5 Minutes With...
Indigo Love Collectors
Name: Danny Solberg
Company: INDIGO LOVE COLLECTORS
Years exhibiting with Reed Gift Fairs:
Your brand/business in one word: Collection
What inspires you to innovate? Where do you look for trends and inspiration?
I think its almost natural to want innovation and maybe even subconsciously innovate. Everything changes around us so it’s almost like we are forced to innovate as we adapt. The last couple of years have fast tracked a lot of innovation for us. Our brand honestly reflects our personal style and how we want our home to look and feel, so in that way innovating comes out of a need for us to have special pieces in our lives. We don’t really like to think that we follow trends strictly as we do put a lot of emphasis on timeless design that doesn’t date. A lot of our furniture forms a base story for us to build around and additions based on trends need to fit the story. Travel is what usually forms the basis of our inspiration, where we are able to bring a collection of our ‘most loved’ pieces together, however we are also constantly inspired by international designers and their approach to design.
Do you have any advice for anyone in a creative block/something that gets you out of a design rut?
A lot of research. As a designer I have built a library of books and references so in any situation you can revisit the references and research inspiration
How do you know you’re onto a winner when creating/sourcing a new product?
We are usually pretty good these days at recognising a winner. Experience is probably the major factor and second an instinctive set of eyes. Sorry there isn't really a secret formula - experience and instinct.
Describe what a typical working day looks like? and how has that changed for you over the past year?
Wow - there isn’t anything typical about our working day. I don’t think any 2 days are the same. We have grown quickly so that means lots of change constantly with new projects, new employees, new warehouses - it’s like we don't sit still in one place much and our day-to-day life reflects that. We both do over 30,000km a year just driving between kids, school and places we work which at the moment can be up to 8 different locations...afternoons are school pickups and time with the kids but once they are sorted in bed its emails and planning as well as being the time when Tara and I talk over the day’s challenges. We live in a stunning location by the ocean, so it does get balanced with small windows for me to surf or dive. Lately I will get up just before 6 and go trail riding for an hour which is a great start to the day...I have to be doing something physical when possible.
Did you have to migrate your business online/or if you were already online, how did this impact the way you do business with your customers?
We were already very strong online so there wasn’t a lot of change required for us. Actually, our online site is our strength. I don't think any other business in Australia goes to as much trouble as we do to sell unique pieces. Every single unique piece we offer is photographed from multiple angles in our studio so our buyers can be one hundred percent confident with what they are purchasing. I feel we lead the way in this category.
Customers love your business because...
We have the perfect unique mix of products, so our customers get value and variety when they place orders.
We’ve got a time-machine, you can go forward, back, or stay in the present – thinking about your time in business, where do you choose to visit and why?
Definitely now, building a business is hard work especially when it’s starting out and you do absolutely everything, it was only a handful of years ago we only had a handful of staff. Now we have over 40 and looking for more so to me that allows me to do what I do best rather than do everything. It also means we have staff specialising in their roles and being good at what they do strengthens our business and the processes we use.
What feedback have you got from your customers on how it is to be in retail right now?
Like life in the past 18 months - up and down depending on lockdowns. I think generally it’s been a surprisingly lucrative 18 months if you have an online presence and established business.
Victoria has been through an exceptionally harsh time and I have really felt for them. The challenges now will be stock availability and pricing rises forced through supplier raw materials costs rising and crazy international shipping costs.
What is the beauty of aligning your business with face-to-face trade events like Reed Gift Fairs?
We are in a boutique touch and feel, tactile industry so we benefit from our customers being able to feel our textures, sit in and on sofas and understand the physical scale and craftsmanship of what we source and design. We also sell stories through our range with so much of what we do having a story to tell. Being able to do that in person is the perfect way to do business. As much as online business has grown in retail and wholesale, I honestly believe our industry is best served in person through either events or bricks and mortar retail to build business.
What’s one piece of business advice you’d give to yourself 10 years ago?
What’s one piece of business advice you’d give anyone wanting to start their business?
Make sure your vision is clear. Know exactly what you want to be and what that looks, feels, sounds and smells like. Constantly visualise your end goal whether it's 97 stores or 1. I find visualising the most effective sure way to achieve business success. If I could give a cheeky second piece of advice, it would be, maintain constant inspiration through reading and listening to other peoples stories about success no matter what they did, it’s inspiring.
What do the next 12 months look like for you?
Who knows to be honest. It’s a bit of an expect the worst, hope for the best kind of world I think. Shipping costs are a big concern.
Restrictions obviously are also a big factor in determining buying patterns and importantly costs to people's lives and business. As a business owner I think we are naturally optimistic so whatever comes I am confident we can deal with it.
What’s the biggest lesson/takeaway for you from what we’ve just endured over the past two years?
I think that even when we are faced with some very negative outlooks in life we find opportunities and ways to innovate to stay positive. We are built to thrive.
Share with us the bestselling products we need to know about.
Our one-of -kind furniture range builds the base of our range as is always strong. Most shipments we receive we sell through the majority on the day of release. Our Acrylic drinkware and ceramic ranges are flying. Stone is also going crazy right now - travertine, marble, Terrazzo. Our table lamps are also consistently on customers
What product/range are you personally most excited about right now?
Some of the new stone styles we are releasing this season are incredible. As usual every one-off Furniture shipment has amazing pieces in it I wish I could keep...
Do have any teasers for what we can expect to see from you in the future?
We are building a new warehouse and distribution centre at the moment so in time we plan to expand our range of furniture and one-of-a-kind pieces astronomically. We will have a huge space that will enable us to stock significantly more which will be amazing.
Can you tell us your secret to keeping your customers returning for more?
In a nutshell our product sells.
Where Can We Find You
Social Media (Instagram): @indigolovecollect
Contact Details: email@example.com