This week we’re in conversation with Lindsay Meyer, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco retail space, Batch, which launched in September 2017 after just 3 weeks of intensive sourcing. Through Batch, Lindsay has been rethinking and pioneering a new retail experience – “contextual commerce” – we’ll let Lindsay explain more…
How did you get into the world of interiors?
Growing up, my mother was always re-arranging our furniture, and while I was young at the time, her steady habit of refreshing our living spaces had a lasting effect. As I’ve grown, my fascination with design has been honed by a variety of experiences; from freelancing at One Kings Lane, to helping launch a new luxury athleisure line with a Hollywood actress, I’ve also started to take on residential and commercial interior design work. Like most, I love to shop my way through foreign countries and I’m always on the hunt for beautiful things. Now, I can say, “I specialise in them!”
Where did the idea for Batch come from?
While settling into a new San Francisco-based loft last year, I began to re-think the process of shopping for a home. Between navigating items and brands that are only available to view and purchase online, to showrooms that are only open to the trade, the interior design world can be complex. I wanted to craft a shopping experience that felt different so I arranged our Showroom floor into several shoppable vignettes, where visitors can experience brands in a home-like setting, almost as if they were getting a glimpse into a fashionable stranger’s lifestyle.
We’ve heard Batch comes in “Batches” – tell us more about your retail concept; “contextual commerce”?
With the opening of our consumer-facing Showroom in September 2017, we’ve pioneered “contextual commerce” – a new practice of creating retail environments where products are placed in non-store spaces for more intimate interactions. With today’s shoppers craving highly personalised real-world shopping experiences, we really wanted to create an environment that made searching for your next must-have item more like going to your friend’s home. Our goal is to guide shoppers on a journey to discover a lifestyle that they’ll truly love.
Batch is also bridging a gap between online brands and their customers by partnering with today’s most popular e-commerce brands to establish pop-ups within our Showroom. So now, shoppers can finally view, touch and test out the online-only items they’ve been admiring before making an investment.
What we’ve also found since launching is that this immersive way of shopping doesn’t have to be limited to retail. Recently, we launched Showcase, introducing fully shoppable model homes. Now, current and potential homeowners in San Francisco have the unique opportunity to not only view a for-sale property, but browse and buy items and entire rooms of furnishings and accessories from within.
Your current “Batch” mixes rich materials with eclectic prints – is there a particular style your spaces follow?
With our debut Batch, we wanted to focus on establishing our concept as a shoppable home environment. As a nod to our flagship location, we also wanted to embrace the timeless California-contemporary style. Paired with liberal use of colour and global touches, like the integration of hand-woven rugs from Afghanistan, artisan bowls and baskets from Mexico and dipped stools from France, we’ve created a unique space fit to appeal to every shopper’s unique style.
And we’re constantly refreshing it on a 10-week basis to bring in new inventory and brands for shoppers to fall in love with.
How was your experience of sourcing for items globally using eporta?
eporta has been instrumental in unlocking international access to top product. Navigating the interface is so simple, and we love how easy it is for our team to request trade accounts, obtain quotes and work with top tier manufacturers around the world. It makes this large design realm that we operate in feel much more intimate and accessible.
We’re also a huge fan of our account manager, Nicole, here at Batch! She is such a genuine representation of the eporta brand and she’s gone above and beyond her role to become a treasured extension of our team here in California. She even sent us chocolate from London! We’re so spoiled by her 🙂
And finally, yet most importantly(!), what’s your favourite item in the current Batch?
The Now’s Home Okura Occasional Table is stunning. We have it prominently placed at the front of our showroom and it always catches our shoppers’ eye. We love to show it off!
Lindsay’s top picks from eporta for the Showroom and Showcase.