How did you launch your own fabric line?
Claire Declemy: “I started my own fabric line five years ago. It’s 100% my own business, I work alone. Every year I release a new collection. My fabrics are intended for projects, so they are always fire retardant, hard-wearing, washable and dirt/water repellent. They are therefore highly suitable for both families, as well as hotels and restaurants. I have managed to establish partnerships with other exhibitors at ETC Design Center Europe. For example, many furniture manufacturers currently use my fabrics. I have brought samples of the entire collection with me, so that everyone can take some with them. So after people return home from the Expo, they can immediately see how the fabric suits their interiors.”
Is there anyone in the industry that inspires you?
“The international exchanges inspire me. For me, it’s not so much about a stylist or person, but more about what is presented at the exhibitions. I subsequently translate this inspiration to the Dutch market.”
How did you end up at the ETC Design Center Europe?
“Through my father. I initially worked for Declemy Design, my father’s company. He had his own showroom at ETC Design Center Europe and from there I went a step further. I have moved three times within the Expo, each time to a larger floor space.”
Why would you recommend a customer or stylist to visit ETC Design Center Europe?
“Well, you can meet a lot of suppliers in a single location. I also try to present more modern brands. Over time, I hope we are able to create a single centre with a mix of all styles and brands. As a retailer, the showrooms are of particular interest. After all, you can never place all models and styles in your own store. And for the customer, it is also nice that we have a mutual collaboration with exhibitors within ETC Design Center Europe.”
Has the interior industry changed a lot over the years?
“Today there are a lot more brands, so the competition is fierce. Customers and individuals are also far more knowledgable. They know a lot more, so you have to be aware of what is happening around you. Sometimes I wish the goodwill factor was more prominent again. Today the focus is very much on prices.”
What does the future of your company look like?
“These days I’m very much considering focusing on combining online and offline. Should I do it or not? For example, should I develop my own app? You have to keep up with the times, I believe. If not, you’ll be easily overtaken. I’ll always be active offline, simply because I work with fabrics. You have to see and feel the fabrics up close. Offline and online are two different worlds, but I believe online is becoming increasingly important, also for myself.”