Kara Tobin, a principal at design marketing/PR agency Tobin and Tucker, has founded the platform with Brooke Stoddard, who has served as design editor for Hearst and Condé Nast and runs a design consultancy, and Seth Hill, who founded and runs a strategic development house. Debuted January 4, Bureau of Merchants features edited goods from the likes of Egg Collective, Cassina, Glas Italia and more, organized across dedicated pages.
“We enjoy a deep and wide network in the global design marketplace with a focus on contemporary furnishings design,” explains Tobin. “Bureau of Merchants is at its core laser-focused on connecting contemporary furnishings design from the best established and emerging brands and influential trade, media and consumers.”
What need is the platform meeting? “There is a real vacuum in sourcing and sharing contemporary furnishings design,” she says. “The process for sourcing and sharing design is cumbersome, hit-or-miss and time-consuming.”
Tobin calls the site an “accessible, comprehensive and efficient online hub.” Each brand has its own page, equipped with materials (images, press releases, lookbooks and videos) that are both downloadable and shareable. Brands are charged a monthly subscription fee. There are currently 40 brands live on the site, with “a dozen more in the pipeline and as many brands as meet our criteria [to come].”