A Letter to the Ivy Community


Dear Ivy Family,

Over the past several days we’ve received your feedback about Ivy joining Houzz and we wanted to take this opportunity to answer the most common questions we have received.

To begin, Houzz co-founder Alon Cohen wrote our community the below letter to address your questions to Houzz.  

Below Alon’s letter you will see our answers to your questions. If you have any additional questions, we’re here for you! Just shoot us an email (lee@ivymark.com and alex@ivymark.com).

We’re grateful you took the time to share this feedback and we’re confident that this is the best path for our Ivy community.

Much love & gratitude,

Alex & Lee

To the Ivy Community,

I want to start by saying that I’m excited by this opportunity to better serve the trade. You raised several questions over the past few days that I would like to personally address.

I was quoted in an article this week saying that designers are not business people. I want to first apologize to all designers out there, and also share some context to what was said. The point I was trying to make, obviously not with the best choice of words, was that we want to help designers spend more time being creative and doing what they love, and less time on administrative tasks.

I work closely with design and creative professionals all day and admire their ability to create beautiful and functional things. Since starting Houzz, I’ve spent every day admiring the amazing designs and creations of this industry, and wanted nothing more than to empower the trade and help it be rewarded for its talent.

Now I’d like to address the concern that Houzz will use the designer’s client information in Ivy proposals/invoices/POs to market similar products to their clients. Let me be clear: we will not do that. Period. Not in emails, not in phone calls, and not in ads. Our goal is to help you grow your business and become more profitable by streamlining your operations.

We hear you on the tags that are displayed on photos. As a result, we’re making a change to the way photos are displayed, and hiding the tags whenever a designer’s photos are displayed to homeowners in their local area. We hope that this, in addition to our partnership with Ivy, will help demonstrate our commitment to the needs of the trade.

Last but not least, we’ve been asked how we will strengthen the design trade through this acquisition. We know a more seamless workflow and higher margins on product are important to you and we have started working on both. Our mobile developers are already hard at work on an Ivy app for iOS and Android.

Since my wife Adi and I started Houzz in 2009, our focus has been on connecting home professionals with potential clients and to make the process of working with current clients more productive. We promote working with designers in many ways, including in our editorial articles, TV advertising, the “My Houzz” video series where celebrities work with designers they found on Houzz showing the importance of their work, and more. Every day, thousands of homeowners hire designers and other pros after seeing their work on Houzz.

I hope that these points answer some of your questions. We are certainly not perfect, but we are sincere. We want to empower the trade and to use technology to make things better for this industry.


Questions & Answers Regarding the Houzz Acquisition of Ivy

Q: Will Houzz use my confidential client data/information on Ivy to sell products to my clients or remarket to them?

A: Houzz will not use the designer’s client information in Ivy proposals/invoices/POs to market similar products to their clients. Houzz’s goal with this partnership is to help you grow your business and become more profitable by streamlining your operations.

Q: Why did Ivy think Houzz was the best partnership for them?

A:  Houzz is the best technological partner in the industry. Houzz also provides the financial and recruiting capabilities for Ivy to more quickly grow its team and functionalities.

Q: Why did Houzz want to acquire Ivy?

A: Houzz knows it needs to do more to support designers. Providing a tool like Ivy and making it even more powerful for designers is important to Houzz because it wants designers to truly see Houzz as a source of support and growth, which has always been part of their mission. There is work still to do for Houzz on that front.

Q: Is the direction of Ivy changing? What are Ivy’s short-term & long-term goals from a business, leadership, brand & trade community standpoint?

Our mission is (and always has been!) advocating for the design trade and we’re pumped to now have the resources to deliver on our promise to our full potential. We now have the backing to hire the best engineers to build upon & improve Ivy features (hello, QuickBooks!) and organize more community trade shows & events. The Ivy Team will continue to be led by yours truly, Ivy Co-Founders Lee Rotenberg and Alex Schinasi.

Q: Will the Ivy software, documents, and client dashboard remain Ivy branded?

A: Ivy is a distinct brand and product with its own site and login. We plan to keep the Ivy software, documents, and client dashboard Ivy branded.  

Q: Why did we hear the acquisition news from other sources before we heard the news from Ivy?

The announcement was planned for a certain time with the first post intended for the Ivy community on fb, with news outlets agreeing to publish simultaneously. Unfortunately one trade publication mistakenly broke the agreement and published their piece early. Once the publication realized what they had done, they immediately took down their story.

Q: What if I’d like a refund on my Ivy Membership?

A: Any existing Ivy Member’s refund policy remains the same.

Q: I chose not to be a part of Houzz, does this mean I now will need to be?

A: No. You do not need to have a profile on Houzz or use houzz.com to access Ivy. The functionality of Ivy will be available on the Ivy website, and all materials will be branded with the Ivy logo.

Q: How does Houzz support the trade?

A: Houzz created a global market for interior design services and has shown consumers the value that interior designers provide to their clients.  Houzz also publishes articles regularly to educate consumers about the value of hiring professional help.

Houzz has launched a trade program to help designers buy products with a trade discount. This is a new program and Houzz is working diligently to increase the discounts offered to designers and improve the service to the trade.