As the coronavirus spread across the country and stay-at-home orders were issued, the design industry vendors and manufacturers implemented different levels of shutdown. What did this mean for the interior design industry and specifically, Salmon-Casson, Ltd.?
Even though our vendors were at some level of shutdown, we still had access to our customer service reps, who were working from home. Our vendors made it seamless to get in contact with them. We simply dialed the phone number that we have always used and we were connected to our customer service rep, who had access to product information as well as our account and order information. This allowed SCL to know the status of orders, place new ones, and get product information and pricing during this time.
In addition, the stay-at-home orders, which differed from state to state, affected the level of shutdown for each of our vendors. Those factories that manufacture upholstery goods and customized case goods were, for the most part, shutdown completely. However, the vendors that sell accessories, artwork, rugs and fabrics were able to continue shipping in-stock items. These vendors normally ship to our receiving warehouse and/or SCL. During this time, they offered to “drop ship” to our clients. Because of this, SCL was able to continue buy and ship certain products to our clients.
In the DC metro area, construction was deemed essential. Therefore, the renovation projects that we are working on were able to continue to move forward. Items, such as tile, plumbing fixtures and lighting, were available from our suppliers in a timely manner.
The stay-at-home orders are now being lifted and the design industry is opening back up. The manufacturers that closed down their operations have restarted them, following the CDC guidelines of social distancing and wearing face masks or face protection (i.e. plastic shields). We are excited to being get back to business–even if there is a “new” normal.
So, how did these vendors stay in touch with us during the time of the stay-at-home orders?
As you can imagine, we get a lot of e-mails! Our vendors wanted to keep us informed of the status of their company. And, because Spring High Point Market was cancelled, they wanted to share their Spring product introductions.
Here are some of the ways that our vendors kept in touch with us:
Schumacher was great with keeping us informed of their new collections via e-mail. However, they took it a step further and presented their new collections via Schu Zoom. Our rep, Maddie Schmidt, did a wonderful Schu Zoom presentation of the new collections for us! We learned about Molly Mahon, a British textile designer, who is releasing a hand-blocked fabric collection through Schumacher. The 45 minute presentation gave us a glimpse of some beautiful fabrics and how to mix and match them. We love these presentations because not only are they a learning experience but they also inspire us!
When we are at High Point Market, we love stopping by Currey & Company to see all their new products. Since Market was cancelled, Currey & Company introduced their new products on their website and gave us a look at one of the many new trends, Natural Slate.
The International Market Centers, associated with High Point Market, offered a webinar series called TrendWatch. The webinar series “offers an inside look at the leading trends in the home furnishings market”.
Our vendors were also providing some creative ways to make working and living at home fun:
And, Phillip Jeffries, provided Zoom background pages for those working parents so they can “Zoom” in style.