Committing to Material & Design Integrity with Selamat Designs
Selamat Designs is a boutique, natural-materials focused product development company offering accent furniture and accessories made with the finest materials and the highest production values and design quality for the price. Selamat original designs are executed by artisan wood workers, weavers, stone cutters and other craftsmen and women, some of whose families have been plying their trade for generations. The results are unique and enduring products of far greater value than mass-produced, off-the-shelf imports. Each piece has a story to tell about origins and resources, about meticulous hand work, about sustaining communities. Selamat Designs shares how they source their artisans, collaborations with Justina Blakeney and Florence Broadhurst, and their relationship with interior designers.
Photography courtesy of Selamat Designs
What’s Selamat’s design mission and inspiration?
Our mission is based in our commitment to material integrity and working with craftspeople who understand the medium and how to use it in innovative ways. Our inspiration comes from so many places: the city we live in, the places we travel to, the things we do and the people we meet. One of the greatest things about living in the Bay Area and frankly traveling the US and the world is that we see how people live and the beautiful things that are part of both everyday life and unique places.
How do you source artisan woodworks, weavers, stone cutters and other craftsmen to execute your designs?
The core of our operations started in Indonesia, working with wood offcuts through a partnership with USAID. We first learned how to take discarded post-manufacturing “waste” and turn these offcuts into products. This is a partnership developed by assessing skills, tooling, finishing, and material familiarity. An equally important part of the process is trust, design integrity, and a willingness to try new things.
What are your most popular product categories?
Well, we sell a lot of chairs! Frankly though, our fastest growing product categories are lighting and case goods.
Tell us about your collaborations with Justina Blakeney, Florence Broadhurst, and any upcoming collaborations you have in your pipeline…
Our first collaboration with Florence Broadhurst was a great way to show our product development skill set, which had always been at the core of our private label business. We get to work with a deep and diverse archive, and the story of Florence Broadhurst, the woman, is beyond belief. She was Madonna and Coco Channel all wrapped into one extraordinary woman. The Florence Broadhurst collection is an ongoing partnership, and we are working on our fourth capsule launch with the Archive coming out in late 2018.
The partnership with Justina Blakeney is fantastic and such a totally different experience. First off, she is a living, breathing, constantly creating force that is passionate about color, texture, and bringing an optimistic worldview to interiors and life. Her team is creative and fearless—the perfect combination from our standpoint. The Justina Blakeney products rely heavily on our expertise with natural materials, taking influences both from the 1970s and from a relaxed, contemporary California lifestyle that loves plants.
How does Selamat value highly personalized service and individual client care?
We are a husband and wife led company, so at Selamat’s core, it’s personal. We know all of our customers either by name or project. Just about all of our sales people work in-house, so everything gets the Selamat touch—from ordering to shipping. We know that we live in a multi-tasking world and sometimes we need to be problem solvers, product finders, or simply just a friendly voice on the phone. We know our products well, and think our product knowledge and understanding of the manufacturing process helps us talk to customers about the right product for them.
What’s your market strategy?
We have permanent showrooms in both High Point and Las Vegas, and we do various regional and commercial shows on a more temporary basis. We love seeing designers at markets because it allows us to produce a 3-D marketing experience for people to see Selamat product in various environments. We encourage people to sit on things, flip them over, and really kick the tires. We also feel like once designers get to know our construction and quality, they feel more comfortable placing our products in projects.
How does Selamat typically work with interior designers?
We love working with interior designers! Our opening account minimum is $1,200 for furniture and $500 for accessories. To make shipping easier, we offer white glove deliveries direct to residences, in addition to commercial deliveries.
In your opinion, how has technology impacted the design industry?
In so many ways…where to begin? When we started our business 13 years ago, we literally used 5×7 printed photos to show people product. Most people in the industry didn’t even have a website! Now, we have a website and a sales app that shows product specifications, lead times, inventory and pictures galore. We use Instagram (@selamatdesigns) to spread the Selamat message worldwide.
Why do you think it’s important for interior designers to embrace tools such as Ivy to bring their business operations online?
Ivy is an awesome platform because it helps interiors designers juggle all of their projects. We have worked with several designers who utilize Ivy and it truly streamlines the order entry process not only for the designers, but also for us.
How does Selamat prepare for the holiday season?
We have an awesome tree decorated with tassels! We are also closing this year for the first time between Christmas and New Year’s Day. We felt like 2017 was such a blur, we all need a vacation!
What’s Selamat’s focus for 2018?
We are introducing loads of new product in the indoor/outdoor category. Look for products for living outdoors for all seasons—even in the cold!
Here at Ivy, we’re more than just an interior design software. Our mission is to provide interior designers with the community, resources and tools needed to manage your business beautifully. Are you searching for a business management tool to help streamline your workflow as an interior designer?