Original title : Tim Zyto – Montauk sofa
Photo: Richère Trudeau
Having grown up in the furniture industry, Tim Zyto created his first sofa in 1995 from a used piece of furniture. From there, Montauk Sofa was born. Twenty-five years later, his sofas, entirely designed and handmade in the company’s Montreal factory, can be found all over North America, thanks to their characteristic style — a blend of traditional expertise and minimalist design.
Name three things you think are essential to a happy life: Being with the people I love, whether it be family or friends, and having everyone healthy. Also, that my company does well, but that isn’t as fundamental to a happy life.
Who do you care about the most? My children! Emmanuelle and Julian, who are 12 and 13 years old respectively.
What do you think are the most important personal qualities? Over anything else: Being nice to people.
What faults bother you the most? Egotism. I don’t like it when people don’t think about others, or only talk about themselves.
What does beauty mean to you? Simplicity, naturalness. People don’t need artificial things; they are beautiful just the way they are. Our stores are like this, very simple, nothing superfluous.
And what about elegance? It’s the same thing as beauty: keep it simple.
What is your favourite colour? Black. I decided one day that I really liked black, so my shirts, my furniture—everything is black!
And your favourite material? Probably feathers because we use them to stuff our sofas, and because they are very comfortable and light. I also like all other natural materials.
What city or country are you especially fond of? Bermuda, which is where we often used to go when I was a kid, and Miami Beach. I really love the long, beautiful beaches.
What are the keys to a successful, sustainable business? Firstly, work with people that you really like—you will give 100% when you like the people you’re working with. Secondly, always do meticulous, quality work.
Why did you decide to focus specifically on sofas? It just happened— maybe because there were no manufacturers dedicated solely to sofas.
What are the advantages of manufacturing locally? I enjoy working directly with people, being on-site. It helps us and is good for the local community. It’s great to buy local. It’s also very practical to have the factory close to home.
What is your greatest dream? Professionally, when someone thinks of a sofa, I would like them to think of Montauk. Personally, I don’t really have a particular dream; everything is going well—my children are thriving, and that is enough