Homegirl London pays homage to Made.com. With their mantra “beautiful furniture without the high street mark up,” this online retailer brings you desirable, designer furniture at favourable prices. Made.com not only delivers on the style front, the also team engage with the audience to rate quality and price of products before they go on sale. Made.com is the brainchild of 30 year-old serial entrepreneur Ning Li (CEO) who co-founded the firm with Julien Callède and Chloe Macintosh. Through the entrepreneurial vision of Ning Li, Made.com has transformed the way the UK buys its furniture. Customers are invited, to engage with the growing Made.com team (all 60 of them) via social media and their voting section to rate the quality and pricing of the product before the piece is available to buy. Through crowdsourcing, Made.com delivers practical and fashionable pieces of furniture. Being purely online means there are no warehousing costs, overheads or inventory as everything is made to order eliminating any excess stock. The multi-award winning Made.com strives to offer the best to UK home buyers and all for dramatically reduced prices; often up to 70%. Chloe Macintosh and Julien Callède source and combine international manufacturers with global designers to create exclusive and new products to Made.com released twice a week. Made.com is constantly on the lookout for new designers, they have worked with over 20 world-wide established designers and artists including Ai Weiwei, Damien Hirst, John Stefanidis, Steuart Padwick and the Chapman Brothers. Ning Li, CEO of Made.com kindly answered a few questions for me …
Q: What inspired you to set up Made.com?
A: The original inspiration behind Made.com was when I went to purchase a sofa a few years ago. I couldn’t quite believe that stores can charge £3000 for a piece of furniture that I had seen being manufactured at a fraction of the price in a friend’s factory. I decided to make a stand against typical furniture retail giants and offer the public designer furniture at a fraction of the usual high street price.
Q: What gave you the idea to crowd source furniture?
A: We wanted a way for the public to interact with Made.com and have more control over what they see on the site. After all, the public are the best people to decide what we retail!
Q: What have been your top three best sellers?
A: There are many but I’d say particular stand-outs have been the Stroller Desk (designed by Steuart Padwick), Jonah Collection (designed by James Harrison and made in the UK) and the Bouji Chairs (see below for images of the items Ning Li has mentioned).
Q: What’s your favourite piece of furniture from the current range?
A: I see particular qualities and innovation behind every piece on the site.
Q: Will you be working with any new designers in 2012?
A: Chloe Macintosh (Co-founder and Head of Collections) says – new designers we are talking to include Jimmie Martin www.jimmiemartin.com, Caroline Davidson from http://fruitfarmfabrics.co.uk/caroline-davidson.html, Catherine Cazalet www.catherinecazaletdesigns.co.uk, as well as Allegra Hicks.
The Stroller desk designed by award-winning Steuart Padwick, £349
The Jonah collection is designed by rising British design star James Harrison. Chairs are £399, two seater sofas £499, three seater sofas £599
The Bouji collection comprises of boudoir-style chairs, £189 and ottoman £169