Where do we buy wholesale inventory?
When we started out, we typically purchased our inventory from vendors who could ship the quickest! We honestly didn't put much long-range thought into our purchases and bought for the immediate projects ahead. It was NOT a cost effective method for purchasing and we were oftentimes left scrambling for key pieces on project days. But you live and you learn, and then you go wholesale. Over time, we have certainly tried to be more strategic with our purchases and buy in anticipation of the year ahead. We also have learned to buy larger quantities of inventory that we love, which helps us develop a recognizable aesthetic in our market and an overall more cohesive look in our staged properties.
We still shop at local vendors often (hi, HomeGoods!) and sometimes the best deals can be found just down the street. But when the time comes for us to invest in more inventory, here are some of the wholesale vendors that we use and love. It's fairly painless to sign up for a trade account, typically requiring your tax and resale forms.
Furniture is definitely our toughest category to shop for, particularly sofas and dining tables, largely because we are looking for pieces that look like a million bucks, but only cost a few hundred. Oftentimes, we'll find that online, inexpensive sofas lack the quality and design aesthetic that we love and we have better luck looking locally for these items. However, we've had quite a bit of luck finding high quality, lower cost staging inventory at Olliix. We particularly love the accent chairs, console tables and coffee tables. While they usually require some assembly, we've found that their products can withstand the beating from numerous moves and look great! We have also had great success with the lamps from Olliix.
No matter how hard we try, it feels like we are always running low on lamps. Many of the houses that we stage are older and we oftentimes use several lamps in each room to lighten and brighten the space. Sagebrook is one of our favorite vendors for lamps and they offer a huge selection of sophisticated styles and the lamps typically cost between $69-$99 each. Yes, you can find other lamps for less money, but you can't beat the quality at Sagebrook - it is a visible difference when we use a Sagebrook lamp versus a cheaper, local option. We also love the vases and decorative objects at Sagebrook. These smaller pieces often come with minimum quantities so we certainly stock up on the designs we love.
Not all stems are created equal and we have found a big winner with K&K Interiors. While this isn't the cheapest option for faux stems and branches, we absolutely love the quality and selection at K&K. We found this vendor on our trip down to market in Atlanta and they haven't disappointed us yet. We use pops of greenery in virtually every room we stage - we think they add color and life to a space. So we keep a large supply of faux stems on hand at all times. We also love the faux fruit from K&K, particularly the faux artichokes, which look amazing in a bowl in the kitchen.
Art is definitely an area in staging that sets you apart. We have found that purchasing larger, more sophisticated art work has elevated our staging to a new level. Sure, we still use large canvas prints in our projects and we love a good find at HomeGoods as much as the next person, but we think that larger art pieces make such a statement in our projects. If you can work out the timing so that you're not in an urgent need for art, we highly recommend that you invest in larger pieces, like at Leftbank Art.
Similar to Leftbank Art, we have found and loved many art pieces at Wendover. Again, art makes such a statement and we feel it's totally work the investment. I have found quite a few pieces at Wendover for my personal home as well. Warning, it does take some time and energy to find pieces, especially if you don't have a particular look in mind. But it's well worth the effort.
Despite the fact that we have yet to come up with a good storage solution in our warehouse for rugs, we continue to invest in area rugs of all sizes, particularly from Loloi Rugs. Having the right size area rug is like having the right size bra (sorry to any male readers) - fit is super important. We love that Loloi offers many different tiers of rugs, varying in both price, size and style. Similar to art, a good high quality rug certainly elevates the look of a staged property. It's also an area where we tend to get a little crazier with color style as most of our furniture pieces are quite neutral.
It was a long road to get here, but we've found that by investing in wholesale inventory vendors, we've had a better handle on our cash flow, as well as more insights into our needs for future projects. It's worth mentioning as well that RESA has a buying group, which allows for further purchase discounts for home stagers. Definitely check it out to see if any of your favorites are on the list.