Studying and Re-Thinking Life Through Design With Hem
When you think of Sweden you think of beautiful people, beautiful mountains, and most of all, beautiful design. Stockholm-based design studio Hem believes that every product has a story. In partnership with talented and international designers of today, Hem creates unique products suited for our everyday lives.
Most recently, Hem launched the new and improved site for Hem Pro, a destination to help interior designers and architects streamline the purchasing process, offering consultations, quotes and orders with pricing and trade terms, as well as status on inventory.
Hem founder and CEO, Petrus Palmér, shares how the Swedish culture and lifestyle influences Hem designs, how to make the most out of Hem as an interior designer, and Hem’s mission to forge long-term relationships in the industry.
Petrus – how did you get where you are today?
I reside in Stockholm, with my wife and 2-year old son. After earning a degree in Industrial Design, I started the design studio Form Us With Love with two partners. We quickly gained recognition and designed furniture for design companies spanning from IKEA to Cappellini. After 10 years as a practicing designer, I went from being a designer making things to being a designer making things happen. I realized that design could be applied to entrepreneurship and I was eager to shake up the interior design industry. Hem was officially launched in 2014.
Photo by Erik Lefvander
Stockholm and Sweden is our physical and spiritual home and subsequently the culture, nature, and society is part of our design DNA. That being said, we don’t consider national identity to be very interesting. We collaborate with strong authors following their own trajectory. We are mainly concerned with developing and supercharging their ways of looking at the world.
Great design is something we feel, and a great design brand is something very emotional. We can all understand the alchemy that happens when good things come together: the form, the touch, the use, it works, it looks beautiful, it feels good, and life is good.
We love the new, the unseen, the brave. Behind every corner, there is the potential of the unexpected. That is the difference between a furniture company and a design company. A design company is sprung from the exploration of new behaviors, new expressions, new technology. It’s studying and re-thinking life. The broken-down formula of this mindset is summarized in our design values.
Hem has collaborated with dozens of designers around the world – how does Hem forge these relationships?
In many ways, our work can be likened to that of a publishing house or record label. We look for unique voices with something to say. All of our relationships are long-term and they are forged through discussion and collaboration over the course of years. For instance, the new Udon chair we are launching in January by Staffan Holm, took us 2 years to develop.
What are some spaces featuring Hem products that you are particularly proud of?
We recently furnished the offices of Everlane and Artsy – two brands that we are inspired by and that share our values of design and progressive entrepreneurship.
How is Hem building “the new global home for design online”?
We dream of building a brand that you follow to see where it goes next. To see what is revealed behind the next corner. And that excites with empathy and meaning. We want to do this by bringing forward a collection that is exciting and available to a global design-loving audience.
What are some of your best-selling products and why do you think that is? Who are your most popular customers?
Some of our top sellers are the Hai chair by Luca Nichetto, the Last Stool by Max Lamb and the Key Table by GamFratesi. They are all instant classics and relate perfectly to how people live today.
Photo by Brian Ferry
Tell us about the Hem Pro program…
Hem Pro is a new platform that makes it easier and quicker for interior designers, architects and other industry professionals to order furniture. The process of getting a quote and ordering products in this industry is still extremely manual and can take days. With Hem Pro we aim to reduce the hassle and allow trade customers to order our products within minutes.
Can you offer interior designers 3 tips of best practices for making the most out of Hem?
Besides offering unique design products at great value, Hem also invests in stock in both EU and US to make sure our products are instantly available for interior projects. Our dedicated Pro customer team is very educated and willing to offer advise on what products are suitable.
What’s Hem’s focus for 2017?
In 2017, Hem will focus on continuing building long-term relationships with the interior design professionals. As for concrete activities; we will launch a number of very exciting products and open a showroom in Stockholm.