A sleek consumer-focused initiative called Do It For debuted at the Decorative Furnishings Association’s general meeting last week—accompanied by a strategy that DFA president Chad Stark intends to continue rolling out this year. The meeting, held at the Condé Nast building with opening remarks by Architectural Digest publisher Giulio Capua, focused on the theme of “disruption,” with a focus on how the industry and its partners can embrace, rather than reject, the growing DIY movement.
“Disruption is today’s word of choice,” said Stark, delivering an overview of the association’s mission and its internal organization, with an eye to the two committee-supported initiatives of events and consumer outreach. “We’ve refocused ourselves and are targeted to promote the use and hiring of professional designers.” To that end, the DFA has launched Do It For, imagined in part by branding firm YMEE, which turns the do-it-yourself concept on its head with a “do-it-for-yourself” philosophy geared toward educating the public about the benefits of interior design as well as the options available to them.
Stark also shared ad creative for the new initiative, as well as the DFA’s upcoming plans for a crowdfunding campaign, scheduled for fall 2016, which will raise funds to create “a consumer-oriented online resource to improve understanding of professional design and all their design options,” in addition to a planned digital advertising outreach.
Heather Gillette; Mark Cutler; Michael Phillips
Also on hand were leaders Heather Gillette and Mark Cutler of NousDecor, the remote interior design service, as well as Michael Phillips of real estate development firm Jamestown Properties, who each delved into the “disruptive” ways the industry can further the public’s understanding, and ultimately hiring, of interior design professionals. Gillette and Cutler focused on how technology can expand the potential clientele of trade-only vendors, while Phillips discussed the evolution of design centers (including the Boston Design Center’s transformation into the Innovation and Design Building) as well as current retail home category trends and trade programs.
“Our membership is our greatest asset,” shared Stark, “because it is comprised of industry leaders, showroom owners and high-level executives from all the design industry’s leading supply-side firms.” Designers and other industry leaders can learn more about the DFA and get involved by emailing Pam Bruckbauer for more info, responding to this survey and “liking” the Do It For Facebook page.