Barn & Willow, California: start-up online shop for luxury home textiles

When Trisha Roy wanted to redecorate her home nearly three years ago, she realised that high-quality products were far too expensive for her. She felt that things were simply unaffordable and somehow overpriced. However, she decided to get to the bottom of it, and this was the beginning of her business idea. It was partly Trisha’s personality, and partly also the fact that her little office was situated in the Silicon Valley.

After all, the San Francisco area is well-known for its great entrepreneurial spirit. Trisha had to overcome two obstacles: on the one hand, she wanted to undercut the usual profit margin of 300 to 500 per cent among luxury textile retailers, but on the other, she also wanted to find superior quality products. It took her months of research until she eventually found the solution: get rid of administrative expenses, save rent on a physical shop, pay fair prices to suppliers and charge customers a mark-up of “only” 100 per cent. How did she manage it? By setting up a pure online shop.

When Trisha founded Barn & Willow, she set herself the aim of using only the most exquisite materials while at the same time being transparent about her costs and price structures. Her main products are Belgian linen drapes as well as cushions and throws. We met Trisha at Heimtextil in January where she was on the lookout for new and inspiring products and suppliers who shared her corporate philosophy. “For me Heimtextil is a fascinating platform for home textiles and décor – it’s where I find exactly what I need for the product range at Barn & Willow,” said Trisha at the trade show. “I’m already very excited about my contacts. This is where I met manufacturers from India, Peru, Mongolia and Italy. We’re continually looking for partners who share our enthusiasm and our vision of luxury on fair terms. I’m convinced that Heimtextil is exactly the right place for finding such partners.”

Heimtextil 2016 was attended by around 68,000 international trade visitors. About two-thirds came from abroad.

Kerstin Böhning

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