Having recently delivered a 90-metre Oceanco yacht, the Monaco-based design studio Sabrina Monte-Carlo has become a respected interior design studio. Armed with her long-standing knowledge of fashion and decoration on land, Sabrina Monteleone-Øeino took her knowledge to the open seas, breaking into the yachting industry with an initial focus on outdoor furniture that organically evolved into a company that supplied everything from patio chairs and tables to bathroom towels and teacups.
SYT sits down with the designer to find out how Sabrina Monte-Carlo developed over time and what we can expect to see for the future of the studio.
Photo: Yavn GrubskiBefore founding your company in 1999, what first got you interested in interior design?
I started in the fashion and decoration world many years ago. I ran a shop and I also worked on houses for myself and my friends. One day, I moved to a new apartment and I did everything inside beautifully, but outside was not so nice. So I started searching for outdoor furniture and I found a few different brands I liked. Then I decided to open a shop that sold both furniture and decor.
Photo: @Yvan GrubskiSo were you already quite involved in the superyacht world? How did you find coming from a fashion background into superyachts?
Everybody was asking me to design something, and then people from the yacht industry started making enquiries. At first, we did a lot of outdoor furniture and tableware, and then I found that clients were asking me for indoor decor too - so now we do absolutely everything! It’s strange because we only started with designing small spaces and then as soon as we did one boat, it seemed we soon moved on to shipyards and superyachts.
Photo: @Yavn GrubskiHow did the company grow over time?
I wanted to have something like a concept store where you have furniture, outdoor furniture and all the accessories such as beach towels, teacups, coffee cups and champagne glasses. I like to have the full set. When you have a balcony, I like to think that you want your balcony with everything on it, so I started the company with my one assistant. Three months later there were six of us, and six months later we were 20, and now we are 32.
Photo: @Yvan GrubskiWhat characteristics are important for a superyacht design to succeed? How do you incorporate that into your company?
We have to be very organised because it will be impossible to complete a big delivery if you are not organised. We also need to be mindful of organisation because the company grew so quickly. We are now 32 females. I work with my sister and my two daughters. My first daughter Manola joined the company three or four years ago and since she arrived we are even more organised with all the modern marketing.
Photo: Guillaume PlissonHow do you select the suppliers and people you work with?
Quality. I can’t sell something without quality. I even test it myself first at home. I’m not someone who wants to have absolutely everything. I prefer to have fewer brands, but the best ones. The clients know that we never have any problems with quality when they come to us.
As far as my team, everything came naturally. I had an assistant and then the accountant and the designer, and now it’s a big family. Everybody in the company has their own responsibilities, and it’s nice because since everyone is in charge of something they are very familiar with, every person knows how to do their job very well.
Photo: Guillaume PlissonWhere do you see the company in five years time?
If we keep working like we are now, we’ll open a new shop in Italy next year. We will also open an online shop in September for tableware and accessories. I have wanted to be online for three years already, but it’s complicated, and now we are finally ready with all the lawyers and authorisations. What is nice is that we will have all the brands we carry in the shop online so everything is very easy. It’s something I’m really happy about.
We have three big yacht projects coming as well. We are delivering four superyachts this year - one already happened in May and there are two coming in the second semester. We also worked on the new 85-metre yacht Bold by SilverYachts that was just delivered in Australia, and I’m very happy about that because the project is beautiful.