Roy Otwell and Doug Henderson are the design-obsessed proprietors of SWITCH, the premiere modern furniture and accessories showroom in Atlanta, Georgia, and its deep and churning, Web-based companion, switchmodern.com.
In the beginning there was a need...
Ten years ago, Roy sought a sleek and modern, as well as functional, kitchen for his own home. The Italian company Poliform met his exacting criteria, but he soon discovered that no one in the South represented the manufacturer. Year-long story short: A cold call to Poliform's national director of sales and marketing led to Roy and Doug opening Poliform Atlanta to serve the region's like-minded desire for high-end kitchen products accompanied by equally high-end customer service.
One need leads to another...
Within the first year of operation, Doug and Roy recognized that their Poliform clients' quest for quality applied to all their home-furnishing acquisitions - furniture and upholstery, light fixtures, floor coverings, and tabletop accessories. It's simple. Material quality, original design, and customer service are what design-minded people want. This realization motivated the owners to bring additional product lines into their showroom. They were right, and SWITCH was born in May 2002. Needing more display space and wanting a street presence, Roy and Doug moved SWITCH into its current location in April 2004.
Someone once said, "Luck is the intersection of preparation and opportunity." Doug and Roy acknowledged that they've been quite lucky. With the additional showroom space, their tenacity, aided by preparation and opportunity, they have secured some of the world's most creative manufacturers and their designers - Flexform (Antonio Citterio), Wittmann (Joseph Hoffmann, Friedrich Kiesler), Edra (Campana Brothers), and Fontana Arte (Gio Ponti, Gae Aulenti), to name a few.
No good need goes unanswered...
Everyone with a pulse has a presence on the Internet. A company can no longer survive without one. Doug and Roy are no different in their e-commerce goals. They are, however, very different in how they do business. Every product from every manufacturer they represent is on switchmodern.com. Both design professionals and consumers can see everything that's available. In other words, switchmodern.com sells everything but paint and lumber. In addition, switchmodern.com offers access to specification and pricing information and can print high-resolution tear sheets for presentations.