Select designers have gotten the chance to kick the tires of Parlore (currently in beta), a resource for online management of interior design businesses founded by designer Stacey Osiecki and home furnishings start-up guru Ashu Ladha (the mastermind behind ABC Carpet & Home's operating model), and if the results of those initial tests are any indication of its success, the new site is poised to be a favorite among interiors experts.
“We’ve been looking for something that can sharpen our business and bring us back to doing what we know how to do best: design,” said Laura Ziffer, founder of Studio Ziffer, and one of the first users of the new tool.
Parlore offers tools that help manage projects, whether that’s by setting up virtual meet-ups with manufacturers and clients, connecting with vendors, or sharing industry insights and trend projections.
Editor at Large chatted with Parlore’s Creative Director Amy Flurry, who told us what to expect when the site launches this January.
What was the idea behind starting the site?
Stacey Osiecki, one of Parlore's founding partners, is an interior designer and understood personally the challenges of the business of running her own interior design firm. A few years ago she shifted her design focus to developing an app that provides the resources and support to navigate the business of interior design and the tools to more easily manage projects.
Where did the name Parlore come from?
Parlore is a blending of the words parlor (traditionally the room in a house for receiving visitors) and lore (a body of knowledge held by a particular group and typically passed on by word of mouth).
Tell us a little bit about the team that is behind Parlore.
Our team of designers, writers, artists, architects, interior professionals, stylists, software wizards and advisors is committed to a singular vision: to build a stellar product that complements our live/work ethic. Combined, we tout more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing; 45 in home and garden editorial; 55 in technology; 45 in interior design and architecture; and 75 in retail, merchandising and marketing. All bios are on the site here.
How is it different from competitor sites?
While there are a handful of project management systems on the market, they either require a serious financial commitment and resources to maintain or they aren't comprehensive enough to justify the investment of time. Our “built-by-you” approach has really given the designers a platform to tell us what they need, what they don't need, and what features would truly be helpful. We are the designers’ companion and exist to support them and to help streamline the business of interior design so that they get back to doing more of what they love.
How is the site being funded?
Parlore has, thus far, been funded by significant contributions from our founding partners and from a limited number of investors, who also share their expertise and contribute to Parlore's development and growth.
What is one thing you want designers to know about Parlore?
It is unique in that it’s a subscriber-based model for both interior designers and manufacturers. The designer monthly subscription starts at $25. Being a subscription-based model allows us to build relationships with our vendors and interior designers and help them grow their business as a whole instead of transaction by transaction.
Designers working with Parlore
How has it been received by designers thus far?
We created a designer counsel of 100 designers from across the country that we talk to frequently and invite to the office to give us feedback on our development. Beyond that we have a marketing strategy in place, which has already attracted 1,000 interior designers.
What do you see for the future?
Our goal is to be serving 4,000 to 5,000 designers by late 2016. Our Beta begins in January and we're looking for those interior designers interested in testing and using the system for free. Otherwise, visit this link and sign up to begin using the system as soon as January.