21 June 2024, 20:35
By Furniture News Jan 25, 2019

Thierry Talibon, Frenchy Furniture

Furniture News explores the practices and philosophies behind Frenchy Furniture, which sells hand-crafted bespoke, luxury furniture – from traditional styles to the more contemporary. Founder and MD Thierry Talibon answers our questions …

Established in London in 2007, Frenchy Furniture offers more than 5000 product variants. According to Thierry, the website is going from strength to strength, recording a +27% increase in unique users in the past year.

Why visit your website?

Our website provides an overview of the wide range of products and styles we offer. Visitors can see each of the brands we represent and browse some of the products – from traditional to contemporary, from furniture to lighting.  We want them to feel inspired by what they see and call us to discuss their requirements in more detail.     

How did you enter this industry?

My background is in high-end hospitality and fine wine – and you could say that I got into the furniture industry out of a sense of frustration! 

Back in 2007 I was redecorating my house and really struggled to find the stylish, hand-crafted French furniture I love. I was inspired to set up Frenchy Furniture and fill the gap. It has proved to be a great way to combine my passion for French design with my knowledge of the luxury market.  

Who is your ecommerce hero?

Jeff Bezos. It is amazing to think that what started out as an online bookstore has become one of – if not the – most successful retailers in the world.

Describe a typical working day

The morning is spent in the office, in my Wandsworth Road showroom in London. I catch up on orders and emails and call the furnituremakers I work with in France. There might be a new commission we need to discuss, or a new product launch they need to brief me on.  

My showroom is in a very friendly, very community-minded part of town – and I’ll often have a quick bite to eat or a coffee with one of my neighbours. One’s a picture framer, one’s an art gallery owner, another is an interior designer.    The afternoon is when I often meet with clients – I encourage them to call into the showroom, or I might go to their studio.

What part of your job would you prefer to avoid?

Anything admin related that ties me to my desk. I’m a creative. I thrive on meeting clients, prospects and the furnituremakers I work with, so anything that gets in the way of that can be frustrating.

What has been your greatest challenge to date?

To raise the profile of Frenchy Furniture so that it is a recognised brand in the industry. It’s an ongoing task.  

How much do you invest in making your site more visible?

Probably not as much as I should. That is why it is going to be a key focus for next year. I am all too aware that the website is an important marketing tool and a way for customers to see the range of furniture I offer – and online is only going to become more important.

On that topic, what’s your take on how the relationship between online and physical retail might develop?

Online is a showcase for our products and a great way for us to market ourselves. However, many interior designers still want to touch and feel the products – which is why the physical still plays a part. Perhaps advances in VR technology will change that in the future, but for now there is a place for both online and physical, particularly in the luxury interiors market.  

Do you have any plans to grow your business?

At the moment our focus is on navigating Brexit. Our short-term plan is to ensure that our web presence is optimised, ready for growth in the longer term.

What advice would you offer an aspiring e-tailer?

Never take no for an answer.

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