1. Inspiration

Interior designer

Industry

After several years working in retail in Copenhagen, 40-yearold Michael Tangaa started his own business in 2014 in Esbjerg. In addition to his own shared office space, he also runs ROOM67, a company specialising in creative interior design for businesses.

Everything in Fabrikskompagniet, Michael’s shared office space business in the centre of Esbjerg, is the result of his own creative ideas, from the goldencoloured lights, the steel-framed windows, home-made desks, the concrete coffee table, to the ‘creepers’ hanging down from the ceiling.

“I restored the building right from scratch except for the electricity and plumbing,” says Michael, who started letting out office space there in the summer of 2016 and owns ROOM67, via which he creates and develops interior design concepts for businesses.

Back to the wind

40-year-old Michael Tangaa grew up in Esbjerg, but moved to Copenhagen in 2002 to start on a retail management training programme run by COOP, and took part in redevelopment of
SuperBrugsen. Meanwhile, he helped coordinate events for a leading brand of alcoholic drink and built a bar at Roskilde Festival. But there came a time when he simply missed the North Sea and the wind.

“I missed the wind on my face. In Copenhagen I never thought ‘Wow, I’ve really had my fresh air today!’ and that’s why I moved back to Esbjerg in 2008. I love being able to see and feel the
seasons, the wildness of nature, and fantastic growth of the city. These are all things I think are great about this place.”

Combining hobby with work

A few years taking an education within banking and a job as Project Manager in a company selling photovoltaic panels followed. But in May 2013, he began to think of setting up his own business.

“I talked to a business mentor to find out what I needed to do. I’ve always loved interior design, and have made tables and other furniture myself. So we ended up by concluding that I ought to start a webshop selling my own designs along with selected products from Nordic designers. That led to a hand-picked network of suppliers, whom I continue to use to this day in ROOM67,” explains Michael, who closed his webshop in November 2015 to concentrate 100% on interior design.

“I missed the wind on my face. In Copenhagen I never thought 'Wow, I've really had my fresh air today!' and that's why I moved back to Esbjerg in 2008.”

Michael Tangaa

Interior desginer and entrepreneur

“I generally think that businesses tend to lack any link between their brand and interior design. Lots of them fail to think in terms of the industry they are in and their culture, or stick to plain old black, white and red. My mission is to create an individual look, and to improve the image of the business,” explains Michael, who describes his life now as ‘a hobby with a built-in job’ with reference to Malk de Koijn.

It doesn’t just happen

Michael now lives in Esbjerg with his wife and two children, from where he has designed and fitted out offices, stores and other forms of commercial premises in Esbjerg, Kolding, Aarhus
and Copenhagen in recent years. His business now makes sufficient profit to be able to pay him a wage. He has also employed a part-time designer, who takes care of some ROOM67’s floor
plans.

“I had to fight hard, but I now have an adequate customer base, even though there is always room for more. I love it,” says Michael, who spends half of his week at the office and the other on
customer visits.

“I get most of my customers via SEO, LinkedIn and networking. But I’m also an ice-cold canvasser one or two days a month, when I call prospects. You still have to break the door down – it doesn’t just happen,” as he says.