UNITED KINGDOM, Cowes. Under the leadership of managing director Justin Olesinski, who was appointed the position in 2009 by his father and founder of the studio Bernard Olesinski, the studio has reached a milestone in more ways than one as it celebrates its 43rd anniversary. We headed to the Isle of Wight to hear more about the future for the studio.
Better known for the design work created for Plymouth-based Princess Yachts, Bernard Olesinski has evolved from a one-man-band to a team of more than 20 since it was founded. However, the biggest changes have occurred over the past 12 months with the rebrand of the studio to Olesinski, a new business focus and expansion of the studio grounds.
“Originally we were going to set up a new company, which was to be called Justin Olesinski that would focus purely on superyachts,” explained Justin Olesinski. This idea was abandoned following advice from director of business development John Beavis. “He highlighted how the studio was already doing new builds but that this additional focus was simply on a bigger scale. And so we decided to keep everything under one roof and present a bigger brand and team as apposed to two smaller companies.
“The rebrand from Bernard Olesinski to just our surname was a big change for the studio but it was fully supported by my dad and he understood the need for the change but legally the studio is in his name with two shareholders, my father and mother.”
Offering a complete in-house service of design, naval architecture and structural engineering, the expansion of the studio is due for completion in early November 2015 in preparation for an additional 18 members of staff. Doubling the workforce will allow the studio to take on a number of new projects without impacting on its commitment to Princess Yachts, as the studio diversifies into new areas within the marine sector.
“We plan to have several strands to the business,” said Olesinski. “The first being Princess of course, with superyachts being the second but the other three are under development and are all boat related.”
While the decision to move more prominently into the large custom yacht market came in 2013, it is the delivery of Falcon Lair — a refit project delivered this year — that has solidified the studio’s presence in the sector. The project, which is just shy of 70m is the largest to come from the studio and adds to its existing 21 yachts above 30m to have been delivered to date — with this figure expected to increase by 10 yachts by the end of 2016. At the time of our visit Justin was in discussions with five potential clients for new build projects.
“Within the next five years I hope we will have done at least one or two new builds,” he said with a smile, “and for these to be something that people look at and think ‘that’s beautiful’ and are able to make the connection to it being an Olesinski design.”
The ability to fully develop a design in-house — thanks to the investment in technology and custom software the studio has at its disposal — a client can see the development of a project in real time, condensing a process that would otherwise take weeks into a day.
“At one point we had the owner of Falcon Lair in the studio and in front of a monitor,” explained Olesinski. “As we discussed ideas and his wishes, we made live updates so he could see changes to the design being made in real time. He came in at 10:30 and by 16:00 he walked away and signed the contract with the shipyard.”
It is this ability to provide instant feedback alongside the studio’s extensive experience and engineering knowledge that has given Justin the confidence to explore new avenues and expand the team. With designs such as the Olesinski 77, a 77m motoryacht concept completed in 2014 but is undergoing refinement, the studio is actively investing in new ideas and approaches to engage with the larger end of market.