Going from Interior Designer to Furniture Brand

January 14, 2017

 

The interior design industry has gone through many changes over the past several years which has lead to interior designers to evolve their business practices to remain successful. With the rise of DIY, huge online retailers, and inspiration sources, interior designers have faced challenges from clients such as wanting to hire a designer for the design concept only and then the client purchase similar home furnishings on their own. Interior designers are determining which services work best for their clientele and venturing into new avenues of income in the industry such as creating their own furniture brand.

 

Off the bat you may be thinking there is no way I will be able to start my own furniture company. At Barnes Custom Upholstery, we believe in your expertise as a designer and building small businesses. You have been working with your clients long enough to know the type of upholstery they fall in love with time and time again so why not only be their source for design concept but also offer them quality upholstered furniture that reflects your creative vision. Below are steps to take to begin a new journey in the design world.

 

Gather Inspiration

Reflect on all of your past clients. What styles and types of upholstered furniture was requested often? Intricate headboards, english arm wing chairs, tufted ottomans? What styles reflect your unique creativity as an interior designer? Gather images from of your past, present, and future through all different types of resources such as your portfolio, magazines, pinterest etc.

 

Create your Business Plan

What do you plan to do and how are you going to do it? What are the crucial elements that will make your furniture brand a success? What is the price point of your pieces for your clientele? Where and how will you sell your furniture to clients? How will you grow your furniture brand? How often will you offer new furniture designs?

 

Consider how your interior design business is currently operating and how you have been successful in customer satisfaction and gaining new clientele. Since interest in interior design has risen significantly online that is an area that should be utilized to ensure success for your new venture. There is nothing wrong with showcasing your work!

 

Design your Core Pieces

After you have looked at your past and planned for the future, you will need to design the pieces to offer in your collection. You can start off on a smaller scale and offer one type of sofa, chair, headboard, and ottoman or if you are ready to take the plunge and dive into a full furniture line. Since you have been in the industry you are familiar with various furniture companies catalogs which indicate standard sizes for different types of furniture.

 

Select a Manufacturer

After you have designed your core pieces the next step is selecting a manufacturer and get a quote on the production cost for each piece. If you have the opportunity to attend the High Point Furniture Market that is an excellent place to meet directly with manufactures that can align with the type of furniture and price point that you are interested in creating.

 

Barnes Custom Upholstery has been working with designers and retailers for over 40 years to bring their designs to life by hand crafting quality furniture in the Old World way with superior frames, 8-way hand tied springs, customizable in-house cushions, and upholsterers with decades of experience all while being “Made in America”. We have built our reputation on quality craftsmanship and commitment to customer service to help you successfully launch your new furniture line. Contact us today at 336.885.7370 or sales@barnescustomshop.com

 

Choose Fabric Supplier

Your manufacturer can usually suggest some great fabric companies or suppliers to work with. For you first furniture line, we recommend for higher ordering volume offering your clients 3 fabric options in more neutral tones and for smaller volume of orders allowing them to choose their own fabric. In any successful partnership you want the excellent communication to ensure orders of fabric are delivered to fabric to your manufacturer in a timely manner to move production along and into your customer’s homes quickly.

 

Have Samples Created

If your budget allows have one of each of your pieces created and sent to your home or retail store in one of your neutral fabrics to give your customers a tangible piece to touch and sit upon. This will also ensure that all communications between you and your manufacturer on the end product have been worked through.

 

Spread the word

Once your new furniture brand has been designed and created into a tangible product you will need to sell it! Tell your friends, previous clients, and network that you have started your own furniture company that reflects the vision and quality you have put into interior design for years.Offering your sample piece at cost to a current client is a savvy way to get photography and a recommendation for your website and social media.

 

People are familiar with buying furniture online and you can sell yours on your website also. Depending on how internet savvy you are, you may want to outsource your marketing efforts to an advertising agency that can assist with growing your online brand and presence.

 

If you want to design your own upholstered furniture line please contact us. Barnes Custom Upholstery has been providing professionally hand crafted upholstered furniture for over 40 years. Join us at the table and let's plan your furniture line together! Call us at 336.885.7370 or email us at sales@barnescustomshop.com.

 

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