Whom, A New Direct-to-Consumer Brand, is All About Personalization and Personality
by DANIELLE BLUNDELL
As much as it pains me to say this, summer is almost over, and we’re about to transition into a new (albeit much cooler) season. Which honestly, for me, is enough of an excuse to start thinking about changing things up at home. Nothing
but I feel like a new chair for the living room or a new piece of art would do the trick and help break me out of my current decorating rut. But where to shop when you don’t want to drop a fortune on a chair or have the exact same sofa as
We’re all familiar with the big box stores and major players in the online home décor space, but I bet you haven’t heard of Whom yet. They’re a brand new direct-to-consumer furniture brand focused on sustainability and custom built
brand launched this August with a wide variety of styles for basically every room in the house. And when you factor in the three different metal finishes (matte black, brass, silver), over 50 fabrics in a dozen different weave styles, and
different wood stain options, the number of pieces you can create is, well, pretty endless.
Each of Whom’s products is named for a specific type of personality, which is kind of cheeky and fun (though some of the marketing images with models are a bit much, but I digress).
I love The Connoisseur, which has an angular metal frame, yet somehow, with its sloped back cushion and seat, still looks comfortable to sit in. Depending on the color of upholstery you select, it could read as glam and girly or
I’m also into the versatility of The Alchemist coffee table. It’s modular, so you’re pretty much getting three tables for the price of one. And the fact that the tables nest is clutch for any small space.
Both of those pieces cost around $1,000, so Whom is not exactly cheap. But trust that this level of personalization elsewhere would cost you more. And you probably wouldn’t get your order in two to four weeks time, which is what Whom
for all items.
Make no mistake about it though—Whom is fast, but it’s not fast fashion for home. Pieces are hand finished by craftsmen. Whom’s hardwood lumber is sustainably harvested, their North American factory has a zero-waste policy, and they use
recycled polystyrene in their mirrors, picture frames, and wall décor. Translation: these are not the type of purchases you leave on the curb when you move.
And did I mention Whom also offers pillows, artwork, and decorative accessories? There’s really something for everyone. There’s even a collection of pet beds and bowls that are among the chicest I’ve ever seen. So go ahead, and get lost
their site. At the very least, you’ll get a kick out of their product names and hopefully, a little inspiration for your next big seasonal refresh. I know I did.
An Industry Veteran Is Betting on a Sustainable, Millennial-Focused Furniture Brand
By Madeleine Luckel
"We wanted to try to create a breakup with disposable furniture, because we felt it’s killing the planet." These are the words of Jonathan Bass—a design industry veteran, and the brain behind Whom, a new direct-to-consumer,
furniture brand, which launched this week. Whom's offerings includes complete ranges for bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. The bed frames, sofa, sectionals, tables, and chairs all possess somewhat streamlined silhouettes, with the
occasional pop of color.
While Bass's focus on the environment likely is a sentiment shared by many born between 1981 and 1996, millennials are also a demographic with a itinerant reputation and a penchant for purchasing fast furniture. Nevertheless, Bass is
to help change that latter fact—thanks to his confidence in what this young bracket of shoppers really want.
Each of Whom’s products is named for a specific type of personality, which is kind of cheeky and fu
n (though some of the marketing images with models are a bit much, but I digress).
"I think that the millennial consumer is very concerned about supply chains, sustainability, and the environment in general," Bass tells AD PRO. "They're not so brand-loyal, but they are product-loyal. And if the product is
vote for it." Speaking further on this matter, he states, "We feel that the market in general has always been a margin game, whereas our standpoint is, how do we offer the best product and compete with what’s out there?"
Bass's way of thinking traces its roots to his work launching the Badgley Mischka home collection. While working for the brand, Bass focused on bringing a clear sense of materials and production-based knowledge to his customers. However,
quickly found that although such a focus was prevalent throughout the luxury home market, it wasn't something that was accessible to those shopping at a lower price point. Summarizing his thought process, Bass says, "The upper-end market
[me] experience in what that high-end consumer wants, and we want to bring that expectation to a more affordable line of products."
Bass also believes that today, transparency isn't something that is truly present across the home decor industry. He asks rhetorically at one point: "Do the factories really deliver on what they say? In terms of things like off-gassing?"
consumers are not aware of how and where a product is being made—and whether or not it lives up to the claims made in its branding materials.
Experience and market research aside, creating a sustainable, transparent, and affordable furniture company is easier said than done. So how exactly did Bass and his team approach meeting their goals? "We didn’t start with a price point
mind," he says. "We didn’t work backwards. We went about building products that we really wanted to build, and that we are proud of." Bass goes on to elaborate that many companies tend to take the reverse approach. In such instances,
quickly have to be made—such as by downgrading to cheaper materials to meet budget constraints.
According to Whom, the company also has complete control over its supply chain. If Whom doesn't make the item, it is not incorporated into the product line. The company is also focused on domestic production, and its factories will
extensive number of audits. Producing chairs, tables, and more in closer proximity to its buyers also comes with a pro-environmental ripple effect. If a container of couches doesn't have to be loaded and then processed through multiple
distribution centers, a lot of energy gets saved. Of course, domestic production makes Whom's business more expensive to run. That's where the direct-to-consumer model comes in, which helps offset such costs.
The final piece of Bass's strategy may just be the people with whom he chooses to surround himself. "The team that runs [Whom] is completely millennial," he says, adding with a laugh that "even our PR firm is all millennial." Striking a
serious note, he adds, "We let them really go for it. If you look at the site, we took a lot of chances. No one is presenting furniture like we ar
Clearly, Bass's multi-pronged strategy aims to position his business to succeed. And while he is adamant that Whom delivers on its promises, in the long run he's hoping to make waves throughout the industry. "If we can prove this can be
hopefully others will jump in and do the same," he says. A potential environmental legacy, if ever there was one.
Match Your Furniture To Your Personality With Whom
by Rachel Wood
It's exhilarating when you find a piece of furniture that really exemplifies who you are. It feels personal — and that's a good thing. While there's hardly a shortage of options online, if you're in the market for a beautiful,
hand-crafted piece that was made just for you, then look no further.
Introducing Whom — the newest direct-to-consumer furniture brand behind the minimal home pieces that reflect the modern design-lover. Bound to take the world by a storm, each hand-crafted piece can be upholstered in over 50 different
fabrics, with a dozen different weave styles to choose from. Take your pick between six different unique wood and metal finishes, or mix and match to make your new piece truly bespoke.
“Whom is here to flip mass furniture upside down," said CEO Jonathan Bass. "We’re putting the focus back on the people. Our product is best in class — and the process is sustainable. We don’t hoodwink the consumer, we embrace them."
What's more, each Whom piece is assigned a different personality trait. Curious? We thought you might be. Read on to discover what Whom piece might best reflect you.
A curator's job is to give meaning to an object, a sense of context and place. This lounge chair gives you the perfect opportunity to impress your guests.
The generalist loves the freedom of versatility. Just imagine all of the different ways there are to decorate this side table.
Leave it up to the promoter to hype this plush lounge chair! We're thinking a living area or bedroom in need of a little warmth would work best.
The sentinel, also known as the loyal one, would die for these two decorative side tables. Seriously, these little accents will never let you down when it comes to elevating your bedroom space.
Amorists, prepare to fall head over heels in love with this delicate, linear accent chair. Its sleek metal legs and contemporary seat have the capacity to inspire endless love poems.
New DTC brand clear about for whom and how it’s made
by Anne Wear Flynne
LOS ANGELES — The CEO of new DTC consumer brand Whom says the company is focused on sustainability and custom-built pieces that will stand the test of time.
As the CEO of Badgley Mischka Home, Jonathan Bass said he educated high-end consumers about the details of furniture production, such as how and where a product is made, and now wants to bring that knowledge to a new subset of consumers,
“Whom is here to flip mass furniture upside down. We’re putting the focus back on the people,” said Bass. “Our product is best in class, and the process is sustainable. We don’t hoodwink the consumer; we embrace them. Whom is here to
give the customer the freedom to customize pieces that speak to their home, workplace and personality.”
Bass said the brand’s name comes from the desire to personalize the product, and the company truly knows for whom the product is being made.
“We own a factory in Mexico and source 85% of the raw materials from there, while also working with products that are difficult to recycle like Styrofoam, which we use for molding, and crushed cardboard that we use as packing material,”
Bass said. “Everything we try to do we do with an eye towards sustainability and minimizing our footprint in the world as a factory.”
The Whom factory maintains a zero-waste policy and seeks out the waste of other factories so it can reintegrate and recycle it. The result is hundreds of truckloads diverted from landfills and given useful life again as picture frames,
décor and mirrors. One of the main reasons the furniture is produced in Mexico, according to Bass, is its proximity to the U.S. market, since the factory can move product more easily, which results in less of an impact on highways due to
a massive reduction in fuel use.
Whom’s offerings include pieces for bedrooms, living rooms and dining rooms, ranging from accessories that start at $100 to a modular sofa for $4,500. The pieces come in 65 fabric colors, three wood colors and three metal colors. “The
sweet spot for a sofa is around $2,000, so it’s custom furniture at an affordable price point,” said Bass.
The company also offers what it calls a Swatch Box, which gives customers the chance to feel all the fabrics, woods and metals in person before purchasing. And, in a nod to the trade, interior designers will be able to get Whom products
with coordinating finishes shipped together.
“We want to make sure that customers are happy with what they are getting. It’s expensive to deliver furniture, so seeing the fabric, wood and metal in person helps eliminate one of the pain points,” said Bass. “We can also send them
images of their sofa while it’s in production, and of course, white glove delivery is included.”
Many of the pieces are named after personality traits such as the Free Spirit, the Pragmatist, the Influencer, the Trash Talker and the Millennial, among others.
“We want to be transparent about what our product is made of since an informed consumer makes a better buyer,” said Bass. “With e-commerce, it’s about under-promising and over-delivering. “
Our fabrics may come in colors, but don't call us a shrinking violet. Flamingo pink? Got it. Pure white? Yep. Taupe? Yeah why not. We've got beige for days. Want to see for yourself? Get the box today.
Sustainability isn't just cool, it’s necessary. And we're doing our part to make sure everything we do contributes to the greater good, from certified good to our in-house recycling plant. Let me repeat that
for you. in-house recycling plant.
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15 DAY HOME TRIAL
Fear of commitment? No worries. You'll have 15 days after delivery to send your furniture back if it just isn't working out.