Popularity for web based purchases has taken off exponentially in the last decade. The convenience of shopping from your computer, tablet or phone at any time of day or night, has paved the way for the effortless shopping experience. Shopping online provides those in restricted communities the access to furnishings that are otherwise not available in small towns or cities. In today’s busy world, it can be hard to find the time to take the time out of your schedule to shop in-store for furnishings let a lot find one that stocks your desired look.
Into the ring comes, Silla Furniture, a family run business specialising and operating on the ethos of bringing quality made and affordable furniture to the households of Australia. Owned and operated by Trinity Ambler and his lovely wife Tilly. A contemporary online supplier of modern and classical styled furniture, with exceptional customer service.
We recently spoke with Trinity, about how digitalism is transforming the retail world and the benefits of online shopping.
Tell us about yourself Trinity, have you always been based in Melbourne?
“I’m Melbourne born and bred, but I spent around 3 years in London and used that as a base to travel as much as I could. That experience broadened my view on the world and also took me to South America where I wanted to immerse myself and learnt Spanish. There is a hint of that experience in the name of the business: Silla which is Spanish for Chair!”
“I’ve always dreamed of running my own business and after getting married my wife and I worked on a few ideas and wanted to do something that was relevant to our life at the time. We were looking at properties and planning how we would style and furnish our own place and thought it would be great to source all our own product. Rather than just sourcing for one house we decided to scale up and start a business out of it!”
Who or what inspired you to be start your own online business?
"I take inspiration from many sources, people and places that I’ve traveled to. Mostly it’s the people close to me, my family who inspire me. This is why Silla is a family owned and run business. The more family and friends involvement and support the better!"
At what point did you decide to focus Silla away from a traditional retail store?
“Well, I thought for the launch phase, an wholly online business would allow us to source the products and then provide our customers with the best value, now I believe its the most efficient way for customers to access what they like. We will never be a cheap furniture provider but operating an online business meant that we can provide a great product at exceptional value which we believed and have since had confirmed is what modern discerning customers want.”
Can you tell us about your process for choosing and curating your online product range?
“I travel extensively in Asia, to source my products and build supplier relationships, to ensure the quality and timeframes are what we expect. We focus on quality so that we can deliver a timely and quality product to our customers in Australia without any compromise. I spend a lot of time in Asia and personally I love the food which is one of the highlights for me when I go there. The other is the advanced rail network which is incredible. Trains run almost to the minute and enable you to go from city to city quickly and efficiently. We’ve got some plans in place to source products from Europe and Central America which will be really exciting”
What do you find most rewarding about being an online retailer?
“Although we’re an online business we’re very much about personal service and unlike some online companies that you can’t even call, we love speaking to customers over the phone or welcome them to our warehouse to view some of the products we have set up. Also, whilst the replica Featherston Chair and footrest is one of our most popular products, we are focusing more on stocking original design pieces rather than replica items so you’ll see more and more unique items in Silla’s future.
The range of potential products and suppliers to source from is seemingly endless so the future is abound with opportunity. Although most of what we source now is from Asia, we’d love to be able to offer products from all over the world and particularly locally designed and manufactured pieces. Every day is completely different and I love that it is always interesting, challenging and that I’m not stuck behind a desk in a stuffy corporate office!”
Can you describe what you love most about your role?
"I really enjoy the human element of my job, most people who shop online forget that actual humans are running everything behind the scenes of an online business. It's not just about sourcing products quickly and cheaply, it's also about building on that supplier and manufacturer relationship, this ensures the quality and time-frames are of a high standard and knowing the people we rely personally helps immensely. I believe that shoppers benefit and enjoy sellers more when they have a respectful mutual relationship between themselves and their suppliers or manufactures. This is very important for me, so that Silla can deliver a timely and quality product to our customers in Australia.
Out of all your products, which is your favourite piece and why?
"I’m definitely aligned with our customers and would have to say the replica Featherston Contour Chair and footrest. We have a great range of colours and provide it with a footrest at an extremely competitive price. It is a timeless piece that every home should have. We have one, which takes pride of place in our nursery that my wife has found perfect as a feeding chair over the past 9 months!"
In terms of future furniture trends, can you give us advice to what we should we be looking out for?
“I think online furniture buying will continue to grow more. People generally find comfort knowing that during their busy lives they can be time saving by being able to shop online and have confidence that the item will conveniently arrive at their home as described online. There is also a big growth in television shows based around renovating and interior styling, and I believe consumers are eager to have that online access to source the style of products that they’ve seen on those shows. You only have to watch the property inspection segments on The Block to understand just how many Australians are interested in those types of inspirational shows."
As an online retail expert, what advice can you give us about purchasing furniture online?
“The best advice I can give, is to be a smart online shopper, always read the information provided on the site, such as dimensions and weight, this will help you plan out how and where the item will fit in your home. The second piece of advice I would give is, to consider shipping. In Australia, it is expensive to freight furniture items. At Silla, we try and minimise the costs of freight, so we can pass the savings onto customers. Having the convenience of buying furniture and having it delivered to your home does come at a slight cost. I think it’s easy to forget this, we would argue that most shipping an freight would cost less than that of the time and effort to go and get it yourself!”
What great things do you forsee for Silla in the near future?
"I think it's important to stay a head of the industry in this regard so, you will definitely see us continue to add more and more products, styles and categories to SIlla's existing online range. I have a goal, in which, one day customers will be able to furnish their entire home with the Silla product range. We also have experience working with customers to source specific products on a larger scale for commercial projects or fit outs. In the future, I think these types of projects will become more frequent, so we’re more than happy to chat to clients wishing to do so. It is also possible that in the future we may have plans to open a brick-and-mortar retail store, to help integrate our virtual and physical customer experience."
Based in Melbourne, with support and guidence from family members with a history of retail and design, Silla Furniture is quickly becoming one of Australia's hottest new online furniture retailers. With effortless convenience, and the use of technology customers can take advantage of Silla’s extensive product range in the fastest way possible. Shopping for a new dining setting from the comfort of our couch? Who could ask for more!
House of Home would like to thank Trinity for his time and speaking to us about Silla Furniture and his amazing product range.