The industrial experience with semi-artisanal furniture
At first, as has been said, 95 percent of the furniture Oca sold came from São Paulo (from stores such as Forma and Ambiente). The remaining 5% were Sergio's drawings: the roundish stool (Mocho), small sofas, coffee tables. But Sergio wanted a store that could meet the needs of a broad audience. "I was kind of disappointed because since it was not industrialized (although it could be), my furniture came out of the oven with a very high price tag." He also noted that the workshops that were making these prototypes went on to incorporate them in their lines. Furthermore, there was increasing demand for furniture. To solve this issue, Sergio started thinking about opening a factory.
Thus came Sergio's first plant in Rio de Janeiro, in 1956. The small factory was named Taba, and was in Bonsucesso. Although the idea was to manufacture on an industrial scale, Taba still made its products by hand. "Thus, the quality of the raw material did not influence the final cost very much, and Jacaranda was rehabilitated, putting an end to the supremacy of pau-marfim." Rio de Janeiro joined the map of modern Brazilian furniture. Three years after Oca was created, Sergio no longer imported furniture from São Paulo: 100 percent of the models were his creations. In 1958, they were cited internationally by Gio Ponti in his Domus.
The industrial experience was a challenge for Sergio. At first, three or four models of furniture were manufactured at a time. But there was a surge in demand, and it became necessary to make a larger series. Years later, still at Oca, Sergio opened another factory, this one much bigger, with 10,000 square meters of covered area, in Jacareí, state of São Paulo, which he called Oca.
Oca launched furniture. And artists. For those events, it also became known as Oca Gallery. Among many others, Sergio introduced the painter, sculptor and printmaker Juarez Machado, who had come from Paraná and became famous shortly thereafter. The architect Dolly Michailovsky, who worked with Sergio at Oca for many years, emphasizes what many already knew about Sergio's personality: "Sergio was incredibly open. Everyone who had something to do with Sergio became great friends of his. He always valued what we did. Being around him was a human experience, and a life experience. As a creator he was amazing. An unbelievable talent. It was something that sprang right out of him. There was not much of a working method, he was loose, an artist. He drew all the time."