10 Questions for craftsman Doru Popa

1. Please tell us about who you are and what you do.  

My name is Doru Popa. I am the happy owner of Buha Wood Design 🙂 a small woodworking business based in Dragasani , Valcea County Romania.

2. Share your backstory with us. How did your business or organisation come about and what was it that switched you on to this area in the first place?

Buha is a family business. It all goes back to my childhood. My grandfather was a beekeeper, building his own hives. As I was helping him do that and also as we were travelling across the county to find the best places for his bees, I fell in love with woodworking and nature. This is why I mostly work with recycled materials.
4 years ago I moved back to Romania, after spending 19 years in Italy, and I decided to take a chance and follow my woodworking dream.This is how Buha started.

3. What do you think or hope the future has in store for you and your business? Where do you see yourself or your organisation five years from now?  

I am very confident that this business will work. I already managed to gain customers in Romania and abroad. People are starting to become more aware of the importance of using recycled materials. I believe that quality and simple lines are the key to my success.

4. How has lockdown been for you and for your business and what have you done that has helped you personally and professionally?  

This lockdown had positives and negatives. Unfortunately I had to put on hold some orders I had in Italy. On the same time I managed to focus more on the Romanian market. People had more time to spare and started to browse the internet for the perfect piece of furniture:)

5. What’s your take on Bucharest and Romania. What are the highs and the lows in your opinion?   

This is the exact question I asked myself 4 years ago, before moving back to Romania. Highs:  business oportunities, nature, warm and open minded people.
Lows : little consideration to the environment, instable legislative framework.

A re-purposed table from Buha Wood Design

6. What is your must do/must visit/favorite thing to do or show off to visitors here in Bucharest and Romania at large?  

One of my favorite places is Bucharest is the Village Museum( what a surpise no ? 🙂 )This museum offers in one place :  history, nature, culture, relaxation and , not least, inspiration.
As for Romania as a country, I can’t say I visited it as much as I would have liked to. I recently discovered the beautiful wineyards from Dragasani. Whenever I get the change I go hiking. A place for my soul is the Natural Park Buila Vanturita.

7. What is your number 1 recommendation now for a book/film/series/app/ or gadget?  

Book : Romania intre Orient si Occident – Neagu Djuvara. It presents the real tranformation of the romanian society from balcanic to western values.
Film : Aferim – a cruel lesson of history

8. If you could eat in any restaurant in all of Romania and have dinner with anyone in the world (not a husband/wife/relative) which restaurant would that be and with which person?  

I would love to spend a summer evening at Manuc’s Inn ( Bucharest) with Neagu Djuvara.
Her Majesty Queen Elisabeth was already taken 🙂

9.    Sum up your business in one sentence, what it is and why should people engage with it.

The danish word “hygge” resumes best my philosophy.  A word for a mood of coziness and comfortable feeling of welness.

10. Romania in one word?

Even if I spent a lot of time away from Romania, it still means home.

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