Today’s manufacturer spotlight is with Selamat Designs. Selamat Designs is founded by husband and wife team, Thatcher and Shannon Davis. They are known for their optimistic designs and the value they place on the relationships they build with everyone they work with. Their furniture, lighting, and home décor pieces are inspired by a range of traditional and modern influences, but are always rooted in sustainable, eco-friendly design practices. We hope you enjoy this interview with the President and Co-owner of Selamat, Thatcher Davis.
Let’s start out by learning a bit more about your company. What makes Selamat Designs unique?
One thing that really makes us stand out is our dedication to in-house design. For a growing company, we have a rather robust design department that allows us to continually push the envelope for new designs and collaborations. We’ve also always had a deep appreciation for the versatility of rattan and stand behind utilizing natural materials in innovative ways.
What is a favorite piece in your collection that designers might not know about?
It’s hard to pick just one! I’ve always loved our Soren Lounge Chair. It’s handcrafted in Indonesia and has a near-perfect walnut-colored finish for the rattan. We often try to mix materials and styles to create truly unique products. It’s not often that a rattan piece has both a mid-century feel with a double-caned back, which has been largely trending in the design community as of late. I’m also really proud of our recent collection with Morris & Co., which launched earlier this year. We were really dedicated to bringing William Morris’ iconic patterns to life by creating unique, high quality pieces by utilizing new materials and processes that we haven’t really seen anywhere else on the market. It’s a really special collection for us that was over a year in the making.
Who or what inspires you most when coming up with designs?
We’re really lucky with the team we’ve got and find that the feedback our team provides one another is often the driving force of inspiration. When we find a new material or a new process that we haven’t previously used, we brainstorm how to best utilize the material or process to create products that no one else is making. We also look at upcoming seasons’ design trends as well as fashion trends, as fashion often drives design trends. We’re also often inspired by our customers. Our design team really enjoys going to trade shows and markets to meet our customers and get direct feedback on our designs as well as what our customers are looking for that we don’t already offer.
What is the process behind coming up with new designs/products?
As of late, we’ve been lucky to partner with new designers and archives that that fit with our ethos of the importance sustainability, utilizing natural materials and family. Once we find a partner that aligns with our mission, the design team begins conceptualizing the collection. Once we’ve established what the direction of the collection will be, we get into the details. We also recognize the interconnectedness of our departments and work with our marketing and sales teams by asking them what they believe are missing in our line and what are customers are asking for. So many of our designs have come to be because our sales and marketing teams will recognize a hole in our assortment and ask for something to fill that gap so we can always offer a diversified product line for our customers.
What is your favorite part about the manufacturing industry?
Without a doubt the best part of the furniture industry is the people. The design industry is a tight knit community and we have created some amazing friendships and partnerships over the years. This is true for both our customers and designers here and the vendors and craftspeople we work with overseas. We feel very lucky to work in an industry where we are creating and selling beautiful things to put in someone’s home. I always say we have a very “intimate” relationship with the end-consumer, since we’re designing pieces that may live in their home for generations to come.