18 May 2024, 20:07
By Furniture News May 23, 2022

Online retailer introduces Kartar & Seibo

In 2007, Harp Kaur founded online retailer Style Our Home – which combined an extensive range of brands and products with personal customer service and expert tailored advice. This month, Harp is taking her operation physical, with the launch of Kartar & Seibo, an upmarket furniture showroom in Middleton, which benefits from an in-house upholstery atelier and interior furnishing consultation service, plus all those years of insight and experience …

Can you give us a short history of your brand?

My inaugural ecommerce store, Style Our Home, was established in 2007, and initially specialised in home accessories. Identifying a gap in the market for an online furniture store, the venture progressed into an offering of competitively priced mid-range and premium home furnishing products. Supported by a knowledgeable, professional, personal customer service approach and a multi-navigational ecommerce website, Style Our Home evolved into a fully established online furniture store. 

During the past five years our bespoke and made-to-order services have flourished, showcasing brands including Vincent Sheppard and Steve Bristow, as well as wholly individualised bespoke pieces. Aligned with consumer expectation, the establishment of a niche, luxury showroom to complement the design-led experience was an essential enhancement and expansion for the company. 

Our new showroom, Kartar & Seibo, is located within a luxury lifestyle complex entitled The Coppice, near Sutton Coldfield – which is enveloped by a rich blanket of serene countryside, offering a truly unique and immersive experience. Exhibiting a portfolio of exclusive, high-end brands, Kartar & Seibo caters to the increasing demand for bespoke home-furnishing solutions, and embraces the individuality of each client and their vision for their home.

Why ‘Kartar & Seibo’?

Kartar & Seibo are my grandmas’ names. They inspired the business, as they were housewives who were very houseproud and always kept their family homes well presented and comfortable.

Outline your typical customer – what styles and prices are they looking for?

Our original ecommerce platform, Style Our Home, represented a trend-conscious consumer base seeking pieces to contribute to their interior evolution. However, as our portfolio has expanded and diversified, so too has our customer base. Diverging into premium and made-to-order products expanded our client portfolio, widening to project- and investment-oriented clients, parallel to the key demographic at Kartar & Seibo. 

How did the pandemic affect your online performance?

The marked enforced consumer switch to online preferences negated the initial uncertainty, with adversity surpassed by resilience and opportunity. Collective support allowed the associated growth and continued expansion during unprecedented times.

Did you struggle to maintain good levels of customer service?

Historically, our customer service has been widely praised, receiving industry accolades and commendations. As the events of the pandemic elapsed and our team expanded, the addition of new team members introduced new experiences, skills and qualities that further fortified the excellence of our service. Our team comprises many years of business experience and industry knowledge, and this is attributable to the dedication of our team and their integrity towards our business. 

Why choose to make the transition to physical retail? 

The necessity to appreciate online visuals in situ is fundamental to illustrate our product portfolio – particularly the uniqueness of our luxury collections. Creating a welcoming location for our customers to select and customise their finishes was an important requisite to the design-led physical transition.

Describe your showroom …

For the discerning client, a habitat to repose! Designed with passion and influenced by a local interior design agency, Charlotte Conway Design, the showroom exhibits beautiful pieces of furniture, lighting and rugs. Customers are supported by a team of enthusiastic individuals, guiding our clients to select the perfect pieces for their home.

How does it reflect or diverge from your online brand, and why?

Whilst we have successfully maintained a diverse approach to retailing premium and made-to-order products online at Style Our Home, our approach to Kartar & Seibo will be wholly unique and immersive. 

The calibre of brands offered will be of an unparalleled ilk – many of which will be on display within the Kartar & Seibo showroom. Aligned with an online catalogue and ecommerce presence, the showroom will act as the creative epicentre, where customers can receive a tailored service, personal to their specifications and requirements. 

Can you share something you’ve learned about establishing a physical retail presence?

Exhibiting time and patience with layout selections to achieve a favourable flow. Avoiding the inclination to select personal preferences – instead the recognition of current trends via inspirational social and exceptional interior designer sources. 

Give us an idea of the suppliers you’re working with …

We will be showcasing products by exquisite and admirable brands such as FRATO, Laskasas, Liang & Eimil, Baker McGuire, CTO Lighting, Heathfield & Co, Vincent Sheppard, Ethimo, Porta Romana, Bella Figura, Romo wallpaper/fabrics, Chase Erwin, GP & J Baker, Mulberry Home, Art et Floritude, Wewood, Stark Carpet and Fromental. 

We are also excited for the opportunity to represent Armac Martin – a luxury hardware company, creating beautiful brass fixtures and fittings. We will be showcasing their products, as well as their collaboration with interior designer, Sophie Paterson, on Claremont – a debut range of desirable-luxury brass mirrors.

Are you exploring new online technologies at all?

The venture will be underpinned by our online catalogue and ecommerce store. Streamlining processes is paramount to online efficiency, including developing ‘headless architecture’ to minimise datasets. Visualising product placements and the interactive element of screen sharing, 360° representation and design rendering are all key requisites.

What other plans do you have? 

The considerable consumer appeal for luxury goods will continue to be augmented with select client, ambassador and supplier partnerships focusing on longevity, offering products with uncompromising quality, whilst promoting on-trend collections. The customer demographics will support our core retail and marketing strategy with scope for additional project development and specialist outlet opportunities.

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