Friday Future Lister: How Nicklas von Bueren is Reducing Environmental Impact Without Sacrificing Luxury at Lotus Arts de Vivre

Koktail Magazine

05 Jul 2024

In the latest edition of the Friday Future List, Koktail spotlights Nicklas von Bueren, known as Nicki, the CEO of Lotus Arts de Vivre, a company founded by his parents nearly four decades ago.

After earning his degree from Business School Lausanne, Nicki began his career at Siam Commercial Securities during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. This experience provided him with insights into handling financial challenges.

He later joined the family business, where he elevated the brand's global presence through sales and marketing strategies, all while maintaining the essential traditional craftsmanship of their products.

Lotus Arts de Vivre Under Nicki's Leadership

Lotus Arts de Vivre has expanded its appeal to a broader and younger audience. By leveraging the talents of the third-generation von Buerens and drawing from the founders' expertise, Nicki has infused the brand with creative and innovative elements. This approach has helped bridge the gap between tradition and modernity.

Nicki's personal background is a combination of different cultures and experiences. He spent his youth in Bangkok and Bali and studied in Europe, making him comfortable in diverse settings. Despite his busy schedule, he dedicates his free time to his wife and three children.

The Art of Craftsmanship

Lotus Arts de Vivre offers a wide range of handcrafted products, including Masterpieces, Jewelry, Home Décor, and Accessories. Each piece tells a story, rooted in Asian culture and inspired by nature and regional mythology. The brand utilises rare and auspicious materials such as coconut shells, scarab wings, ebony, precious woods, sea shells, bamboo, and teak. They seek out master craftsmen across Asia, such as gem-cutters in India, wood carvers in Indonesia, lacquer artists in Japan and China, and experts in Niello work from Thailand, ensuring that their techniques are authentic and of the highest quality.

Commitment to Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

Sustainability is a core value at Lotus Arts de Vivre. Nicki emphasises that the company is deeply committed to ethical sourcing and workforce welfare. They prioritise the use of natural materials and promote artisanal craftsmanship. For instance, their packaging is made from bamboo, reflecting their efforts to minimise environmental footprint while creating exquisite products.

The von Bueren Legacy

Rolf and Helen von Bueren founded Lotus Arts de Vivre, and their sons, Sri and Nicki, have continued the family tradition. They have travelled the world to find creative inspiration and unique materials, maintaining relationships with skilled artisans. Today, Nicki and Sri manage the business, producing collectible curiosities and managing a secondary market through auction houses and online platforms.

Rolf von Bueren, originally from Germany, made Thailand his home in the 1960s. His legacy is now carried forward by Nicki, who aims to expand the brand's presence, including in India. Lotus Arts de Vivre has stores in several countries, including Thailand, the USA, China, Malaysia, Saint Barth, and India.

Balancing Tradition and Innovation

In the luxury industry, sustainability and ethical sourcing are increasingly important. Nicki notes that while the industry is shifting towards sustainable materials, challenges remain. For example, the availability of large mother-of-pearl leaves has diminished, impacting their designs. Balancing the costs of materials with sustainability goals is an ongoing challenge for Lotus Arts de Vivre, but one that they are committed to overcoming.