LYLE and Lua Henri started their Claremont furniture business nearly five years ago but last year rebranded to Henri Living and now carry several different brands.
1. What made you decide to start your own business?
My wife and I were working in architecture and interior design when we were renovating our home. We were looking for designer furniture that didn’t cost exorbitant amounts when we came across the Camerich brand in Osborne Park. After a bit of investigation, we discovered that the brand was looking for another retailer in WA. We thought we would give it a shot and I would go back to working in architecture after six months, but five years later I’m still here very much involved in this business.
2. How is it unique from other furniture businesses?
All our sales staff are qualified and experienced interior designers who understand how design and designer products can be used to enhance a modern Australian lifestyle. We exclusively represent nine brands (mostly made in Italy) that can all be tailored to suit any client’s particular needs. Through our in-home/in-store design services, our designers are able to assist our clients to find the right solution… we are much more focused on getting it right for the customer than just selling them a piece of furniture.
3. What has been the biggest challenge since starting your business?
The biggest challenge for us in business over the past few years has definitely been the slow economy. We started at the end of 2014, which was really at the end of a pretty long boom period in WA, so it wasn’t the most ideal time to begin any business. We’ve stuck with it, however, and by adding more brands to our range as well as increasing our design services offering, we are starting to see a big upswing in business.
4. What advice would you give someone who is starting their own business?
Have a clear vision (but be flexible), be passionate about your idea and persevere. Also, be willing to take advice, but always do what feels right to you.
5. What’s your local coffee shop?
My wife and I pick up coffee near our place on the way to work at Good Things in Mosman Park or from the guys at Edition in Swanbourne.