28. March 2015–
On Saturday March 28, 2015, the online design furniture store Hem opened its flagship store in Berlin Kreuzberg, where some of its 350 own products are displayed. For now, the store will be the only one of its kind. Among a few others, VenutreVillage was invited to take a first look.
Explaining that Hem is a very data-driven company, CEO and founder Jason Goldberg (former CEO and founder of Fab) said that they will look at the numbers, but would certainly like to open more stores soon.
The story of Hem & Design Made Easy
“It’s not just about selling furniture online,” Goldberg explains. "It's about: How do you make furniture that is designed to be sold online."
The concept is explained quickly: Hem produces design furniture that is easy to buy, ship and put together. Sounds good. But how do you get there?
After selling third-party products for a while, Goldberg’s old company Fab acquired custom furniture business Massivkonzept and integrated the customization idea into its own concept. After the company’s rollercoaster ride and exit in March 2014, Hem started, focussing on the customization idea. Later, in July 2014, the Finnish ready-to-assemble design furniture startup NorticOne was acquired.
In September 2014, Hem launched. Besides it's own products, customers can also customize selected furniture, e.g. in colors or sizes. Customization takes about eight week and is for now only available in Europe.
Seeing how easy items like chairs are put together, it seems Goldberg found the right partners to start this business.
All furniture is produced in Europe
“We don’t do any ‘made in China’,” Goldberg explains towards VentureVillage, stating that all products are made in Europe. The textiles, however, come from India. As of today, about 150 people are working for Hem. 55 of them are based in Berlin and responsible for marketing, logistics, and sales, 25 are based in Poland and handle the stock. The design team in Stockholm has seven members, while 65 people are based in India and take care of the technology. There is also a small team based in Helsinki to produce prototypes of the products.