Modern Family

The Family Tradition Continues as Artefacto CEO Paulo Bacchi Welcomes his Twin Sons Bruno and Pietro into the Business of Brazilian Furniture Design

By Mallory Evans Jacobson

June 2019

“There is no such thing as an average day,” declares Paulo Bacchi from a plush leather sofa at his Coral Gables showroom. That’s because, as the CEO of the luxury home furnishings company Artefacto, Paulo has a lot of ground to cover. From conceptualizing furniture designs at his home office in South Gables, to staging turnkey residences in Miami’s most elite condo buildings, to checking on logistics at his Doral warehouse, he’s always on the move. And with 25 locations in his native Brazil in addition to two sprawling Miami showrooms (the second in Aventura) there is never a dull moment.

Therefore, last month’s graduation of Paulo’s twin sons Bruno and Pietro from college could not have been in a better location – nearby University of Miami, close to both their Gables home and company headquarters. And fortunately for their father, both young men have a deep-seated interest in joining the Artefacto team, for which they have been gearing up for as long as they can remember. “Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve been excited about working with my dad and my brother,” says Bruno. “Even when I was deciding on what to major in at UM, I knew that I wanted to be able to apply the skills I learned to help expand the company into new markets like New York and Los Angeles.”

Kubrick Sectional Sofa shown with upholstered lounge chairs and the Halston coffee table in glass with metal frame

This forward-thinking mentality led Bruno to major in both finance and marketing, while Pietro focused on real estate and business law. “In a thriving place like Miami, it’s easy to become fascinated with real estate development,” says Pietro. “I’m looking forward to learning more about how we can cater to this massive market through our home staging.” Apparently, both Bruno and Pietro already have a pretty good grasp of what the operation of Artefacto entails. “My dad always told us that we needed to understand every aspect of the business,” says Pietro. “So, in high school, we spent weekends and summers at the showrooms. We’ve worked in nearly every position, from cleaning the floors before the showrooms open, to designing and furnishing our own projects.”

For the brothers, it’s also about continuing the family legacy. Launched in São Paulo in 1976 by their grandfather Albino Bacchi, Artefacto started as a producer of quality home furnishings that evoked Brazil’s emphasis on natural materials and organic colors. Inspired by Albino’s success, Paulo joined the family business at just 18 years old. “I was always in and out of the warehouse, learning the creative process from my father and observing the manufacturing process from start to finish,” he remembers. “My father’s passion for the industry goes unmatched, and I was really driven by him.”

After marrying his wife Lais, Paulo decided to build a life for his family stateside. In the late 1990s, the Bacchis were splitting their time between São Paulo and Coral Gables, and Paulo started to think about opening the first Artefacto showroom in the United States. In 2002, that showroom opened on the southwest corner of the Shops at Merrick Park, next to Nordstrom, and the Bacchis moved to the Gables permanently. Then, in 2012, Paulo opened his second South Florida showroom in Aventura, followed by a smaller display area at the Doral warehouse, all filled with their Brazilian-made furniture.

Nouveau kingside bed with upholstered wood headboard. Constantin Bedside Table with curved metal accent legs

In 2015, Albino retired and Paulo took the reins as CEO. Around the same time, Paulo released his first solo collection, Arte|5, a set of five lines of furnishings that were intended to appeal to five distinct moods. Arte|Canyons, for example, was designed to evoke the feeling of open space, organic forms and natural settings, while Arte|Hollywood 20/40 was fashioned to conjure the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s golden era. All this through the use of shape, color and texture.

Crafted as a tribute to Albino, the centerpiece of Arte|5 is the Legacy Chair, an updated take on the classic Artefacto lounge chair and ottoman, made with a carbon steel frame and hand-stitched leather. In the last four years, Paulo has also focused much of his energy on staging luxury homes, which he says he takes great pride in. He has now orchestrated dozens of single family residences as well as units in posh highrises like Park Grove, One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid, and Porsche Design Tower. His latest staging is a collaboration with Arkup, a Miami-based startup that’s developing the next generation of floating homes. “These are not your average house boats,” says Paulo, “Especially when they are decorated with Artefacto furnishings and start at $5.89M.”

Etoy Sofa matched with the Boyer Component coffee table in three sizes made with mirrored glass and carbon steel

So, how do the Bacchis feel about the City Beautiful almost two decades after taking the leap to move here from Brazil? “Coral Gables is still the ideal location for both my family and my business,” says Paulo. In fact, his latest venture is a new Coral Gables showroom, which will take the place of the original outpost. When complete, this 45,000-square-foot colossus, in the fortress-like building where the Collection is located on Ponce south of Bird Road, will give Artefacto the most showroom space for high-end furnishings in Florida, totaling over 87,000-square-feet collectively.

As for Bruno and Pietro, they look forward to continuing to call Coral Gables home. “We grew up here, our family and friends are here, and we love living here,” says Bruno. “For us, it’s paradise.”