In 1985, Florian Hachfeld was ‘dragged’ by his parents to Ibiza, to escape the hustle and bustle of life in Germany and enjoy the calm, sun and Mediterranean lifestyle. At the time, he had no idea what to expect, but now, 25 years later, he heads up the family’s businesses on the island, interior and outdoor furniture stores Magazin and Lotus. When we caught up with him, he told us a little bit about the journey that has led him to where he is today.
Your parents came to Ibiza to relax, but they ended up with more businesses – how did that happen?
We have furniture shops in Germany, and originally my parents didn’t plan to open a shop here, but one day we saw a nice little house on the San Juan road that was empty and for rent. My father thought it would be nice to have as a little furniture shop, like a hobby, and that’s how it started. Then we saw an old antique store as the next step, followed by a furniture store. It was a natural progression.
Do you prefer Ibiza to Germany now?
It’s a different attitude, but it’s nice. I prefer to be here because many things are so much more relaxed. Obviously I need to get out and away for different inspiration, views and energy.
So do you travel a lot for work?
Yes, a lot. It’s a really interesting part of the job, and we try to combine business with pleasure, especially when you go to places like Paris, Milan or Bali. We source a lot from Europe but nowadays a lot of things come from Asia, so we go there too – it’s great to be able to travel while you do your job!
What do you love most about coming back to Ibiza?
The calmness. I love the island, the climate and the people, to be able to sit down at midday in the sun and not have to stress about work. I work more now than ever before but it’s still not as stressful or hurried as Hamburg. I like to relax and enjoy life here.
What about your favourite places on the island?
There are so many beautiful places on the island, but my absolute favourite is Balafia – if you take a look at it when it’s empty, you might not consider it beautiful but when you go there for lunch or dinner and the sun is shining, it is so relaxed and has such a nice atmosphere.
What do you think about the changes you’ve seen in Ibiza over the years?
I think it really has been positive that the island has grown but it happened too quickly in some parts, without any awareness of the negative side effects to the infrastructure. I feel change needs to continue but this generation, who are now taking power from their fathers, will develop with more awareness.
What do you think is the key to having a successful business in Ibiza?
If you are here in the beginning like we were, it’s easy to grow – back then there were very few furniture shops on the island, so there wasn’t any competition. Now, knowing your market and personal contacts are vital, there is a lot of working hand in hand with others, who have confidence in you, and recommend you to others. If I was to start again today without any experience or contacts, I think it would be impossible!