industry insider | Jan 9, 2020 |
Midwestern brands unite: Cambria and Room & Board join forces

For Cambria and Room & Board, working together has been a long time coming. Both brands are based in Minnesota, and share overlapping design aesthetics and Midwestern business sensibilities. “We’ve had a long history of talking to Cambria about opportunities, and it just felt like it was the right time for us to do something,” says Gene Wilson, director of merchandising and vendor management at Room & Board. The stars finally aligned and the pair is launching their first collaboration, called Pren (named after the Welsh word for wood), later this month.

A table from the Pren collection.
A table from the Pren collectionCourtesy of Room & Board

The collection, which is currently available online and will be in stores January 16 before launching on Room & Board Business Interiors on February 4, features dining tables, desks, coffee tables, console tables and cabinets—all of which are made of domestically sourced solid Midwestern walnut or Appalachian white oak wood bases and one-centimeter Cambria quartz tops in three colors. The pieces have a resimercial feel, a distinct design choice on the part of the brands, as they’re both hoping that the versatile nature of the pieces might intrigue buyers in a variety of sectors.

“I think Pren is going to help us reach another tier of consumers that we haven't reached before,” says MacKenzie Weldon, vice president of corporate partnerships at Cambria. “I think, through collaborating, our companies are going to find new opportunities both in the residential space and in the contract furniture world that neither one of us were involved in before.” Moving forward, Cambria is intent on being seen as more than just a countertop company. “There is this whole world of furniture that Cambria is just starting to tap into.”

A table from the Pren collection.
A table from the Pren collectionCourtesy of Room & Board

Room & Board led the charge on design for the line, opting for three top-selling styles from Cambria’s luxury marble collection: Britannica, Britannica Gold and Mersey. “They were definitely a jump off from what Room & Board’s used before,” Weldon says. “I was really proud that they chose those styles because I wasn’t sure if they would want to push their boundaries, creatively.”

Wilson agrees that the company seized the opportunity and took a risk on bolder designs than they might usually offer. “We’re proud of all of our product design, but we really wanted to move things forward and elevate ourselves with designs that go to the next level,” he says. “We felt like the Cambria quartz would be the perfect complement to our furniture as their quartz has such incredible action to it. It really makes these pieces stand out from other wood tables we offer.”

With the Pren collection set to launch next week, the brands are already looking to the future. “We’re thinking about the next products,” he says. “We’re looking at bath vanities and pieces that would work for the kitchen. With entertaining being such a big deal at the moment, we’re looking at options like bar carts and things like that, which would serve both of our brands well.”

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