A practicing interior designer who worked for others for more than a decade Brittney Herrera set up on her own shop three years ago in Portland, Oregon.
When friends approached her to help them find furniture, she launched an online business.
Her first official act? To hire her Mom.
Then, when a sizable project came their way, they created a brick-and-mortar operation in Nob Hill – and called it Wildwood House.
Theirs is a sensitive product line – it mixes up powerhouses like Humanscale with smaller boutiques that lift up communities.
But mostly, their products make work life better. “People are designing elaborate and highly effective workspaces, and we wanted to offer ergonomic products and elevate their work-from-home spaces,” she says.
A healthy segment of her clientele – 40 percent – comes from that at-home crowd. Pandemic-indoctrinated to eschew the office, they’ve grown accustomed to operating out of their liing rooms and dens.
And they like it – enough so that, post-vax, they don’t want to give it up.
“We’re finding that when people aren’t given an option to work from home, they’re seeking other options,” she says. ”And we help them make their work-from-home space more effective.”
Typically, their work-at-home clientele comes from the tech sector, the legal community, and anyone else who can tune up a phone and a laptop anywhere on earth.
Design-wise, Wildwood House is about finding furnishings, finishes, and fabrics that are functional and durable – and that people can identify with. “It’s not clinical, but softer,” she says. “It feels more residential, but still behaves like a highly functional environment.”
The remaining 60 percent of her clients may work in an office environment, but the work-from-home crowd is beginning to influence them too. “Offices are traditionally designed to be efficient and reflective of a particular company’s culture. These days, though a lot of businesses are asking for a much more residential look and feel to bridge the gap between work and home,” she says. “Even so, employees prefer their actual homes for deep work and greater balance – and we help them express their personal style with highly effective at-home office furniture to keep their productivity high.”
After one month of brick-and-mortar business, sales at Wildwood House are encouraging. “People walk in off the street, and are happy we’re here,” she says.
That might be because of the coolness of the air-conditioning during Portland’s current heat wave.
But more likely its’ because the proprietors have an eye for functional design that looks quite good.
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