Interior designer Ryan Korban began his career creating stores for fashion brands like Aquazurra and Balenciaga. After moving into the residential world, the young designer's star rose rapidly—he now boasts a roster of celebrity clients and a growing sideline working with real estate developers. On the latest episode of the Business of Home Podcast, Korban chatted with host Dennis Scully in front of a lively crowd at the EJ Victor showroom in the New York Design Center—they spoke about the difference between fashion and design, the future of trade pricing, and why designers should think more like brands. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
After nearly a decade of building a community of 40 million that buys, sells and shares fashion online, Poshmark co-founder Tracy Sun is moving the company into the home. On the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, Sun chats with host Dennis Scully about why the power is in consumers' hands now, the overlap between fashion and interior design, and what being customer centric actually means. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
Dave Dawson started The Urban Electric Company as a small retail business in 2002—it’s since grown into a powerhouse of modern American craftsmanship, employing over 200 to make a wide array of custom lighting fixtures, all in a former navy yard in Charleston, South Carolina. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Dawson chats with host Dennis Scully about the challenges of manufacturing in America, why he’s never sold in showrooms, and how time has become his company’s most valuable resource. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
After a picturesque childhood in England and a brief career as a drummer, Christopher Peacock chanced into the cabinetry business and he hasn't looked back since. The company he founded in 1992 has been through some twists and turns, but today it's stronger than ever, with nine showrooms and a booming commercial sideline. On this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Peacock shares the incredible story of how his company survived the 2008 recession, why he's been vertically integrated from day one, and how became known as the inventor of the white kitchen. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
Tony Ingrao's clients—a mix of celebrities, financiers and captains of industry—often make headline news, but he himself is more likely found just outside the limelight. "I'm chill," he tells Dennis Scully, with a laugh. Chill yes, boring no. In this week’s episode of the Business of Home podcast, the designer shares a rare in-depth look at an epic career—discussing his fashion-world childhood, the stories behind his most iconic projects, and why, after nearly 40 years in design, he's at the top of his game. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
After a brief post-college career in the startup world, Chad Stark joined the family business as a young man, eager to modernize Stark Carpet’s operations for a fast-changing market. He’s since risen to senior vice president of the 80-year-old company, and has continuously pushed for innovation in an industry that’s often reluctant to change. On the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, Stark tells host Dennis Scully about his experiments selling direct to consumers, his thoughts on the best way for designers to charge for their services, and whether the design industry is ready for a model called "trade preferred". This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
In the early aughts, brothers Philip and Jeffrey Bershad took over the family wallcovering business from their father and have since grown it to employ one hundred and sixty people with operations all over the world. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, they spoke with host Dennis Scully about their work hard/play hard company culture, the advantages of focusing on a niche, and why something called WIPTAG has made all the difference. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
It’s a commonly cited statistic: Moving is more stressful than divorce. And—chasing freedom and flexibility—millennials are moving a whole lot. Jay Reno, founder and CEO of Feather, is hoping to make it easier on them with a service that offers furniture on a subscription, pay-as-you-go basis. In the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, Reno spoke with host Dennis Scully about how the American dream has changed, why the time is right for his innovative concept, and the environmental impact of fast furniture. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
After fleeing Cuba with his family as a child, Vicente Wolf had anything but a traditional path to building a 45-year run as a designer. On the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, Wolf reflects on his unconventional journey, the role of design media in his career, and why he’s not retiring any time soon. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
In 1995, Angie Hicks lent her name to her new company, a service that crowdsourced reviews of local businesses. “It seemed like one of those inconsequential decisions you make when you’re 22,” says Hicks. It turned out to be anything but inconsequential, as her company, Angie’s List, would become a household name and a major player in the home services industry. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, she talks with host Dennis Scully about the company’s humble beginnings in 1995, why the housing crisis was an opportunity in disguise, and how the interior design profession has changed over the years. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
Twenty years ago, Michael Cohen left a career in corporate finance to join the family business, a somewhat old-school seller of high-end tassels and trims. Cohen, along with his brothers Hymie and Joseph, has turned Samuel & Sons into a thriving, tech-forward business that’s come to define passementerie for the American market. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, he chats with host Dennis Scully about why he looks to tech companies like Amazon for inspiration, his plan to take the brand international, and why he hopes the industry will become more transparent. This episode is sponsored by Datacolor.
Nassau-based interior designer Amanda Lindroth has a knack for evoking the breezy elegance of island life, wherever she goes—including Guangzhou, China. A few years ago, she and her CEO, Austin Painter, embarked on a road trip to various factories in Asia to produce her debut line of accessories and decor. Since then, she’s been busy, fine-tuning her collection and growing her brand. In the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, she chats with host Dennis Scully about her picturesque Florida upbringing, her hiring strategy, and why it’s not what goes wrong—it’s how you react that’s most important. This episode is sponsored by Datacolor.
Ceramics are having a moment, and East Fork is at the center of it. Founded by husband-and-wife team Connie and Alex Matisse along with their friend John Vigeland, the North Carolina–based company has grown from a small rural pottery into a thriving manufacturer, shipping thousands of pieces around the world—including a coveted mug they literally can’t keep in stock. On the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, host Dennis Scully spoke with the Matisses about creating a compelling brand in the social media age, avoiding growth for its own sake, and the challenges of building a values-focused business. This episode is sponsored by Datacolor.
Philip Erdoes is a study in contradictions. Though the founder of The New Traditionalists and ducduc spends his days occupied by the particulars of making high-end furniture, he came to the business via a career in law and an MBA from Harvard Business School. Erdoes isn’t afraid to speak his mind, whether he’s discussing copycat brands or hot-button political topics. In the latest episode of the Business of Home podcast, he chats with host Dennis Scully about why design for senior living is his next move, how market forces shape the trade, and why he’s keeping his manufacturing in the states. This episode is sponsored by Datacolor.
What began as a small upholstery company in a rural corner of North Carolina has grown into a furniture empire. Celebrating their 30th year in business, Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams now oversee a million square feet of manufacturing space, almost a thousand employees, and over thirty retail locations. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, the partners chat with host Dennis Scully about how they’ve grown through turbulent times, their hunt for a new CEO, and why their brand is well positioned for the next thirty years. This episode is sponsored by Design Within Reach.
Peter Sallick doesn’t have a lot of free time. A restless innovator, savvy dealmaker and the wearer of many hats, being the CEO of Waterworks is only one of Sallick’s many roles. He also co-founded online marketplace Dering Hall and created one of the industry’s premier professional groups, the Design Leadership Network. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Sallick shares how Waterworks weathered the financial crisis, why he partnered with RH, and what lies ahead for a rapidly changing industry. This episode is sponsored by Design Within Reach.
Wendy Goodman is the poet laureate of Manhattan’s design world. As the longtime design editor of New York magazine, for decades she’s chronicled the lives and homes of the city’s most interesting people, alongside its most exciting artists and makers. On this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Goodman spoke with host Dennis Scully about her culture-rich childhood, working for Anna Wintour early on in both their careers, and why sometimes the best job is the one you’re most afraid of. This episode was recorded in front of a live audience at Design Within Reach’s new Upper West Side studio. Sponsored by Design Within Reach.
For over thirty years, interior designer Kit Kemp has been at the forefront of the boutique hospitality revolution, bringing color, craft and vibrant design to hotels and restaurants on both sides of the Atlantic. As co-owner and creative director of Firmdale Hotels, Kemp is behind London’s Ham Yard, Covent Garden and Haymarket hotels, as well as the Crosby Street and the Whitby in New York. She has also created fragrances, furniture and fabric and authored several books, most recently Design Thread. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Kemp tells host Dennis Scully about her love of artisans and antiques, the key to a compelling hotel, and why designers shouldn’t always listen to their accountants. This episode is sponsored by Design Within Reach.
Not many designers can count Frank Lloyd Wright, Eero Saarinen and Marilyn Monroe as clients, but Jack Lenor Larsen is no ordinary designer. A legend of the textile business, Larsen started his own studio in New York in 1952. His vivid early work convinced a once-skeptical Florence Knoll, who commissioned Larsen to create fabric for her furniture. From then on, Larsen’s business and reputation grew and grew. Drawing on extensive travels around the globe, he introduced ikat and batik to the American public, designed upholstery for Pan Am, authored over a dozen books and championed traditional craft wherever he went. Today, his work is studied in textbooks and displayed in museums around the world. At 92, Larsen has a lifetime's worth of stories—in this episode of the Business of Home podcast, he shares a few of them. This episode is sponsored by The Shade Store.
After 20 years in finance, Sean Juneja decided to risk his stable career to found Décor Aid, a start-up that offers clients an entry point into the world of professional interior design. Born out of a lifelong passion for design and his belief that there was a gap in the market for smaller budget projects, Décor Aid has facilitated more than 3,000 jobs in New York alone since its founding in 2014. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Juneja discusses his platform’s astounding growth, why he turned down venture capital and how he views the competition. This episode is sponsored by The Shade Store.
Bernie de Le Cuona’s fabric company had humble beginnings—in the early 1990s, she launched the business out of her own home after learning to weave in India. Since then, her namesake company has grown by leaps and bounds, with flagship showrooms in New York and London and a network of distributors worldwide. De Le Cuona has come a long way, but she hasn't stopped moving forward. The founder and CEO is constantly tweaking her business model, looking for ways to stay on top of a constantly shifting industry. She sat down to chat with host Dennis Scully about why some of her so-called "unpopular ideas" may be just what the industry needs. This episode is sponsored by The Shade Store.
By the time he was 32, Christophe Caillaud had abandoned a promising career in mergers and acquisitions to become the managing director of Jean Paul Gaultier. After nine years at the fashion house, he was tapped by French interior designer Christian Liaigre to become the president of his namesake brand. In this week’s edition of the Business of Home podcast, Caillaud sat down with host Dennis Scully to talk about the difficulties of succession, why he watches RH closely, and how he plans to compete in an industry increasingly driven by e-commerce. This episode is sponsored by The Shade Store.
Now famous to millions as the resident design expert on Netflix hit Queer Eye, Bobby Berk left home at a young age, eventually ending up in New York with only a suitcase and a few months rent money to his name. In the city, he climbed his way through the ranks of retail, working at RH and Portico before opening his own store in 2007. A decade later, Berk was invited to audition for a reboot of the aughts Bravo hit—the rest is history. Berk shares tales from his early days, discusses his new furniture line and lifestyle site, and explains why Queer Eye isn't a makeover show. This episode is sponsored by The Shade Store.
In 1978, Jamie Drake graduated from Parsons and fell right into two plum gigs designing apartments in 800 Fifth Avenue—the same building where newlyweds Donald and Ivana Trump were just settling in. Since then, things have only gotten better for Drake, who has won every industry award under the sun, participated in every showhouse and created homes for more than a few billionaires. In this week’s episode of the Business of Home podcast, he explains why legacy doesn’t matter, why China is the next big market for designers, and how he landed Michael Bloomberg as a client. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
Since opening his first multi-line showroom more than 40 years ago, David Sutherland has had a front-row seat to industry shifts and emerging opportunities. The Dallas-based entrepreneur is a pioneer of the outdoor furniture category, and along with wife Ann, launched performance fabric maker Perennials. The industry veteran shares his take on selling direct to consumers, partnering with Restoration Hardware and the state of the multi-line showroom. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
In less than a decade, Ryden and Lanette Rizzo have turned a humble woodworking studio into a $10 million business. Allied Maker, which launched in 2012 out of Ryden’s parents’ Long Island garage, has pierced the crowded lighting category, doubling its annual sales every year since 2016. The husband-and-wife co-founders reveal how they did it, the set-back moments endured along the way, and how they’re preparing for the next phase of growth. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
Catherine Connolly made the move from tech to textiles in 2007, when longtime Merida owner Dr. Hiram M. Samel asked her to join the Fall River, Massachusetts-based company as CEO. Six months within her new role, the stock market crashed and lost nearly half of the company’s revenue channels overnight. Connolly shares how she saved the company by restructuring its distribution model from retail to trade-only, as well as why she believes the internet is a great thing for the elevation of design—and why designers will be among its biggest benefactors. This episode is sponsored by Universal Furniture.
Bringing down the home industry’s barrier to entry has been the mission at The Inside since its launch in 2017. Doing so has meant meeting the expectations of the modern consumer, says co-founder and COO Britt Bunn. It’s a challenge few industry brands have dared to accept, considering the risks associated with offering personalization, free shipping and shortened lead times. Having recently closed $2.6 million in funding for The Inside, Bunn shares her thoughts on acquiring new customers and what’s next for the brand.
If there’s anyone who fits the model of a great mentor, it’s British interior designer Nina Campbell. Shaped by her apprenticeship at renowned firm Colefax & Fowler, Campbell has gone on to create a nearly five-decade career in design, establishing a star-studded client list that includes Rod Stewart, Ringo Starr and the Duke and Duchess of York. In this live podcast recording, the designer shares insights from her inspiring career, as well as her take on how the industry and the profession have evolved. This episode is sponsored by DCOTA.
When magazine veteran Joanna Saltz pitched the idea of a new home brand to Hearst executives, she had no idea she’d be spearheading a gut renovation of HouseBeautiful.com—a change that ruffled the feathers of many industry professionals. The editorial director, who’s since taken over House Beautiful’s print edition as well, addresses the audience feedback, reveals her strategy for the brand, and shares her thoughts on what media has to do to remain relevant. This episode is sponsored by DCOTA.
Launched by illustrator Anna Bond and musician turned businessman Nathan Bond in 2009, Rifle Paper Co. has evolved from stationery maker to full-fledged lifestyle brand, gracing everything from Keds footwear to L’Occitane skincare, and, most recently, rugs and pillows by Loloi. Nine years in, the company has grown to 200 employees, 6,000 points of distribution globally and an annual revenue of $25 million. The husband-and-wife co-founders share the mistakes made and lessons learned along the way, and new brand president Trish Whalen adds how the company is planning for its next phase of growth. This episode is sponsored by DCOTA.
When Anna and Gregg Brockway launched vintage and antique furniture e-marketplace Chairish, people told them consumers would never buy furniture online. Six years and roughly $30 million in funding later, the platform and its higher-end sister site, DECASO, receive more than 2,000 new items listed daily from a community of 10,000 sellers. With its recent acquisition of Dering Hall, Chairish Inc. is now one of the largest digital platforms for high-end home furnishing products with nearly half a million items across the three platforms. The Brockways share how the company that began at their dining room table has grown, what the Dering Hall acquisition means for its future, and what’s to come in the digitization of design. This episode is sponsored by DCOTA.
Acclaimed jewelry designer Ippolita Rostagno grew up in the Oltrarno neighborhood of Florence, a place where artisans have practiced their trades for centuries. When they began disappearing, she decided to do something about it. The result was Artemest, an e-commerce platform for Italian handcrafted home decor. Since the company’s founding in 2015, it has grown 100 percent year over year, now featuring over 500 makers selling their wares. In this episode of the Business of Home podcast, Rostagno discusses how she navigated the comically inefficient Italian bureaucracy, won over old-school Italian artists and artisans, and mastered problem solving with her hands.
In 1994, Annie Selke began fine linens company Pine Cone Hill with an industrial sewing machine at her dining room table. Today, the company—which has since added rug maker Dash & Albert and an outlet store—has 221 employees, 50 of whom are based in India. With a perks package that includes weekly community-building events and financial bonuses for anniversary milestones, it’s no surprise that Annie Selke’s eponymous company is built largely on long-time employees and internal referrals. Selke discusses how she builds staff loyalty, the challenges of evaluating demand and why she’ll never sell product through Amazon.
As Bunny Williams Home celebrates its 10-year anniversary, founder and renowned interior designer Bunny Williams is in search of new ways to remain relevant—from both design and retail perspectives. While that may mean bolstering the digital brand and focusing on online sales, Williams’s general design philosophies remain similar to those she learned at Parish-Hadley, the legendary New York firm where she spent 22 years prior to launching her own studio. The AD100 Hall of Fame designer shares the challenges of finding and retaining talent, why the modern lifestyle is disruptive to the trade and the announcement of a new book, Affairs with Other Houses. This episode is sponsored by Business of Design.
Rumor has it there’s a curse against the third-generation business owner—one fed by outdated systems and a lack of product innovation. Yet the tale doesn’t hold true for George Matouk, who’s grown the textile company launched by his grandfather in 1929 to an annual revenue of more than $35 million. Managing new retail channels and category extensions has proven just as challenging as enduring nearly a century of economic and political shifts. I sat down with George to learn how Matouk coped—and came out stronger on the other side.
When you don’t know the rules, it’s easier to break them. At least that’s the thinking of my guest this week, internationally renowned interior designer Clodagh. A self-taught designer who transitioned from fashion to interiors, the Ireland native is best known for her spiritual practices, minimalist style and some 20 product licenses, including partnerships with RH, Visual Comfort and Ann Sacks. In this week’s episode, Clodagh reveals the one trait that has made her most successful, the way she handles rude clients and how she finds zen—even in the back of a New York taxi cab. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Making good design democratic has been at the core of modern furniture company Blu Dot since its founding in 1997. Co-founders John Christakos, Maurice Blanks and Charlie Lazor set out to create an American furniture company in an era when venture capital, attainable modern design and an assertive brand voice didn’t exist in the home industry. Twenty years later, Blu Dot’s forging efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. This year, the company celebrated its recognition as the Cooper Hewitt National Design Award winner for Product Design, as well the debut of a memoir chronicling the Minneapolis company’s pioneering journey. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Jonathan Adler went from a potter teaching night classes to a retail mogul running seventeen retail locations, a wholesale and e-commerce business, and an ever-growing list of partnerships including a recent one with Amazon. “I went from being a dude [with] mud and a potter’s wheel to a dude with the world at my fingertips,” says Adler, who shares the defining moments of his career, the challenges that came with each, and what's next on his creative horizon. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
One of the few vertically integrated furniture companies remaining in the industry, Ethan Allen has waded the challenges of a manufacturer and retailer. Chairman, president and CEO Farooq Kathwari has spent decades reshaping the Danbury, Connecticut-based furniture company’s production, retail and management strategies to compete in the global economy. Kathwari’s advice for each sector? Stay relevant. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
It's an industry disruptor that’s been years in the making. Sample library Material Bank is one part digital platform, built to save designers time when searching and sampling materials, and one part robotic logistics and distribution facility. Founder and CEO Adam I. Sandow shares how the designer tool is setting new standards for lead time, accessibility and waste reduction that not even Amazon can compete with. This is the last episode of our first season. Episodes will resume in November.
Growing up in small town Arkansas, Brad Ford did not think of interior design as a career path until after college. He moved to New York on the recommendation of the one professional designer in town “with an office.” After design school, under the tutelage of Jed Johnson and Thad Hayes, he was able to hone his now-characteristic aesthetic of editing rather than layering. Editing is more than a style for Ford, but a philosophy that defines all of his endeavors: FAIR, Field and Supply, and his design firm. In this episode, he discusses the evolution of his businesses, and how Field and Supply, a culmination of his life’s work, brings him full circle.
Whether it’s digging clay for his tile collection, harvesting barley for his brewery, painting and weaving textiles for his clothing line, milling high-end furniture for his showroom, or assembling musicians for a metal band, Tyler Hays is as hands-on with each of his hobbies-turned-businesses as you’d expect from a master craftsman. As a small-town high-school dropout with above-average sewing skills, he never imagined himself a businessman, much less a manager of 100 employees, tens of millions in revenue, and a celebrity-studded customer base. In this week’s episode, Hays shares his circuitous journey from rural Oregon to BBDW in Manhattan, and the countless creative endeavors along the way. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
There are few, if any, retailers in the home category that haven’t been under the journalistic microscope of Warren Shoulberg. In this episode, the trade media veteran shares his findings, offering RH, Bed Bath & Beyond, The Home Depot and others as case studies for what is and isn’t working in the modern retail environment. Tune in as he reveals which retailer is “one of the greatest in the world right now and” why he’ll never bet against RH CEO Gary Friedman, and exposes the “dirty little secret” of the furniture industry. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
When it comes to furniture companies, commercial design favorite Industry West is an anomaly. Since its launch in 2009, the Jacksonville, Florida-based, direct-to-consumer brand has been profitable. Husband and wife co-founders Jordan and Anne England’s bootstrapped efforts have led to a growth of nearly 70 percent each year—a rate that, Jordan says, shows no signs of slowing down. Now, the couple reveals the challenges of being an e-commerce early adopter, why they’re opening a SoHo showroom, and how they’re working offline to acquire new customers. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Detroit-born interior designer Nicole Gibbons has been chasing her business goals—be it a PR exec, design studio, or television series—long before the paint dried on her new startup. After building the business model for Clare, an e-commerce paint company, she had to convince venture capitalists of the potential that exists in today’s “sleepy” home industry. Gibbons shares how she conceived of the idea for Clare, and what the design trade could learn from the startup community. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
The term ‘retail store’ isn’t in Ariel Kaye’s vocabulary. The founder and CEO of Parachute Home prefers to use “community centers” when referencing the digital-first bedding and bath brand’s physical locations. In true clicks-to-bricks fashion, Parachute is focused on cultivating its consumer community and providing value outside of just its European-made product. In this interview, Kaye shares how she built Parachute and its cult-like following, while also acknowledging the challenges of running a startup and the isolation that can come with being a sole founder. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
It’s a coming-of-age business tale that reads more tech startup than furniture manufacturer. More than two decades ago, Lovesac began as a zealous idea in Shawn Nelson’s parents’ basement. As of June, the company filed an IPO with a company market capitalization of more than $250 million. In this interview, Nelson revisits the merchandising mistakes, bankruptcy filing, and painful lessons learned along the way. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Whether it’s preserving his iconic mannequin label or curating his next gallery exhibition, Ralph Pucci leads by one rule: “If everyone’s going left, I’m going right.” It worked in 1985, when Pucci successfully debuted the collection of designer Andrée Putman with no industry experience, and it continues to work today, as the company now boasts galleries in New York, Los Angeles and Miami. In this week’s episode, Pucci takes us through the remarkable timeline of Ralph Pucci International and reveals his visual merchandising secrets. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Driven by KPIs and constant product launches, Schumacher operates more like a 128-year-old startup than a legacy brand. That’s no coincidence, explains Schumacher CEO Timur Yumusaklar and Creative Director Dara Caponigro in this week’s episode. The venerated fabric brand, which houses greats from Frank Lloyd Wright and Josef Frank to Miles Redd in its archive, remains confident in it’s identity yet understands that moving with the times is essential. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Before becoming CEO of 1stdibs, David Rosenblatt spent more than a decade heading up an internet company that, in 2008, sold to Google for $3.2 billion. It’s no surprise that one of his first moves as CEO of 1stdibs was to upgrade the technology platforms. In 2016, he overhauled the business model to a commission one (from a monthly fee) and grew the offerings to include more new and custom, which he says represents the biggest opportunity. In this episode, he shares how he uses data to inform his decisions and why it’s working. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Campion Platt believes China is the land of opportunity for interior designers and furniture manufacturers—but only for the next 10 years. In an exclusive story in the summer issue of Business of Home, the designer unveiled his collaboration with a major Chinese developer on a 10.7-million-square-foot complex comprised of a luxury design center, accredited design school, performing arts center, and more. Tune in as Platt reveals how he got involved—and why it may be in other best interest to follow suit.
Rob Royer launched Interior Define online in 2014, offering direct-to-consumer, customizable sofas at a middle-market price point. Veteran insight and early investment capital from Bonobos founder (and Royer’s brother-in-law) Andy Dunn helped the Chicago-based company gain early momentum among consumers and designers. Today, Interior Define, which has since expanded its custom offerings to multiple product furnishing categories, is on track to triple its sales for the third year in a row. The growth has some industry players questioning: Can this model work at the higher end? This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Fashion in the 1960s was not unlike the interior design scene is today. When Oscar de la Renta moved to the big apple from Paris, most clothing labels carried the names of manufacturers. “The designers were doing all the work in the back but getting no credit ... it was a very important transition time when the designers, the creators, came into their own,” he said in an interview with Bunny Williams at the Design Leadership Network Summit in 2014. In this archival episode, the two iconic figures discuss what it takes to build a legacy brand, how to channel panic into creativity and the why collaboration is critical. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
IKEA is the only furniture brand that is truly global, notes Petrus Palmér, founder of modern furniture brand Hem. The designer-turned-entrepreneur sees white space for high-end brands to reach global scale, and is growing Hem with that in mind. Hem was among the first to sell direct to consumer, disrupting the traditional structure for furniture distribution and catching the attention of Fab.com, which acquired it in 2014. Palmér bought it back in 2016, and took investment from Vitra in 2016. This year, he grew the business by 135%, to $6 million in revenue. In this episode he shares how “resimercial” has become a sweet spot for Hem and why companies like Facebook, Uber and Pinterest offices are outfitted with his furniture. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Architect-turned entrepreneur Jean Brownhill has raised more than $8 million in venture capital to grow Sweeten, a general contractor match-making service that facilitated nearly a billion dollars in services this year. As one of 26 African-American female entrepreneurs in the U.S. to raise more than $1 million in VC funding, she emphasizes that raising venture capital doesn’t equal success. The goal is to build a big company that scales, and helps millions of people. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Holly Hunt made headlines four years ago when she sold her eponymous company to Knoll for $95 million. But it’s never been about the money for the Texas-born designer, who started her business as a recently-divorced mother of three boys in 1983—without "a big hairy plan." She built what was then a new concept: a multi-line showroom, bringing on makers like Carl Springer, Jim Thompson and Rose Tarlow before designing and manufacturing her own line. In this episode, she shares the ups and downs of the last 30 years—from designer Christian Liagre's departure to adjusting to life post-acquisition, and what the future holds. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
It's fitting that Maxwell Ryan was a teacher for seven years prior to founding Apartment Therapy. He’s now teaching readers—20 million of them—how to live beautifully and happily. By featuring homes that are “juicy, lived-in, and accessible,” he appeals to the “broad middle”—a lot of people with a little to spend—and is the go-to for Millennials who love decorating. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Crans Baldwin reflects on 30 years running to-the-trade companies such as Donghia and Dedar. Now, after starting his own consulting outfit, he is on the road talking to designers and hearing about their struggles and successes firsthand. In this episode, he outlines the current problems facing the industry (design centers on the whole aren’t working) and offers solutions (more road reps). This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
With stints at McKinsey, Google and Birchbox, Maiden Home founder Nidhi Kapur has applied her digital brand-building skills to upholstery—sofas and chairs. On this week’s episode, she shares the good, the bad and the ugly of creating a direct-to-consumer custom furniture company—from sourcing and product development to marketing. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Modern design is at John Edelman’s core: Andy Warhol did the graphics for his parents’ leather company; he cultivated a renowned Milo Baughman collection; and as CEO of Design Within Reach, he is ensuring that authentic modern design endures. Edelman shares how his parent’s business (which evolved from door-to-door snakeskin sales to purveyors of water buffalo hides to a global luxury textile company—and plenty of stints in between) lead him to the world of interior design—first at Edelman Leather which he sold to Knoll and now to DWR which he sold to Herman Miller after rescuing it from the brink of financial ruin. Plus, hear his impassioned thoughts on knock-offs and what DWR is doing to fight them. This episode is sponsored by Fuigo.
Maury Riad’s connection to the trade goes back decades—from running Fortuny, the storied Italian fabric brand his family owns, to Fuigo, the design management software and shared workspace he co-founded in 2016. His vision for the industry, which he likes to call “To the Trade Trade 2.0,” includes making the interior design process more transparent in its pricing and business models. This week, he chats about how the trade has become devalued in the digital world and how this can be reversed through collaboration, organization and community-building.
Designer Mat Sanders jokes that his design business launched with a ceramic middle finger. Scratch beneath the surface of his playful sensibility—which is reflected in his personality, interior designs and product lines—and you’ll find an ambitious business plan backed by a clear vision (and some anonymous funding). The Consort co-founder chats about how mid-budget customers are underserved, why boutique design services are hard to scale, and how he’s planning to conquer the design world by addressing both problems. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
Home furnishings brand maven Christiane Lemieux chats about her fast furniture endeavor, The Inside, and the other companies she founded along the way. From growing up in Canada, to launching her first company and selling it to Wayfair, Lemieux shares her insider knowledge of the furniture business and where she thinks it is going. Plus, find out how she thinks consumers will be investing in their homes and how the trade can keep up with their demands. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
Homepolish co-founder Noa Santos champions interior designers and creates transparency in an infamously opaque industry. Santos shares how Homepolish has evolved over its five years into a design platform, how it’s taking on big-budget, full-service renovations, and how it matches clients with contractors and architects. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.
Beth Brenner, chief revenue officer of Domino Media Group, shares her firsthand experience of the founding of Domino magazine, diving deep into its cult-like following, sudden fall and recent reincarnation. She shares how the brand continues to grow in an ever-changing media landscape and the importance of brick-and-mortar. Plus, find out what it’s like to have a Condé Nast bigwig as your dad. This episode is sponsored by High Point Market.