Through the Local program, West Elm is supporting independent designers—and building its own brand to boot.
Most independent designers would kill for a mass retailer to sell their work—unless it put them out of business. One of the harsh realities of partnering with large companies—which increasingly see independent design as a way to differentiate their wares from competitors’—is meeting demand. Making 100 of a particular item is not the same thing as making thousands; in many cases, a sudden large order from a retailer could throw the supply chain out of whack. Moreover, buying the materials and supplies to make an order often requires a large investment that can be financially burdensome.