Aaron Foeste, Founder of Arthur Zaaro Design
When expat Aaron Foeste founded Arthur Zaaro Design in 2014, he pledged that all products sold – from cutting boards to fancy dining tables – would be sustainably sourced from urban hardwood trees planted in Singapore in the 1960s and 1970s. He has lived up to that eco-commitment, and his furniture brand has thrived. Not surprisingly, award judges like Michelle McFarlane praise it as a “fantastic sustainable business producing stunning and practical pieces locally”.
Beyond this, Aaron wants the quality of his products to be equivalent to any on the
global market. “The customer isn’t settling for a sub-standard item that’s sustainable – it’s as good as the best alternative and totally local and sustainable,” says Aaron, who has lived in Singapore for 15 years and is a proud papa to Ms. Nora, a 16-year old English cocker spaniel, and Mr. Ris, an 11-year-old Yorkshire terrier.
Before moving here, he worked in the New York film set design industry, which taught him the practical and imaginative sides of construction – and was the “best training ground”, he says. “On one film, we may build the interior of a spaceship; on the next, it may be an English manor from the 17th century.”
Aaron’s hobbies and passions reflect his love for his work. He shares, “Design, carpentry and entrepreneurship are some of my hobbies, so I get my fill of that on a day-to-day basis.”
Started in 2017 by The Finder, the Expatpreneur Awards are intended to honour hard-working, successful, community-minded foreign-born business owners in Singapore. All winners must exhibit how their businesses help people “live well in Singapore” – The Finder’s own mission. This year, marks the fifth annual awards. Find out more here.
By Isabel Wibowo