In our ongoing online feature, MILIEU editors spoke with Courtney Hardage, Marketing Director for Jerry Pair & Associates, a well-established, multi-generational company, with showrooms and products for the design trade. We were thrilled to sit down with Hardage and learn more, especially about their online venture.
WHY DID JERRY PAIR FEEL IT WAS THE TIME TO LAUNCH A WEBSITE THAT HIGHLIGHTS NOT ONLY YOUR NAMESAKE LEATHERS, BUT ALSO THE MANY BRANDS YOU REPRESENT IN YOUR SHOWROOM?
Honestly, we made the decision about a year and a half ago to begin importing all of our 35,000-plus products online. It’s been a time-consuming project but an incredibly worthwhile one as well. For us, having all of our products accessible online is not just beneficial, but necessary to the growth and progression of our business. Users can browse and compare over forty-five premium brands on one platform, making it the largest digital product catalog for a multi-line, luxury home furnishings showroom. With the new site, designers can now specify all of our products and brands from anywhere, at any time while still receiving the same personalized attention and detailed follow up from our knowledgeable showroom staff.
DOES YOUR NEW WEBSITE REFLECT THE WAY THE INTERIOR DESIGN INDUSTRY HAS CHANGED, IN TERMS OF THE WAYS CONSUMERS AND DESIGNERS ARE REACHED AND HOW THEY SHOP?
Absolutely. We are in a digital era where consumers (and our clients) are accustomed to shopping online and having instant access to products and information right at their fingertips. The luxury design industry has been slow to adapt to digital endeavors due to a unique set of industry-specific problems like two-tiered pricing or vastly customizable products. But, we cannot continue, much less thrive, without moving forward and embracing the demand for a digital presence. Designers are not only our clients, but also 21st century consumers accustomed to easy and instant online access to products and information. Failing to offer our products online is a real hindrance for companies that will become more crippling as the digital era progresses.
GIVEN THE SCOPE OF YOUR NEW WEBSITE, FABRICS AND LEATHERS REMAIN THE MAIN FEATURES. BUT SINCE TEXTILES ARE VERY TACTILE MATERIALS, HOW WILL BE YOU BE ABLE TO CONVEY THAT INTRINSIC FEATURE ON YOUR WEBSITE?
This is an excellent point to touch on. Although we have a large focus on our digital presence, I feel, within our industry there is - and always will be - a place for tangible products and personalized response. While we provide as much detail as possible on our site, tactile presentation such as memos or showroom samples, as well as excellent customer service to educate designers on the quality, history, and capabilities of our products, remain the backbone of our brand.
Our website’s primary job is to expanded our reach and provide easily accessible information for designers. Having this information available online at any time, from any where, is invaluable while clients are specifying for projects. However, beyond that specifying point, I believe there can also be a desire for a physical sample, and a need for well trained, knowledgeable staff to assist in the order. Combining these features and components enables designers to have an all-encompassing, more efficient, shopping experience.
35,000 ITEMS ON ONE SITE! WHAT ARE SOME TRICKS/SUGGESTIONS YOU OFFER TO CONSUMERS AND DESIGNERS WHO WILL LOG ON TO YOUR NEW WEBSITE?
Between our Florida and Atlanta online catalogs we do have over 35,000 products on the site! While the volume of products can initially sound overwhelming, users are able to quickly narrow down products by type as well as vendor, making it much more manageable to browse. Once the product type or vendor is selected, users can further filter by composition, color, sub-category, usage, and so on. Depending on what you’re in the market for, our filtration system can quickly assist with easily comparing items or narrowing them down. Also, registered site users can utilize our ‘Favorites’ function to save their favorite pieces, or use our email and social links to save and share products.
WHAT DOES LEATHER ACCOMPLISH IN THE HOME THAT NO OTHER MATERIAL CAN?
Leather offers a unique texture and look that is timeless, and inherently luxurious. Whether it’s used for upholstery, handbags, shoes, or car interiors— leather is not only stylish, but it’s sustainable. It’s one of the most durable materials offered, with three times the life span of fabric. It is perfect for interiors due to its resilient characteristics; in addition, its organic, breathable composition will beautifully age and patina over time.
BECAUSE JERRY PAIR IS ONE OF THE BRANDS CONSUMERS AND DESIGNERS LOOK TO FOR INSPIRATION, WHAT ARE SOME TIPS YOU CAN OFFER FOR MAKING ANY HOME INTERIOR A SUCCESSFUL ONE?
Thank you— we’re honored to represent inspiring, fashion-forward brands. A few tips I’d recommend for successful design would be to stay authentic to your style and brand by investing in quality pieces. Designers are often hired for their vision and signature style, so staying authentic to your vision can yield beautiful and original design, no matter the aesthetic. Likewise, investing in quality pieces with dedicated craftsmanship and premium materials will translate well in any space and elevate the interior. Whether your taste is modern or traditional, using high-quality pieces and following your authentic vision, is to me, what defines a timeless and successful interior.
Thank you Courtney for your conversation with MILIEU. To learn more, please visit jerrypair.com.
INTERVIEW BY DAVID MASELLO