In the movement to support original design, retailers hold a key role: they are the bridge between manufacturers and consumers, bringing designs from the production floor to people’s homes. To find out more, we asked our member Soft Square to tell us about being a retailer that supports original design.
Tell us a bit about how you got started in the design world.
We first started selling furniture out of a small warehouse. We gradually took steps into expanding the ever-evolving Soft Square. To be in the design business, you have to have a passion for what you do along with tenacity and grit. Modern furniture & timeless design is something we have always loved.
How do you choose which designs you want to represent in your store?
When we go to Milan, Paris or Cologne for trade shows, we must always consider our clients & what makes sense for our market. We are very meticulous with the brands we bring into our store and they have to be original designs. The quality of the product is one of the most important aspects. At the end of the day, we only choose what we love. When clients come in the store they can see the passion behind each carefully selected item.
In your experience, what are some common misconceptions consumers have about authentic design?
One of the misconceptions is that people think they can get a similar item for a lesser price. When you buy a knock-off, for instance, it is not going to be the same quality as the original and won’t last as long. It’s worth paying a bit more and having the original piece, which will wear better and longer.
How do you educate your customers about the value of original design?
When you purchase a Fritz Hansen Egg Chair, for example, not only are you buying an original designer piece, you’re also purchasing a handcrafted quality piece that will keep its worth years from now. It’s something you can pass on to your kids. Original design is not only timeless in design, but also does not lose its value over time like a counterfeit does.
Searching an iconic brand online often brings you to a knock-off site. How do you combat that?
By having a store with original modern furniture — clients can see and touch the difference when they come into our store. We have seen too many people get burned with knock-off online purchases.
Soft Square is a Florida-based contemporary design store for the modern enthusiast and a one-of-a-kind resource focused on creating home environments that inspire and revolutionize. Learn more about them here.