The story of the wooden chair is actually the story of the human being. No matter how far industrialization and automation went, machines could not do this job alone, and the leading role in this craft, which has its roots in ancient Egypt, has always been “human”. Our story is of two people; It begins when carpenter Murat Yılmaz and upholsterer Ercan Şenol come across each other after waiting for years to find the right companion. The year is 2009. Murat Yılmaz is 38 years old and Ercan Şenol is 30. Murat Yılmaz, who was born in 1971, made for the carpentry workshop at the age of 12 when he heard his father saying “Did anyone see the benefit of studying until now?”. It took a little longer for the family of Ercan Şenol, who was born in 1979, to ask the same question but in the end, he gets his family’s upholstery workshop in no time flat at the age of 14. Institutionalizing and staying afloat in the wooden chair business is hard work. Each workshop is a chamber orchestra with two upholsterers per carpenter. The smallest mismatch between masters comes back to life as disgruntled faces, either in the workshop the same day, or a few days later in a home or cafe. That’s why sometimes only days pass between the opening of a new workshop and its closing. Our founders, Murat and Ercan, who were unaware of each other’s existence for many years, saw this situation in many different workshops; If they find mastery, they have spent many years longing for work ethic, and if they find work ethic, they long for industriousness. Finally, the paths of the two crossed in Eyüp Modesa in 2009. Two masters, impressed by each other’s experiences, do not think much. In a small workshop of 200 square meters, they take two companions with them and establish their own chamber orchestra, namely Liya Sandalye. By the way, let’s just say that Liya means “patient”. 2009 was a difficult year for business. The effects of the gigantic crisis that broke out on the other side of the world the previous year have now spread to this side of the world. Declining investments narrow the market, many workshops have to close their shutters. Liya Sandalye also gets its share from the crisis and the impossibilities of being newly established, but it does not collapse. While Liya was still being built, it was designed on 4 solid legs just like a good chair.

Mastery, work ethic, innovation and perseverance…

In order to reduce the cost, one day it is moved from the shelter to a broken workshop, one day a handful of coins are shared among the partners in order to give them to the minibus. On the 2nd day of the Eid, when the shutters are opened up, and 40 armchairs are manufactured in one night for the customer who was one day away from the cafe opening. However, illegal timber is never used by saying, “It is cheaper,” only the timber produced under government control of trees that have completed their life is preferred. As you can see, our masters sacrifice many things for a long time in order not to let the trust placed in Liya Sandalye be in vain. Patience bears its first fruit in 2011, the fame of Liya branded chairs first exceeds the borders of Istanbul and then the borders of Turkey. The first exports abroad, especially to Germany and France, are made to Europe. Later, Liya Chairs, which are 100% Turkish made, will be preferred for the palaces of kings in Africa and the symbolic touristic investments of the Middle East. The first Liya store opens in Modesa in 2014 and the second in Gunesli in 2019. Thus, Liya Sandalye, who started the journey with 4 people, reaches 35 employees and had a monthly production capacity of 2000 pieces. Today, Liya Sandalye still produces with the excitement of the first day in a closed area of ​​5000 square meters. Murat Yılmaz says about Ercan Şenol, “He is one of the top 10 upholsterers in the World.”. Ercan Şenol says of Murat Yılmaz: “He is a carpenter who can deduce the anatomy of a chair with just one glance.” And these two Master Craftsman are still working in their workshops, covered with sawdust and fabric dust. Turning into a university in the hands of two masters who could not have no chance to study. Liya Sandalye has trained and brought in countless apprentices and journeymen to the industry since 2009. And while these two extraordinary masters praise themselves, they describe the following, not the size of the company or the exports they make:

“There is no boss-worker distinction between us. Everyone eats the same food, everyone drinks the same tea.”

If you would like to come to Liya Sandalye one day as a customer or as someone who loves this craft, We want you to know that your bite is kept ready in your food packet and your tea is kept ready in the teapot.



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