StyleRow is a design interface for designers and architects to manage projects and compile products for team collaboration and client-facing presentations. Consider it Slack mixed with Pinterest (but with the ability to actually source back every single item listed). GDG chatted with interior and product designer Erinn Valencich, founder of StyleRow to find out more about her industry-disrupting platform. Starting her design firm, Erinn V. Designs 16 years ago Valencich has since produced lines of her own and knows every angle of what it takes to source and manufacture products. She also gets the tech side, “I’m a serial entrepreneur, I’ve always been thinking about my digital strategy.” Valencich has found the solution to cutting the superfluous time suckers and tasks that exist in design. Here’s our StyleRow breakdown.
1.“Design How You Want, Faster.”
First and foremost, StyleRow will cut designer’s administrative work in half and get them back to what they do best–designing.
“Four years ago I just came into this moment in business when I thought to myself– there has to be a better way. Between accounting, administration, and phone calls, it’s just a disaster. I wanted to make something super streamlined that will make us all work smarter, not harder.” StyleRow was born with a “rising tide lifts all boats” mentality, an effort to create efficiency across all facets of design; designers, merchants and showrooms. “The back-end won’t be so painful; there will be fewer administration duties which will equal time for more projects,” Valencich claims.
2. It’s an Educational tool
Valencich pointed out the fact that so many clients want things and they want them now. She talked about the potentiality of StyleRow being a major educational tool, especially given that it incorporates multiple moving parts of the industry, such as the roles manufacturing and showrooms play in the process. Her hope is clients learn along with the designers about products and how they’re made, why they’re priced the way they are, etc.
“The clients don’t understand the industry these days, and that’s a key issue,” said Valencich. “With StyleRow, we’re really helping our clients connect with the industry better. When clients have a better understanding of the process and enjoy the design process, they spend more, too!” said Valencich.
Designers can digitally share parts of a project with the client – while still retaining full control of what their client sees- and provide areas for constant feedback so there’s more transparency throughout the process, according to Valencich.
3. It Creates a Communicative Industry
To put it simply, StyleRow is creating a more communicative design process. As Valencich pointed out, the more each extension of design holds their weight with using this technology, the easier it will be on everyone and the more transparent the processes will be.
“Designers, showrooms and suppliers all have the same pain points when it comes to the back-end workflow, and we all share the same goals,” Valencich said. “Help us communicate for commerce in a streamlined way. All three stakeholders are focused on selling product and StyleRow allows each to do their portion of the work on orders via the platform which offers massive efficiencies and less redundancy and errors.”
4. Showrooms Still Exist!
A misconception of StyleRow is that it’s only direct to consumer and will cut the showrooms out, when in fact, StyleRow bridges the gap between clients and the showroom experience. Additionally, StyleRow will strengthen the designers’ relationship with the showrooms.
“We are not replacing a showroom by any means and we’re not getting in the way of a transaction. Now we can more easily sell product. We’re bringing the showrooms to the designers’ desks. We give showrooms a big beautiful splashy page to show lines represented. So now, the designer can login to StyleRow and hit a product or line which has a drop-down list of all the showrooms nearby [in which the product or line is carried in] and the designer and showroom reps can link up. It’s all geo-targeted for designers to continue to strengthen that relationship near them,” explained Valencich.
Valencich recently joined Manhattan magazine’s National Interiors Editor Sarah Bray, artist Malene Barnett, and designer Ryan Korban for the “Made on the Internet” program during DDB Spring Market hosted by Donghia, in which the group talked about how they built their strong online brand and presence. We can’t wait for everyone to catch up and adopt the no-brainer godsend that StyleRow seems to be.