Six-decade old Pottery Barn may have arrived on Philippine soil just this year, but unbeknownst to the public, the brand has had “long-standing business relationship” with the country for over 15 years.
This was the revelation of a Pottery Barn executive when the brand officially opened the doors of its first ever store in Asia located at the Central Square Mall of Bonifacio High Street in Taguig City on July 15.
Known for its casual, colorful and comfortable aesthetic, Pottery Barn offers a complete line up of furniture and accessories for the home. And among its many products, there are numerous standout pieces that are proudly made in the Philippines.
“We’ve been doing business with the Philippines for quite a while now. I’ve seen this since I joined the company, so that’s over 15 years already. A lot of our items are made here,” shared Michelle Hummel, vice president for global merchandising of Williams-Sonoma Inc., the company that owns the Pottery Barn brand.
Hummel added that Pottery Barn’s very popular hand-woven baskets, which considered are the best class in the trade, are made in the Philippines.
She also mentioned a new children’s bag collection made in Cebu under the Pottery Barn Kids brand.
The Manila Times asked Hummel for a rough estimate of Pottery Barn products sourced locally, she replied, “For decorative accessory ceramics, 30 percent are from the Philippines, and the majority of wicker baskets and furniture are also from here.”
The executive, however, refused to name the local companies that provide them with these high quality export home furnishings.
In opening its flagship store in the Philippines, Pottery Barn found a very capable partner in Stores Specialist Inc. (SSI).
According to Hummel, part of finally deciding to set up business in the Philippines was finding the right group with whom to work. She said, “We found the perfect franchise partner in SSI. This is proven by the company’s continued success, as well as its newly opened, exclusive mall.”
The Bonifacio High Street Central Square houses over 200 international brands, which SSI has brought to the country. These include its latest franchise of Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, as well as other brands under the Williams-Sonoma umbrella.
For his part, Anton Huang, president of SSI, said he is proud to finally convince Pottery Barn to open in Manila even if negotiations took close to three years.
Asked what spurred the decision, Hummel replied, “The Philippine market is a market we had been looking at early on. We are excited to finally be here because we know Filipinos love to entertain, decorate and be with their family, which is what Pottery Barn is all about.”
Pottery Barn Philippines brings the same ideals of the American brand, which guarantee “exceptional home furnishings in comfort, quality, style and value.”
Filipinos can experience this through its wide-range of products comprised of stylish furniture, comfortable bedding, refreshing bath fixtures and accessories, delectable dining, intelligent lightings, and other home decorations.
For the Manila opening, Hummel said that Pottery Brand made sure to carry its newest and global summer collection.
“We are here with our summer assortment since we launch about four different seasons a year, and change products every six weeks,” she elaborated. “The great thing about it obviously is that the customer comes back can finds something new all the time.”
So by the end of August, the public can expect the store’s racks to change displays. “You will see deep hues of indigo, a trend we’ve been very successful with in Pottery Barn. There will also be additional Asian ikat prints and block textiles”
On other hand, Pottery Barn Kids was introduced in 1999 especially for children’s spaces. It has everything parents need to design nurseries, bedrooms, playrooms and more. With whimsical, fun designs in a vivid assortment of colors, Pottery Barn Kids creates inspiring places where children can dream, learn and play.
The heart of any Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids store is the Design Studio, where specially trained design specialists offer complimentary decorating and entertaining advice to customers.
From designing a complete room to selecting fabric or paint colors, the brand’s design specialists are knowledgeable about each product carried by the store, and can offer a level of service that aims to exceed customer expectations.
Known to work with their clientele, both Pottery Barn brands will be offering free design workshops, such as setting up tables for special occasions, among many others home topics, very soon.