After the drawings were finalized, it was then up to our engineering team to get proper renderings and measurements of the pieces so as to make them structurally sound and as beautiful as the drawings that Barbara had made for us. There was some back and forth with construction questions from the factory, how the arms should flow, back support, comfort with the arm height, the pitch of the seat and back of the chair, the oval of the Parisienne and how it couldn't be too skinny of an oval but not quite too close to a circle either.
Simultaneously with engineering the pieces, we were also, along with Barbara, choosing the finishes and fabrics that would be used with the collection. There were a lot of powerpoint slides going back and forth between all of us with commentary on which textiles made sense both with regards to aesthetics as well as with cost. We needed to make sure that the cost of the fabric would not take the chair to an unreasonable price point as our brand is all about offering high quality pieces at a fair price to our consumer. We loved the fabrics she selected to complement her collection from high quality fabric houses like The Romo Group, Schumacher, Kravet, Duralee and Quadrille. At this point, since we wanted the collection to be durable and long-lasting, we decided to invest the time and money to research on fabric protection and are offering easy-care fabrics from Romo as well as working in tandem with MWI Fibershield, a fabric protection company in Boston, MA to protect the remaining fabric options we chose. We even had their founder, Wayne Southworth, come in to teach a seminar on fabric protection and what to say and how to manage expectations with your clients. See clips of his seminar in this link.
Once we had finished the engineering of the chairs, we went into production at our factory. As our manufacturing operations are based out of the Philippines at our 30 year old family owned factory, we had to communicate largely by e-mailing photos of certain parts of the furniture pieces and discussing at length over the phone. After all the back and forth, we were finally ready to inspect some actual physical samples. We sent unfinished wooden frames of each of the items to Barbara's office in Concord, MA and even assembled a few of the items there. She was able to sit on most of them and try them out prior to us finalizing the samples for full on production with upholstery. We all went through them with a fine toothed comb at her office, inspecting from noon to night, looking for improvements and adjustments that could be made prior to the final samples being completed for the collection launch at the Boston Design Center.
Check out more photos of our pop-up showroom at the Boston Design Center here.