Shaynna blazes in for independent cabinetmakers
Cabinetmakers, interior designers and the latest appliances, it’s the stuff of hit television shows; in fact, it’s the stuff of quite a few hit television shows, starring designer Shaynna Blaze.
It was also the scene that greeted guests at last week’s ICM Geelong Trade Night, hosted at the e&s showroom on Moorabool Street.
And the best part was that even when the cameras were pointed somewhere else and there were only a few strangers around her, the evening’s special guest was every bit as warm, funny and genuinely engaging as you would see on Selling Houses Australia, The Block, and Deadline Design.
It was Shaynna the crowd came to see, but what they walked away with was a greater understanding of how the innovative Independent Cabinet Makers of Geelong group were working together as an industry not to boost flagging businesses – the local building boom means that most are seriously busy already – but to create opportunities for the next generations of cabinetmakers and apprentices. The business model is simple, keep the jobs local and the trade alive by doing what the big green box stores do, but do it better and cheaper. Really? I hear you ask. Actually, yes, because when you don’t have to pay a series of suppliers through the product’s chain, you can provide a better product at a lower price, and many of the local guys use laser cutting technology that means they can even produce kitchen, bathroom, laundry and storage designs as flat packs, just like the big guys. Only these ones are designed for your home or offices and can be up to 25 per cent cheaper than off the floor packages.
We also heard how e&s are defying the retail downturn by backing in high quality products with the kind of after sales service you just can’t get online. It’s not a complicated strategy and you certainly don’t need to read a book about it, but it’s consistent, it comes from the top and is carried all the way through and it works.
As well as that, we heard that small space design is driving interior trends like sliding panels to conceal kitchens and laundries, ovens are coming back to eye height to allow more under-bench storage and European-style combined kitchens and laundries are increasingly popular, particularly in apartments. Shaynna’s best design advice: take hints from trends, but design for practicality that will still work for you and your family in ten year’s time.
Shaynna Blaze is a brand spokesperson for Asko.
Photos by Pam Hutchinson, Pam Hutchinson Photography