New Canadian DTC furniture maker goes online
VANCOUVER – A new Canadian high-end furniture maker has entered the market is using a direct-to-consumer approach to introduce Circus, its first collection of seating products for both residential and contract uses. Based here, EDITS describes itself as a boutique design brand that streamlines the buying process and addresses issues of affordability and accessibility.
After spending the past 17 years working for well-known industry names such as Design Within Reach (DWR), Vancouver’s Bensen Furniture and EQ3, EDITS founder and Circus designer Richard Trory rolled out his virtual store in early December.
In announcing the launch, Trory noted the collection’s design embodies strength, balance, and choreography and was inspired by a multitude of influences ranging from the Bauhaus to the Bouroullecs. The Circus collection fuses the rationalization and simplification of modernism with post-modernist attitudes that embrace design as a beacon of intellect and emotion.
“Overall, I really wanted to make a statement about how chairs should be made in the 21st century, with new approaches to materials and techniques,” Trory explains. “Circus is a very elegant collection that is industrially, yet sustainably produced, more robust than what has come before, with references to modernist nostalgia and new-century minimalism.”
The process taking the Circus collection from the drawing board to the consumer was also meticulously designed, including the adoption of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) approach, to ensure the company had a cost-effective supply chain that would provide EDITS target customer – the contemporary design lover – with an affordable and easily accessible product.
“The big-name design brands take an uncompromising approach to curating their collections and executing a designer’s idea, but the brand experience often gets watered down at the showroom level, and that kind of design-forward attitude is largely missing in the middle-market,” Trory maintains. “Manufacturing high-quality products is always an expensive process, but it’s actually the layers of distribution and sales overhead associated with traditional retail channels that pushes pricing four to six times above production costs.”
He also believes the combination of high-tech parts manufacturing; handcrafted assembly and the global availability of a DTC platform will enable EDITS to reduce lead times and produce substantial cost savings over more traditional challenges.
“The Internet is the great equalizer that allows small, independent companies to compete on the same footing as global giants,” says Trory. “That opens up a new avenue for small brands to do exceptional things that are more affordable and as equally visible as big brand designs.”
In addition to contemporary design lovers, EDITS is also targeting architects and interior designers needing to specify seating projects for their own projects, whether it’s a home, or a hotel, restaurant, bar, café or an office or other and workspace.
On the EDITS web site, these trade professionals will find streamlined specification sheets, 3D models and other user-friendly tools as well as simplified online purchasing, proactive order tracking, and knowledgeable customer service.
Starting out small
As a small start-up competing in a high-end market space, Trory said EDITS decided to launch with just a single collection of what he describes as “fantastic chairs” – including the classic Circus Wood, the fully upholstered Circus Soft, and the elegant, high-backed Circus Stool. Combining meticulous workmanship with significant investments in time, engineering, and production tooling, the resulting collection is distinguished by its comfort, utility, and aesthetics.
The collection is assembled by EDITS’ main production partner in Montreal from components sourced from some of the world’s most reputable suppliers, including sustainably and economically produced FSC-certified White Ash, 100% recycled aluminum, and eco-friendly finishes and fabrics. Its simple aesthetics conceal subtle design complexities, including innovative bending technology and sophisticated robotic woodworking. Sculpted seats, constructed from the highest-quality wood selected for grain and color consistency, provide unparalleled rigidity courtesy of an embedded aluminum seat plate, which also prevents warping or cracking.
The collection’s symmetrical Y-shaped legs are made of high-pressure die-cast aluminum and can support up to 300kg. They also meet the residential and commercial test standards set by BIFMA (the Business & Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association).
Each model is available with standard wood finishes of natural clear, black stain, and Japan-Red stain, while the collection’s frames are available with silky smooth white or black matte finishes, or with a flawless, polished mirror finish of exposed aluminum. Circus Soft comes upholstered with high-quality Kvadrat textiles from Denmark and is available in soft grey, linen, forest green, and Japan red fabric, impeccably tailored to fit like a glove. Custom fabric and RAL-color paint options are also available by special order. Standard delivery time is three weeks for quantities of less than 24 pieces and no more than eight weeks for larger orders.
Trory told Home Goods Online the company is currently looking to add two additional seating collections to its line-up sometime during the first half of 2020 although he concedes the launch is subject to the market’s response to Circus. While the sales and marketing is focused on the architectural and design community, there have been some discussions with retailers and sales reps which may bear fruit in the not too distant future.