From Home Furnishing Business
nousDecor Gets $2.1 Million Infusion
nousDecor, a comprehensive, community-curated interior design and décor site, has raised $2.1 million in seed funding from several prominent angel investors and social media pioneers.
Investors in the brand include Chris Kelly, formerly of Facebook, Jennifer Carrico and Kathy Clark.
Backed with this capital infusion, nousDecor has unveiled a redesigned site that includes an enhanced and contextualized product discovery and shopping experience for users, as well as an interface for retailers to upload their products onto the site to increase sales and exposure. In addition, the San Mateo-based startup has introduced a partnership with Dwell Media to feature and integrate products from the Dwell Store—the e-commerce arm of Dwell, which launched in November 2013 and provides home furnishings and décor items for the modernist.
“Through my career as an entrepreneur and an investor, I’ve seen firsthand the power of social community and curation to disrupt and transform industries and consumer experiences,” said Chris Kelly, who has backed such startups as social networking site, Path and Galavantier, an online travel company specializing in curated experience packages. “With nousDecor, we have the opportunity to bring community and curation to one of the last verticals yet to embrace them – home décor and interior design.”
In the first partnership of its kind for nousDecor, the Dwell Store collection will be featured and promoted throughout the nousDecor site. nousDecor will integrate Dwell Store items in curated moodboards, blog content and within user search results.
"We believe the future of online interior design lies in the hands of the consumer, and is directed in many ways by social media and online community," said Michela O'Connor Abrams, Dwell Media president and CEO. "nousDecor combines social curation and the power of crowd-sourced inspiration with tools for product discovery and shopping in a fresh and compelling way, which is why they are one of a few companies Dwell has selected to partner with thus far."
The updated Web site makes shopping for décor and furnishings a richer and layered experience for users. Instead of a simple pop-up window when you click on an item in a moodboard that only lists price and has a link back to the retailer’s check-out page, now users who click on an item are directed to a full product page that shows how that product has been styled in various moodboards created on the site.
The product page will also display a variety of “Similar Items” – products similar in style, category, color and dimensions but at a range of price points.
In addition to the new product page, nousDecor has added the ability to choose paint colors when creating a moodboard. nousDecor has also introduced an inspiration page that shows how other users have interpreted one look in different ways. The company has also overhauled its popular blog, reorganizing all posts into three categories: “Styling”, “Expert” and “Community.”
For retailers and furniture or décor brands, the newly designed nousDecor site now provides a tool to easily upload a catalog of items to the site, providing the opportunity for enhanced exposure and sales to the nousDecor community.
“nousDecor aims to revolutionize the world of interior design by bringing together a complete discovery and shopping experience that no other site has yet been able to achieve,” said Heather Gillette, nousDecor founder and CEO. “We provide community-curated design solutions – not just the ideas and inspiration available in many places. Pulling it all together – the discovery and translation into reality – is the hard part nobody else has solved in home décor until now.”
Since launching in March, nousDecor has steadily gained momentum with consumers and design professionals. Today, in addition to Chief Designer Mark Cutler, several designers, including Philip Gorrivan, Gillian Lefkowitz, Adam Hunter and Philip Nimmo, have begun uploading their images on the site and creating moodboards.
“It’s been our mission from day one to bring the transformative power of design to as many people as possible, because we truly believe that creating a beautiful, personalized home or work space can truly change lives,” Cutler said. “It’s been exciting to see others in the professional design world joining our community, contributing inspiration and sharing insights with users.”