A new website scours the world for great designers, enlists the aid of the community to select their best creations and then sources only the highest quality manufacturers to make those designs a reality.
In some ways, furniture is a more important choice than fashion because you have to live with it. “It’s like getting a roommate,” describes StyleFactory’s CMO George Casey, “It has to engage you directly and hopefully you’re going to have it for many years.”
StyleFactory, which launched in June 2010, operates very much like a social media savvy, fashionable e-commerce site but for the world of design objects. Online democracy is essential to StyleFactory’s production and sales experience. Their ‘My Factory’ section offers a mix of renderings and finished products that community members can vote “make it” or “drop it,” then share it on Facebook and Twitter. StyleFactory then develops the most popular products sourcing from the best U.S. manufacturers, which can be purchased in their “shop” section.
In comparison to Design Within Reach, which Casey describes as “the 800lb Gorilla of design furniture” StyleFactory brings newer European, Scandinavian and American designs from a boutique setting to an online market. Design Within Reach, which started as a catalog business and then went online rests its reputation on the classics like Herman Miller and the Eames chair. So not only are they hardly “within reach,” but they aren’t pioneering new design.
StyleFactory looks into more new designers than most high-end design companies, e.g. Droog. “We’re always looking for new designs. We’re trying to give exposure to as many great designers as we can.” Designers can submit designs directly through StyleFactory’s website or their Facebook page.