Vera Beatriz went looking for producers to relaunch Sergio's furniture
When he left Oca, Sergio lost the rights to his work, which belonged to the company. Upon leaving, he left all his assets. He had never registered the furniture he created in his name. Officially, they were Oca's furniture, not Sergio Rodrigues'. Years later, in the 1990s, Oca was sold to an American company. They only sold imported furniture there, but kept the name. The Americans did not appreciate Sergio's furniture. They went on to buy and resell furniture. When they decided to sell Oca, they phoned Sergio and, luckily, Vera Beatriz answered. They wanted to sell Sergio his own projects. "How can Sergio buy his own drawings? They are his intellectual property, we will sue you," said Vera. The Americans eventually closed the store, left Brazil, and gave Sergio's designs back to him.
After she decided to take Sergio's business over, Vera Beatriz organized his entire personal and professional life. When they got married, Sergio worked as an architecture, and no longer dealt with furniture production as much. Vera knew he had to get back to making his designs and resume furniture creation and production. She always found it easy to interact and negotiate with people. Determined, sweet, but firm, she was ready to relaunch Sergio and his creations.
That was when Vera began to endeavor to revive Sergio's furniture. They traveled to the South in pursuit of potential manufacturers, offered at factories, went to São Paulo, Bento Gonçalves. "In those days, no one could care less about design. Factory owners wanted to get rich fast and sale furniture that was easy to make, which they could put in the machine and sell. They thought it was all beautiful, but very expensive and very difficult to manufacture because the furniture was all semi-artisanal."
When a piece of Sergio's furniture came in, manufacturers were excited, but then thought it would not be feasible. "Entrepreneurs in Brazil new nothing about design," said Vera Beatriz. "That was between 1975 and 1980."
While Vera was trying to find a manufacturer to make Sergio's furniture, two exhibitions of his work marked an era and brought Sergio back to the mainstream. One was at the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, in 1991. MAM granted a wonderful lounge and Sergio and Vera, without money to make the exhibition, had to use imagination and creativity both. They had to buy the practicable pieces to exhibit the furniture and pay the entire assembly. Vera Beatriz had already invested in Sergio's furniture project everything she had and what she had inherited from her mother. They then boldly asked Kati de Almeida Braga, from the Icatu insurance company, for help. It was the saving solution. Kati agreed and her company funded part of the exhibition, which was a big hit. The exhibition showed the date on which the furniture had been created, in chronological order, and there were pictures of Sergio at all those times, like a timeline marking his career. Sergio's friend Adolfo Bloch ordered posters and flyers with the program and description of the exhibition, which was open for visitation a long time.