Collective Form Brings an European Accent to US ShowroomsAuthor:Mary Jo Bowling
For the past five years Collective Form has been bringing the best of European home furnishings to showrooms from San Francisco to Los Angeles to New York City.
The American company buys goods from European design houses and places them in showrooms here and in Canada. “Our focus is to have everyone work on their strengths: Our partner showrooms will focus on promotion and sales, our European design houses will focus on new product designs and production,” says Will Nguyen, co-owner of Collective Form. “We act as conductors to keep everything moving along. In the end, if we all work on our strengths, then the rest will fall into place.”
The Isadora chair and pouf from the Agrippa Collection.
The Collective Form team says there are many benefits for showrooms. For one thing, the company establishes a universal pricing system, which prevents undercutting. Another perk: showrooms face a reduced financial risk. “Traditionally, showroom owners would take on the risk of paying for inventory and stocking their showrooms with products during their European buying trips,” says co-owner Aden Lima. “With us, when dealing with a new brand, they may take a more conservative buy and only show a few pieces from a collection to gauge its success in their market.”
Collective Form also acts as a liasion between Northern American showrooms and European manufacturers. “We work in tandem with North American sales teams for all things related to custom quotes, order management, marketing, public relations and logistics,” says Lima. “Our services allow the showroom team to focus on building client relationships, while we provide the back end support.”
The Fusion sofa from Mariani.
The company favors small, family-owned brands with a distinctive heritage. “We love brands that have a unique point of view with an emphasis on continuing the time-honored tradition of artisanal hand-finished quality,” says Nguyen. “Having visited the factories, we value the passion and pride each artisan takes when producing the designs.”
A chandelier from Serip Lighting.
Some of those lines include Serip Lighting from Portugal, Mariani from Italy, Agrippa Collection and Casa Desus from Spain. The principals cite Serip Lighting—a company that emphasizes organic forms—as their most successful brand in North America.
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