When I founded my business around 30 yrs ago, my hope was to take the retailing of fabrics out of the typical dusty-bin school of marketing and present textiles in a setting that did justice to their illustrious past. After all , tapestries had been found in ancient Egypt and have been adorning and insulating castle walls throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and were considered works of art in their own right. Centuries later, a fun family of entrepreneurs named ‘Medici’ would help finance the fabric industry and propel Europe into the forefront of the worlds finest textile weaving. With all this in mind, I wanted to show fabrics in ways commensurate with their distinguished heritage.
I developed a stand system the would allow the bolts to be stood upright in colour groups through out the store, that could inspire my clients to reach out and become part of them. I then used these textile groupings as a back drop to show case antiques, pillows and furniture settings, always colour grouped to pique my customers imagination.
Bolts that were hung on racks the traditional way, were also grouped by colour, and each bin was then bordered with a wall rack of matching tassle trimmings and bandings. It was also decided early on, that instead of the usual renting or charging for cuttings of cloth, we would cut free samples of anything that our customers felt inspired by and then using our staff’s design background, to include additional coordinate options and trim matches .
All in all, I feel this re-invention of the typical fabric store has brought my clients closer to feeling connected to the design experience and shows Department of Interiors to be a fabric store that is truly ‘cut from a different cloth’.