To the trade??
I am a lover of interior decor. It is something I have loved and been interested in since I was in high school. I grew up in a very modern house that had a living room with two deep red walls mirroring each other, a thick purple shag carpet, a glass sculptured Pace table that centered the room with an l-shaped white boucle couch that wrapped around it with a funky white leather chair that sat across from it. The carpet that ran through the house including the stairway that had hanging steps was a deep red. It was quite mod.
Companies the provide the rugs and textiles have always been “to the trade” meaning that a consumer can not walk in and buy 10 yards of fabric to redo their chair and get the “30%” discount that is given to designers. Not exactly sure why that began but decorators usually get paid by the hour including a percentage of the amount of furniture and product they buy. It is generally 30% so the industry fuels each other.
I have never understood it. If a designer buys $20 of furniture or $500k, the hours of ordering it and installing it are the exact same. Now with sites like 1stDibs and others, the design industry is starting to change. Decorators are having more clients want to pay a fixed fee for their services. Decorator marketplaces have emerged so everyone can use a decorator. Pinterest has become a design heaven.
It is time for the middle person, who is essentially the decorator, not be the only person who can buy from companies that have only sell “to the trade”. They could reprice all of their inventory at the price it should be, aka 30% off, and sell directly to consumers who want to buy 10 yards of fabric. I am not sure if there is a new disruptive model out there that is in start-up mode or has already launched but I believe it is about leaders of these companies reinventing their model. Just like retail has to reinvent itself, the companies in the design world should be reinvented too.
There are too many start-ups who are playing in that field putting pressure on the big companies to change direction. It is time.