Home and Living welcomes Cindy Weil, Founder of The Wallpaper Collective, on Product and Profile today to talk about one of our favorite subjects, wallcoverings.
Q.: Cindy, so happy you stopped by. Talk to us about what you do with The Wallpaper Collective please.
C.: I am the founder of the Wallpaper Collective. I started the company after unsuccessfully trying to buy some wallpaper from the D&D building in NYC. I was turned down because I didn’t have an account there, and I came home thinking—there’s got to be a better way to get great wallpaper into the hands of people who are capable and empowered enough to make their own design decisions.
Q.: How would you describe The Wallpaper Collective?
C.: The Wallpaper Collectiveis essentially an enormous wallpaper showroom without the hassle and without the attitude. But more importantly, we are selective is what we include. I think of the Wallpaper Collective like well-edited dress boutique, where you go in and love everything – which isn’t necessarily to say that you would live with everything.
It is the first US-based company to compile the best designer wallpapers from around the world under one-roof and make them available to both the retail and trade customers via an ecommerce website. On the website, customers are able to browse thousands of images of gorgeous wallpapers—searchable by a variety of different parameters. They can save or collect their favorites in a wish list, order samples of their favorite wallpaper, and return to buy the wallpaper. In addition to an active blog, Facebook and twitter sites, we post the latest information about our designers, wallpaper trends, in situ photos and other helpful information.
Q.: Can you explain the process of where your designs come from and how they are marketed?
C.: I am constantly on the search for great wallpaper design. In many cases, designers will come to us to join the collection. I may see something in a blog or a magazine that I love and track it down. People ask me often how we decide what to include, and the decision really comes down to a visceral reaction about whether I like it or not. It’s too idiosyncratic to try to predict what people will buy, so I just trust my gut. Once we put a paper in the collection, we email all our customers, the press and others in the design community to announce it. We send it up on our blog, twitter and facebook sites. In other words, we do our best to reach out to get some attention.
“Wallpaper is on a design high and does not seem to be fading any time soon.”
Q.: Who are your customers, just designers or homeowners too?
C.: Originally we thought our customers would be exclusively retail or homeowners, who would finally be able to get access to the really beautiful wallpapers that were formerly only available to “the trade”. But as we became more popular, we found that Interior Designers and Architects really appreciate our site as well because it saves them so much time. They can come to us and easily search for exactly what they are looking for order samples and paper, get the trade pricing they are used to in the showrooms for from the manufacturers, but never leave their office.
Q.: Can you put your papers into a price point, are they all high-end?
C.: Our papers range from less than $100 / roll to over $500 / roll, so there is something for every budget.
Q.: Do you have an environmental mission?
C.: In addition to price, style and color, our wallpapers are searchable by their eco-friendly credentials. Many of our papers are PVC free, 100% recyclable from sustainable forests. It matters to our clients and we are doing our best to answer that demand.
Q.: What are some of the reasons that homeowners should think about doing business with you?
C.: Buying wallpaper can be an intimidating exercise. We totally “get” that at the Wallpaper Collective, which is why we spend so much time with our clients advising them on a variety of questions. We provide links to professional wallpaper hangars in their area. We are always happy to get on the phone with anyone who has a question and wants to talk, rather than email, about it. We publish loads of images to help our customers visualize what the design will look like installed on the wall. Of course we have samples available of every paper we sell. We provide information on the composition of the paper as well as hanging instructions, and background info on all the papers and their designers.
Q.: Where are customers going to find the products and do you have a website for more information? Is there also a blog?
C.: Our entire inventory of over 600 wallpapers is available at www.WallpaperCollective.com, and our blog can be found at http://wallpapercollective.com/blog/.
Q.: Is there anything else you would like to tell Home and Living Readers?
C.: Wallpaper is on a design high and does not seem to be fading any time soon. It’s a beautiful and economic way to completely transform a room. Even covering a single feature wall or a tiny powder room in a fresh and dynamic print can breathe new life into a space, and make a huge statement without ever changing a stick of furniture.