6 designers share their thoughts on sourcing products online

The pandemic has made us all more comfortable working online, but are designers really looking to the web for product sourcing? We asked six pros—Layton Campbell, Iantha Carley, Harry heissmann, Christine jahan, Travis London and Ana Claudia schultz– whether they prefer online or in-person procurement.

Travis LondonVenjhamin reyes

Value driven
“I love sourcing from e-commerce and digital brands, and spend hours doing it. A lot of companies, like Anthropologie, have such great home items but can’t fit all of them in their stores, so the inventory online is huge. Also, if it is a direct-to-consumer brand, that means it has no physical maintenance costs, and it shows in the price, so you get great value. -price. I’m all about personalization, which is the true form of luxury, so I’m going to find an item in stock online cheaply and then re-upholster it to personalize it for the project and the client. —Travis London, Studio London, Miami and Los Angeles

Harry heissmann

Harry heissmannCourtesy of Harry Heissmann

The right combination
“Right now, I prefer a combination. During the lockdown, I found myself working remotely on different bathrooms. i love working with [Portland, Oregon–based tile and stone brand] Ann Sacks, as a sales staff, especially my dedicated salesperson, is always very helpful. The initial selections were made online, but as I always say, you have to touch and feel – and sometimes feel – the material. Only a sample of actual size conveys the scale, presence and true color of something. It cannot be done online. —Harry Heissmann, Harry Heissmann Inc., New York

Ana Claudia Schultz

Ana Claudia SchultzCourtesy of Ana Claudia Schultz

Time saver
“Electronic commerce has always worked for us. Before the pandemic, I was showing almost at least half the time because of my clients’ work schedules. We also send our proposals before the meeting, so they have time to review and discuss the selections. ” —Ana Claudia Schultz, Ana Claudia Design, New York

Layton Campbell

Layton CampbellCourtesy of Layton Campbell

Loyal customer
“I generally remain loyal to brands with which I have had a relationship for many years. Having said that, I have used ecommerce brands like 1stDibs and Etsy to fill in some big gaps in the projects. [But overall], I think the level of confidence in having worked directly with the brands I use is more comforting for both the client and the designer. —Layton Campbell, JLayton Interiors, Charlotte, NC

Iantha Carley

Iantha CarleyCourtesy of Iantha Carley

The best of both
“I buy from both. It is important for me to offer tailor-made design and services to my clients, so I am always on the lookout for new lines of furniture and accessories. Social media has been a great resource for identifying new e-commerce products and suppliers. —Iantha Carley, Iantha Carley Interiors, Silver Spring, Maryland

Christine jahan

Christine jahanCourtesy of Christine Jahan

All access
“One of my biggest time savers is taking advantage of online trading platforms. Scrolling through products online makes it much easier to refine my search, no matter what I’m looking for. I already have a lot of samples in my office, but when I don’t have any, I can receive samples right at my office, sometimes the next day. I’m always on the lookout for innovative products and different pieces, so looking outside of traditional brands is something I do a lot. I always feel like in-person showrooms are extremely valuable, but having the road online makes things so much better in every way. I feel like I have access to anything and everything I want. —Christine Jahan, Christine Jahan Designs, Glendora, CA

Reception photo: Living room by Studio Londo | Photo by Venjhamin Reyes

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