Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has a big goal for 2021: to become a destination for the whole home, bringing the furniture brand firmly into the lifestyle sector, with bedding, bath, outdoor furniture, accessories and even home fragrance. To carry out the expansion, MGBW is private-labeling some things, like the bedding, and partnering with small, family-owned artisanal vendors for decorative accessories.
“We have seen homes become these multidimensional spaces [in the past year], and we’re really now looking at the home as a refuge,” says MGBW CEO Allison O’Connor. “It’s paramount to us that our customers are able to come to us and express their definition of comfort in any room in their house. To help do that, we’ve created new product offerings for this expanded idea of home. I think that our perspective on moving into these lifestyle spaces is about completing our overall aesthetic of comfort and healthy living.”
The brand launched its bedding collection in late January and will introduce bath and home fragrance on March 8, ahead of its outdoor line debut later this spring. The textiles for both the bedding and bath collections have been sourced from European factories, and the rollout of the lines was done remotely. “Having to do it without being able to go to the factories in person meant a lot of FedEx packages full of samples landing at our doorsteps,” says Sarah Stern, director of accessories for MGBW. “The feel and the tactile experience is so important. It’s the same with home fragrance—you have to experience it firsthand. But launching these very sensory collections while we’ve all been working remotely, it makes you think, if we can do this, we can do anything.”
Stern says the decision to source from smaller companies wherever possible was a simple one. “It brings us back to our roots,” she says. “We started as a small, artisanal furniture brand making pieces in America. We take pride in that, and we also feel a sense of responsibility to give other makers a platform and bring them to the forefront.”
While the addition of bedding and bath were in the works pre-pandemic, MGBW’s other new categories were fueled by the demand that businesses across the home sector have seen since the onset of COVID. O’Connor feels that attitudes toward the home have changed permanently, and that people will continue to place an emphasis on comfort, health and the flexibility of their living spaces. “I think initially, everyone was so consumed by the idea of ‘getting back to normal,’ like one day we’d wake up and things would be the same as they were before, but I think it’s clear now that isn’t going to happen,” she says. “It’s a matter of shifting your perspective. Instead of thinking about going back, we’re trying to celebrate these new ideas of normalcy and meet our customers and trade clients where they are now.”
Along with the challenges of rolling out five new categories during a pandemic, MGBW is also faced with the task of standing out in an increasingly crowded market, particularly in the bedding sector, where it seems as if a new direct-to-consumer brand pops up almost monthly. O’Connor feels confident that MGBW’s commitment to quality will shine through and set them apart. “We aim to be artisans of comfort,” she says. “There’s a deep attention to detail that applies to everything we do—from the stitch on a pillowcase to the frosted glass on a candle to making a scent that can create memories of home. I think that puts us in a different space than some of our competitors.”
Homepage photo: MGBW launched its new bedding line in January. | Courtesy of Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams