By Katy B. Olson
Fast food, fast fashion, and finally, fast furniture: The latest 3D imaging technology and a swift supply chain and manufacturing process are converging to meet the decorating demands of a Pinterest-bred, do-it-yourself generation. Cloth and Company, a Chicago-based company brought to life by industry leaders Christiane Lemieux, founder of DwellStudio, and Meganne Wecker of Skyline Furniture, is leveraging what the brand calls “unprecedented manufacturing and supply chain efficiency” to create high-volume, sample-free furniture designed with millennials in mind.
Lemieux at the cutting table
Consumers select their own silhouettes, fabric design, motif and color from Cloth & Company’s database; then the company, which prints its own fabrics, ships the finished product, custom furniture, in eight days—a far cry from the industry standard turnaround of three to four months. The company can create exclusive lines easily, in quantities as low as one, and with nearly zero fabric waste to boot.
Cloth & Company recently made its debut with a sale on One Kings Lane and is also currently partnering with retailers like Modsy, Overstock and Wayfair. (Modsy, which lets users try out furniture via a virtual 3D visualization tool prior to buying, launched its first collection with the company, available exclusively on Modsy’s site.) Early next year, Cloth & Company intends to open its digital doors to direct consumers. The first pieces will hit retail floors next month.
“The millennial generation is interested in DIY. When it comes to furniture and everything else, they want to be inspired by beautiful choices,” explains Lemieux. “They want thoughtful options and the ability to express themselves through their spaces. Meganne and I have always wanted to provide fashion and the customization option to our customer. Finally, technology has caught up to our vision.”
Cloth & Company's debut on One Kings Lane
The partners connected with manufacturing supply chains throughout the U.S. and invested in a commercial digital printer, taking their cues from fashion. “The Zaras of the world have been revolutionizing the supply chain efficiency and digitally printing their textiles for years,” says Wecker. “We will be the first brand to apply it at the factory level to furniture, and make fast fashion for the home.”
Founders Christiane Lemieux and Meganne Wecker
While the initial launch has been retailer-focused, next year, customers will be invited to customize their own prints, colors and patterns—all without ever creating a sample.
“We are looking to target everyone who loves fashion in home,” says Wecker. “The price points are very competitive, which allows both the designer and client to switch up their interiors more often.” She’s targeting designers too. “We are so excited to serve the designer community. We are in the unique position to be able to work with them to create and design their own upholstery. It’s an incredible opportunity for designers to really put their own creative stamp onto their spaces.”