The Decorative Furnishings Association will unveil its first-ever summit on e-commerce with a May 8 panel hosted by the Pacific Design Center that will feature presenting companies Dering Hall, Fuigo and Houzz, among others. Now is the right time for such a focused conversation, says DFA board member Jobst T. Blachy, CEO of Quintus.
Why now? “First, because our members asked us to address the subject,” Blachy tells EAL. “We are all trying to navigate this new reality, and are getting multiple messages from people involved in the industry. So, [DFA president] Eric [Chang] and I decided that we should just attack the topic head-on. Second, because Eric and I both believe that the industry needs to start looking more to the future and embracing change, and we want the DFA to take a role as the leading voice for this change.”
Maury Riad of Fuigo, Lee Rotenberg of Ivy, Alan Blaustein of Dering Hall, Adam Sandow of Material Bank, Heather Gillette of DesignerInc., and Keith Granet of Studio Designer are among the speakers and attendees on the docket.
Chang weighs in on the topic: “Technology is always the strongest disruptor, and this has long been the case for our industry for more than the past decade without any leadership or direction on how to handle it. We are committed to modernizing our industry—not shying away from the change, but collectively figuring out how to take advantage of it in order to grow and communicate more efficiently and effectively with our customers.”
Is the growing role of e-commerce cause for alarm among designers? Blachy doesn’t think so. “E-commerce is happening. So designers and to-the-trade brands would be better served by trying to figure out how to leverage e-commerce to our benefit,” he says. “No industry has ever won by fighting change that their customers are demanding. We need to listen to our customers, observe and adapt. The DFA wants to help everyone with a vested interest in our industry to do this. DoItFor was our first step, by connecting consumers to designers. Now we want to take the next step in utilizing technology and e-commerce to help us all grow and thrive.”
The summit will take place on May 8, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at the Pacific Design Center’s conference center. RSVP required.