Founded in 2014 by Tamara Broido, Reclectic fuses innovative technology with vintage aesthetics to create one-of-a-kind furniture. With a life-long passion for history, art and antiques, Tamara decided to start making her own furniture blending vintage styles with cutting-edge handicraft. Last week, Tamara took her idea one step further and launched her first pop-up shop for Reclectic in one of East London’s most creative areas, Redchurch Street. Find about what Tamara had to say about running her own business and launching a store…
What appealed to you about running your own business?
I have been wanting to start my own business for a number of years. I’ve been looking to combine my passion with a concept that works commercially. For me it was important to find that balance between family life (I have a wonderful husband and 2 gorgeous girls aged 10 and 7) and a career!
I have always collected antique and vintage furniture and been passionate about the history of decorative arts. I also worked with my brother for a number of years who is a well-known scientific artist and was very involved in the art world helping artists gain access to a wider audience. This got me thinking about combining art, history and furniture and creating something that can be practical, unique and beautiful.
What are the main challenges you’ve faced in starting your own business?
I think one of the hardest challenges is finding your right market. You need to have face-to-face time with your customers and listen to their needs. Another challenge is making sure people understand the expertise and time that it takes to create each of these unique pieces, as it is extremely technical. And that leads into the issue of making sure the pricing is right. Getting people to buy online is difficult, especially when it is something quite unique and tactile. That's why the pop-up store has been great. We can chat to customers, get feedback, take advice, see what people want and need and these can all develop into new avenues, developments and creations for a new business.
What sets your brand apart from other furniture designers?
We have developed a unique technique that creates pixelated design from historic patterns and original photography. We have focused on spray-painting this technique by hand, although this may evolve into a printing technique as well. The historic patterns are particularly amazing to work with, as the beauty of their heritage remains while taking on a contemporary feel, almost like a modern tapestry.
How did you define your target audience?
This is something that we are continually testing and discovering and it can be quite broad. On a general level, the audience does need to have eclectic taste (we are not sleek and minimalist) and appreciate the combination of technology and craft, imagery and pattern. We cater to anyone from the homeowner who is looking for that gorgeous unique piece, to the interior designer, to the architect, to the casual browser!
What appealed to you about taking a space on Redchurch Street?
Our studio is down the road in Hoxton and we also had a great response at the East London Design Show in December. Also, Redchurch Street is a fantastic retail street and is particularly busy on the weekends. It is also surrounded by wonderful design stores, from House of Hackney to Squint, to Labour and Wait to Monologue. I think our current collection of pieces appeals to this market very well.
How did you approach the design of your space?
I think our furniture pieces speak for themselves and as it is a tiny space, we have had to pile up and in, and use our pieces and the space creatively (like hanging the suitcases against the brick wall). I have styled and accessorised with vintage finds just to give it a bit of warmth and style and to showcase the functional uses of these pieces.
What's the best piece of pop-up advice you've been given?
Talk to your customers and learn from your customers - it can transform and evolve a business in ways unimagined previously. And of course, sell-out!
Find the perfect space for your idea!