5 Minutes With...
French Country Collections
Name: Aneisha Brown
Role: Commercial Sales Manager
Years exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs: 20 years
Product specialty: Furniture and homewares
One word to describe what you do: Inspire
About Your Business
Describe what you do in 5 words:
Inspire, Delight, Share, Create, Deliver.
Our customers love our business because...
… They can rely on us to provide unique product that will differentiate and develop their business.
... They also know how much we care about our product, our people, our customers, their businesses, and their experience with us because it ultimately impacts our greatest values which are people and their homes.
What makes your business different to others who share the same audience as you?
A house can be aesthetically pleasing and on-trend, and a home is filled with nostalgia and togetherness, our style and products are made for a home.
Something we might not know but will be glad found out about you/your business:
French Country’s first products were garden seats made from tea tree. Family weekend activities included heading out to the nearby bush to source tea tree, loading the trailer high for the local carpenter to turn it into our founder, Sonia’s popular design right in her own beautiful garden.
These were sold to garden stores and even made an appearance in the window of Saks on Broadway, one of the only international fashion stores in Auckland at that time.
Retail Right Now
What is the most significant change to happen to your business from the impacts of COVID-19?
Our evolution with technology and working remotely. During COVID, we launched two new websites (Australia and New Zealand), increased our marketing team to focus more on digital platforms, updated our technology to be versatile with video calls and have permanently supported employees to have the option of working from home part-time.
What has been the biggest change you’ve seen in your customers over the past 12months?
There has been a huge sense of resilience and community this year. Change has also been a big consequence, but our customers have all shown a real tenacity to move forward and support local businesses at the same time.
Your Thoughts On...
The creative process behind what you do/how you stay inspired:
We are constantly inspired by our natural surroundings, the community and how we live. Keeping up to date with popular movements within interiors, fashion and architecture.
Every day offers new opportunities to grow yourself and your business. Setbacks or mistakes provide us with a new vehicle to transform and change.
The secrets to getting a customer to return for more:
Give customers what they want, exceed their expectations and build their trust.
What is your #1 bestseller that we need to know about?
It’s hard to pick one! However, we can never get enough of our ceramic houses. This endearing collection comes in a great range of colours – enough for an entire village. But you do need to be quick to get one!
What is the key element of a successful trade event?
What are your observations on the challenges/and opportunities ahead for our industry in the retail recovery process?
We have always taken for granted the ability to travel around freely and now that we can’t it will be more important than ever to stay connected. Communication, visibility and transparency is now more important than ever.
French Country Collections have been passionately pursuing their dream to bring homes to life, for over 30 years. Their stunning range is an exceptionally curated collection of French and European inspired homewares and furniture from around the world.