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Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
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kavi Offline
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Post: #1
Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
Hi,

Basically I started this endeavor about 1.5 years ago when I flew to South Asia to source furniture that I had researched from home. Most of their designs were very ethnic/old fashioned but I managed to find some good designs and got a few samples made. I went over there 4 times for one month each as the supply side needed work.

I got a lease on a shop about one month ago and my products arrived two weeks ago. 1 week ago I put up the sign and went and 'opened' the shop this Thursday. I had an Indian couple come in on that day and they said they want to order 3 sofas. I had quite a few other Indians/Pakis come in since then saying they really like the stuff and might buy/order something.

My plan from the start was to push this onto UK Indian/Pakis who are Middle Class and probably over 35 with good taste. With that in mind I got a shop in a mostly Asian area of East London and as I didnt want to pay loads and do a long lease I am currently in a somewhat working class area that I am afraid might impede my early growth.

So my plan was to get to this stage and then maybe look for some help as it can be difficult to grow the business by oneself. I thought it was better to focus on the Indian/Pakistani market initially but I may have been wrong in that. Yesterday a middle aged white guy was looking into the shop a little, I thought he was an EE immigrant so just went to see what he was looking at, when I went out and came back in he followed behind and as soon as he got in he was like "Wow, amazing furniture".

The English guy was like yeah this stuff is really good, he really liked the wood, the hand carvings, the stylings etc. He asked some prices, said he was doing his house up, gladly took my leaflet, asked my name and for my phone number, shook my hand and walked away.

I have had mostly very positive reactions from the 10 or so people who have walked in. But I am not in a great location and need to do more to get the stuff out in front of people. I think the MIddle Class/Upper Middle English market would do very well. Indians/Pakis push hard on the prices and are difficult to please. I think the English would appreciate it more and ofcourse there are more of them in my target market range (35+).

Currently I have about 5 sofas, 2 beds and 2 chairs. Not really many items to sell but would need to take orders. Sofas would be the best seller, but the beds and chairs look good and have impact so will attract people. Sofas are priced at £2000 for a set (3+2) but the deal I done already was for 1700. I think I can raise it to £2500 because there is no competition and people who like it will pay that much. It's just harder to get this from the Asians. Even a single £2000 sofa doesnt have as much wow factor as the two we price at £2500.

This stuff has huge impact when people see it. There is good market out there for people who like solid wood hand-carved (antique type) furniture with contemporary designs and fabrics. The people dont have much choice so they seem really happy with our offerings.

My interests are in old-school things. I like design and art. I want to give people something the big-box retailers cant compete with. Interestingly, the middle aged man is the type of person who really likes what we have. Women like it too, but men tend to show a lot of respect for the wood, the hand carvings, the uniqueness etc.

Would be cool if I could find someone to get involved and help get this to more of a White English type of market. There should be sufficient room in the margins, as we have no competition and really interesting products. I would like to see how more White English people react to it, that one guy was no exception I think. Stuff looks much better IRL than in pics (Professional photos are expensive and need studios etc). I want someone who thinks the stuff is good and would be happy to get more exposure for it.

Basically anyone who is interested in good (old-school wooden) furniture would come and take a look at my stuff and then think about how they can get more exposure for it, possibly take some orders and help me get the ball rolling. I have some ideas too about what can be done. Possible scenario in the short term, if someone can take these somewhere and display them for a day or so and over time get 10 orders (at £3000 an order) they can make £10K. Maybe the person has family/friends who are interested or can promote it online or whatever.

I just dont want to be stuck in little shop in some corner of london only having local working/middle class Indians see my products when the product has much wider appeal and ideally in the long term I would wish to see it grow to a few shops in the UK.

PM if interested or reply if you have advice/ideas.
04-10-2017 08:32 AM
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Ray Carlton Offline
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Post: #2
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
(04-10-2017 08:32 AM)kavi Wrote:  I just dont want to be stuck in little shop in some corner of london only having local working/middle class Indians see my products when the product has much wider appeal and ideally in the long term I would wish to see it grow to a few shops in the UK.

PM if interested or reply if you have advice/ideas.

Is your shop on Instagram?
Is your shop on Facebook?
Do you have an online store?

I don't see a reason why you need to be stuck in the neighbourhood.

Mannbibel - Meistgelesener Artikel: Dominiere deine Freundin im Bett
Die Rückkehr der Männlichkeit - a german blog written by Ray
04-10-2017 08:51 AM
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kavi Offline
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Post: #3
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
My shop is more like a boutique. I'm working on the online presence now but I think there is more impact when people see it IRL.
04-10-2017 08:55 AM
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Guitarman Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
You need a website and as said above social media. You have a niche product and just having a shop premesis isn't enough.
04-10-2017 09:26 AM
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kavi Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
OK, I am working on the website and social media stuff. But how will people find my website, am I just relying on social media and google etc? Social media tends to be dominated by women focused businesses from my experience and possible restaurants etc? I dont see many customers who like stuff seeing or learning about it from social media. I am doing that, the problem also is that my photos are not very professional and I dont really have enough to made Instagram etc look professional.

A website is important but I do think Social Media is overrated.
04-10-2017 09:37 AM
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kavi Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
The thing is my stuff is unique so when people see it if they like they tend to talk about it quite a bit and I reckon would talk to others about it. Seeing photos on social media just wont have the same impact, hence why I have a desire to get it in front of people and talk about it, cos it gets a reaction and gets people talking.

I think then those people could follow it or like on Social Media. I really like to get it in front of Middle Aged men ( a market most companies tend to ignore) and they are not the biggest users of social media anyway.
(This post was last modified: 04-10-2017 09:41 AM by kavi.)
04-10-2017 09:39 AM
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H1N1 Offline
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Post: #7
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
Personally I think social media marketing is a big con for most products.

What you need is a story and some free PR. Start with your local papers, something like the Tottenham Herald, or whatever it's called for your area. People need shit to write about. Give them a ready made story with a unique twist that means they can justify printing it as news. Try to get as much coverage across London in papers that target your demographic. Something in Metro or the Evening Standard would be the holy grail. PR is the way to go. Think of an angle and try to get someone to print a story.

You drive traffic with PR. Fliers could be huge for you. Find someone you can pay minimum wage and get him out stuffing leaflets through letterboxes of likely houses.

This is cheap/free marketing that can quickly yield good returns.
04-10-2017 09:44 AM
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kavi
kavi Offline
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Post: #8
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
Yeah, thats a good idea and I am currently doing a little flyering. Will do it properly once website is done.

I am thinking to hire a van, get a few sofas in there and take it to some place (shopping centre, market, something like a pop-shop) and just let people see it in person. I need to know what kind of locations to use for that.

Because people dont really know about this stuff, it is hard to get a real idea of it from flyers, online, photos etc.
04-10-2017 09:47 AM
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Troller Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines
Open a website and make international deliveries. You are limiting your customers to a neighborhood when it should be the world. Make it easy for people to buy. Once my wife ordered a lamp from France. They had no customer service. Were so surprised somebody wanted to buy online. They only had an email. The lamp came damaged btw.

The trend is shopping malls closing. Not the other way around. You should also go to fairs.
04-10-2017 11:20 AM
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Ethan Hunt Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Anyone in the UK/London area want to get involved in my unique furniture busines





There the sort of folks you want to be selling to.

Women with more money than taste who'll buy almost anything if it's expensive.
04-10-2017 12:39 PM
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