New Home Décor Catalog Bears Fruit

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Decades of direct marketing experience are finally bearing fruit for business partners Lawrence Lee and Ricky Manuel, who launched a home décor catalog last month called greenMango.


The 64-page book mailed to 300,000 names and will continue on a monthly schedule, said Lee, who along with Manuel worked at J. Crew for years. The new title's target audience is moderate- to high-income households that shop by catalog and/or the Internet.


The point of difference between greenMango and Pottery Barn or other competitors in the home décor category is the former's emphasis on "colors, textures and shapes that are combined in sophisticated and elegant ways," Lee said.


"We're more about fashion than we are about home," he said, adding that apparel trends inspired many of his and Manuel's ideas.


With a focus on natural woods, animal prints and colors such as lime and turquoise and a selection of 500-plus proprietary products, Lee thinks the catalog brings some much-needed freshness to the home décor marketplace.


"We felt that there was an obvious void in terms of what the current collection of catalogs are offering and that there's a portion of the market that wants alternatives to what's out there," he said.


Lee isn't alone. Already, home décor shopping magazine Domino has been in touch about featuring one of the catalog's items in an upcoming issue.


Many items in the premiere issue are handmade from rattan, bamboo and, of course, Mango wood. There are hand-thrown clay vases painted in pink, mint and lilac; a hand-woven Malacca wood and Tanguile wood daybed and a woven leather club chair. More unusual items include a shaggy chair made of abaca rope and a lamp constructed from brightly hued resin bangles. Prices range from $29 to $1,800.


Categories in the catalog include everything from bedding and decorative accents to furniture and lighting. To help shoppers find the right items, the book is divided into several style elements that offer items appropriate for traditional, modern and European-inspired homes, Lee said. The styles are: Paris, Colette, Huntington, Soho, Barry, Rita, Carlyle, Metro and West Indies.


The catalog features many photographs of room scenes as a way to inspire shoppers and give them ideas for mixing and matching items.


Lee said he expects to bring out a new collection of merchandise quarterly and eventually increase the item count to around 900. Page count would rise accordingly if that happens.


In November, the company will launch an e-commerce site, greenmangotrading.com, where newer items will be introduced before making it into the catalog. This is also where sale items eventually will be sold, Lee said.


Like many other home décor brands, greenMango also may be headed to retail. Though a standalone store is unlikely at this point, the company plans to participate in Epicenter, a mall-based retail concept that will house many catalogers that don't have storefronts under one roof, each with their own individual boutique.


Chantal Todé covers catalog and retail news and BTB marketing for DM News and DM News.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters


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