, as well as an international breakthrough.
Chandeliers were such symbols of wealth and luxury that they became ‘tired’ during the industrial revolution. Recently chandeliers have been rediscovered and democratized so that they’re now illuminating a much broader spectrum of interiors from classical to contemporary, domestic to luxurious—including our offices!
We are both very hands-on, but János usually assumes the ‘visionary leadership’. Everyone in our growing team has a defined role, and we’re happy to see Manooi’s spirit shining through, even when we’re not actually there.
The creative process begins by deciding on the source of the light, then we consider the material, followed by the shape and metal skeleton. Finally, crystals are meticulously placed to give a visual pulse from every angle.
Our first bespoke project with Swarovski wasn’t even a light! It was a cow-shaped creation called ‘Milky Way’ that was part of an exhibition called ‘Cow Parade’, whose design involved more than 14,000 crystals. Milky Way was sold for a record amount for charity. A personal favorite is the asymmetric pendant model called Cosmic Square Ring. We’re currently working with Swarovski on an exciting new project where we’re developing our very own customized pendant model. They've been a great partner since the very beginning.
The next big thing in our lives is Euroluce 2015, Milan’s interiors exhibition. We’ll be launching a new collection of chandeliers as well as our latest (hitherto undisclosed) brand, which features hundreds of new products.
We are both deeply passionate about our work, and it’s a 25-hour-day way of life. We consider ourselves lucky that we’re able to pursue this adventure together with our three children, and wouldn’t change it for anything.