New ChapterAuthor:Lindsey Shook
Located inside the San Francisco design center for over ten years, iconic San Francisco showroom Hewn just announced they soon will be relocating to a 10,000-square-foot, street-front property on Kansas street. In addition to the big move, they recently launched an innovative new app that will make sourcing their showroom much more efficient. Here, we share our conversation with co-founders Jeff Holt and Peter West about what inspired their move, how the app will revolutionize their customer service experience and more.
-Hewn has been located inside the SFDC for years, what inspired the move? (Jeff Holt) Indeed, we have been in the SFDC for 11 years, and undertaken three expansions. Peter and I have actually been looking at spaces outside of the design center for a couple of years. The pandemic forever changed the patterns of how designers source and purchase products. And, designers are much more likely to use a mix of trade-only resources alongside retail resources to complete their projects. This is a big shift from even five years ago. We felt it important to make our showroom more easily accessible and user-friendly and hopefully introduce a whole new audience to HEWN.
–Do you feel design centers will always be a part of the industry? (Peter West) Absolutely! But, the industry is changing. Take L.A. for example, the majority of trade showrooms are not located in the Pacific Design Center, but rather on La Cienega and Robertson Streets. And while our new location is not in the San Francisco Design Center building proper, we are only one block away and still within the Design District, which comprises four city blocks. The Design District is home to the best showrooms in the city including Coup de’tat, Poliform, Holland and Sherry and Waterworks to name a few. These showrooms exist and thrive with street-facing entrances like HEWN, so for us, the premium price attached to a space in the design center no longer makes sense. Our new location will be much easier to access and allow us to control the customer experience.
-What makes you most excited about opening the new showroom? (Peter West) The ability to serve our customers at a higher level. We control our hours (and after hours!), we have six dedicated parking spaces in the rear of the building and are applying for a 30 minute green ‘pick up zone’ spaces by our front door. Being able to control our customer experience from the moment the HEWN doorman greets and welcomes you in, is very exciting. We collaborated with a world renowned interior designer on a few special areas of the new showroom and are looking forward to implementing their design directive.
-What will you miss most at the SFDC? (Jeff Holt) We will miss seeing colleagues from the other showrooms on a daily basis. These are our friends that we’ve worked alongside for 11 years and have known for even longer! Sadly, it’s been over three years since there has been a restaurant or other concession in the atrium. So, there’s not much to miss from an amenities point-of-view.
–How will the new Hewn app complement the new showroom? (Jeff Holt) The HEWN app is an extension of our brand and shows our commitment to moving our business model forward by understanding and acknowledging the changing needs of our design clientele. With the app, designers can shop and order fabric samples from their offices, and with the new location, pull up in front of our showroom to pick them up. While in the showroom, the app allows designers to shop fabrics without pencil and paper, upload and organize tearsheets and more. We can communicate directly with our designers using the community feature. This is our very own social media platform within the app. The HTV feature will have loads of relevant content along with all of the designer “House Calls” videos we created during the pandemic.
-Will there be any new lines or artisans featured at the new showroom? (Peter West) Yes, we have several exciting brands coming on-board, but we’re not quite ready to share. We will be announcing these additions closer to our move date…August 31, 2023! Stay tuned and download the HEWN app at The App Store and Google Play.
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