There’s been an explosion of interest in interior design, especially as more homeowners have become more discerning about how they decorate their own spaces. For entrepreneur Jason Song, building a furniture brand isn’t just about championing a specific aesthetic but offering a variety of well-made options that appeal to consumers who value design and craftsmanship. The result is Kernel Furniture, a Singapore-based company that offers both a curated selection of Japanese brands as well as its own collection of in-house designed pieces.
One could say that Song was born to be in the furniture industry, given that his father Dexter Song founded VHive, a well-regarded furniture manufacturer in Singapore. His journey, however, took a few twists and turns. In 2011, he quit his advertising job to create a branding agency called Acre with partner Zheng Tianyu. A few years later, he established another company, Kaizen Architecture, a collaboration with architect Melvin Keng.
Acre and Kaizen Architecture worked on a few projects together, then jointly created Cactuss, a multi-concept store in Chengdu and Kunming in China. In 2020, after Cactuss won a Good Design Award for interior design, Song decided it was time to take another plunge. “You tend to worry about different things other than your own ambition once you’re responsible for the livelihood of others, but you always remember what you want to do above all else. For me, that was always furniture,” says Song.