Inspired by a love and passion for design, in particular homewares and furniture, R&V Living launched in the year 2000 at the February Gift Fair in Sydney.
Initially the business was run out of an office at home which was all the rage back then, says owner Vanessa Xiao. “We never took out a business loan so every penny was accounted for and we just paid for storage,” she says.
“However, as soon as we took on staff that soon became unstainable.”
What are some of the trends that have or are influencing the furniture industry?
Well I would say we now want a multipurpose product that can go in the lounge, bed, or outdoor room. Defiantly we are seeing a move into repurposing, recycling, etc, people are more aware of landfill issues. I have had customers come back and get their stainless steel coffee table powder coated in black because they love the classic design and the marble and don’t wish to just throw it out .
We offer the design service for repurposing the stainless steel and also upholstery is making a comeback on our Famous Fei Fei Chair.
What is essential for successful wholesaling?
Communication is key! We always have our phones on so retailers can call and find out stock availability, lead times, etc, 24 /7. Most retailers are seven-day businesses so we are often giving quotes for custom design on weekends.
What innovation stood out for you?
Tech products by far. They have made the cross over into every room now not just the humble lounge room but a Mediaroom. We are going to be interacting more with our furniture products―it’s already happening as an add-on but it will be the norm in our children’s lives and there will be also the push back from that being our homes look warm and warn but the tech is hidden.
Top tips for retailers and what can they expect next from R&V Living?
Understanding that they can’t have it next day―it’s not flat pack nor easy to move. These are pieces handled with the best intention and care so you can enjoy for a long time.
We have always put the customer first so they will determine how long we can do this. We will continue to play to our strengths as designing is in our blood.