Industry veterans create Fandeck, online tools and resources for interior designers
Susan Dickenson -- Home Accents Today, October 1, 2012
Headquartered in Pasadena, Calif., the company was founded by Josh Hong, a home furnishings design veteran by way of Toyo Trading, Import Collection and Pacific Coast Lighting. Fandeck's CEO, Craig Arnold, has served on the advisory boards of the L.A. Mart and World Market Center, and is the senior partner in 67-year-old home furnishings sales and marketing company Dillon Wells Inc.
The application, which has been in development for more than two years, recently went live at www.fandeck.co, and is set up to receive and service three kinds of visitors: interior designers, the general public and vendors.
To the average visitor, the site looks like an online catalog of mid- to high-end furniture and home décor, grouped by categories: Accessories, Dining, Furniture, Gifts, Kids, Lighting, Outdoor and Wall. A click on the Gallery tab will present a searchable database of interior designers, room portfolios and mood boards.
If you're a verified interior designer - and verification by the Fandeck team is required - you can log in for access to Fandeck's trade-only product pricing, marketing templates and proprietary design tools. The marketing templates let the interior designer set up a profile page and look book in the Gallery. It's easy to update, so the designer can control what consumers see in their profile and can add/delete/change any part of that profile at any time.
The design tools are accessed via a tab titled "StyleDeck," a proprietary application that works seamlessly with Fandeck's patent-pending vertical integration system, thereby enabling the designer to select products from the Fandeck website, create a mood board or presentation from those products, and purchase the products afterwards, all in one place. The designer can also populate their projects, rooms and photo albums with images from a personal computer or from other internet sites. A client presentation can be assembled in minutes, saved to the desktop and emailed as an attachment.
Vendors, the third tier of users, have a private portal where they have access to all their product images - clipped, categorized and seamlessly combined with the StyleDeck app and project management system for multi-users.
Fandeck's product library is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is constantly being updated with product information, one of several features that resulted from years of working with designers, according to Hong.
"The CEO and I are both from the home furnishings industry," he said, "And over the years, we've talked with a lot of designers about issues that we realized could be improved with technology, like maintaining up-to-date catalogs ... and having all those different products, with the most current information, in one place. Right now, we're adding filters - rugs, for example - specific to what interior designers tell us they need to know about construction, fiber, pile, weave. We've talked to a lot of interior designers about their needs, and will continue to do so. The whole project is ongoing, and it's been a long time in the making."
Hong said his company also puts an extensive amount of thought and time into vendor selection and support. "Our group's combined years of experience are behind our vetting process. We know good quality, and the importance of good quality control. We work directly with the vendors and represent them as well as possible by making their product look good, providing as much info as they need, and doing everything we can to help protect their customer base."
The response from the initial group of users has been excellent, Hong said. "The designers are genuinely excited to have this convenience - to be able to easily create professional presentations that they can send out to their clients. And because vendors are using it to present to buyers, we added the group project management system that I mentioned earlier."
Verified designers may submit up to five images of their work in the Gallery for free. Access to StyleDeck and the design tools, along with unlimited image loading, starts at an introductory rate of $199 per year. For more information about Fandeck, StyleDeck, and becoming a member, visit the website at www.fandeck.co.
Wendover Art Group and Global Views at Dallas Market