113 – Stacey Tiveron fills a gap in the market with Steelyard
On this episode of The Chaise Lounge, Nick chats with Stacey Tiveron from Steelyard. She shares her background from TODL to Steelyard and the gap Steelyard fills in the market. Then, Farah Merhi joins Nick for the second installment of her three part series on personal branding. This time, Farah talks about working with brands.
What is Steelyard and how did it get started
Stacey Tiveron is dialing in from Florida and enjoying some 80 degree weather. She describes Steelyard as the connector between professional designers, architects, and facility managers and the brands that serve them. Through her own work experience as a design researcher, she is able to understand the needs of a professional buyer. When Stacey was employed at a design firm in the 90’s, she worked on residential, commercial, and hospitality projects. She managed all of the resources for the projects and saw how fragmented the industry was.
Stacey soon realized how much time and money was wasted on product research and specification, so she built interactive catalogues for the Internet to help designers become more profitable.
While other businesses with similar offerings have failed, Steelyard (previously TODL) has succeeded. This success can be attributed to approaching things from the designers’ perspective as well as employing the appropriate experience and background. Stacey has brought on a partner with a software and channel distribution background. Rather than attempting to disrupt the market, Steelyard wants to support and empower the industry to work together and make everyone more profitable by removing redundancies and wasted time.
What Steelyard looks like today
Steelyard is an interactive catalogue at a product level focusing on a median price point up to luxury items. With over 400 brands and 100,000+ products, Steelyard continues to grow on a weekly basis. The brands want to best serve designers and create repeat customers and thus, are held to specific standards.
Steelyard offers products in the FF&E category – furniture, fabrics, and equipment, also described as the finish side of a project. Steelyard is also able to connect designers with brands via showrooms, dealers and reps, and even corporate offices depending on the company.
Learn more about Steelyard at their website or call 1-800-631-1111.
Farah on working with brands
Farah Merhi is a designer, stylist, social media influencer, and founder of Inspire Me Home Decor. In this episode, Farah touches on working with brands and offered the following words of wisdom: “Focus on your goals, objectives, and moving forward. Don’t focus on what others are doing.”
In Farah’s role, she has a team to help with Inspire Me Home Decor. While brands reach out to her on a regular basis, her team also finds brands that are a good fit to pitch projects to. The resulting collaborations can come in a couple of forms like licensing (creating your own designs through a brand) and sponsorships (endorsement and advertising for the brand).
Rather than focusing on the size of your audience, Farah recommends being creative and unique. You following does matter ultimately, but if you don’t stand out initially, it won’t matter. Farah also suggests being transparent with your audience, being consistent with your personal brand, and partnering with brands that speak to your design aesthetic.
If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com. Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business. See ya!