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Braden Richter is the president and chief executive officer of LuxeYard. He is also a partner and acting merchandising director at Los Angeles-based retail company Jaxon International, with 20 years of experience in home decor. The Beverly Hills native is heavily influenced by European design.
LuxeYard is the flash sale site for luxury home furnishings and decor that offers access to unique products sourced from an experienced team at prices at up to 70 percent off retail. LuxeYard is the pioneer of Concierge Buying, which gives consumers the power to determine the items sold on the site. With a management team entrenched in design, LuxeYard partners with trendsetters and industry insiders to deliver interactivity and content on its pages. Click here to become a member.
MO: Can you talk about how you started the company? Did you solicit investors or raise the capital you needed in some other way?
Braden: I was approached by entrepreneur Amir Mireskandari to help run LuxeYard. He saw the potential for a paradigm shift in the flash sale site category. With his vision of a centered focus on the community, he started the company earlier this year. Like a true startup, the company came from idea to launch in one year.
MO: Why have you chosen the Concierge Buying concept for your site?
Braden: Our team identified a significant hole in the explosive, e-commerce marketplace, realizing the customer experience was not interactive, community-driven or personalized. We wanted to change that with Concierge Buy. It gives consumers a way to have more control over the retail process, shifting the power from the retailer to the consumer.
With Concierge Buying, LuxeYard members can request items they would like to purchase at a discounted price by posting photos to one of LuxeYard’s social media platforms. The most popular product will be voted up, via a crowdsourced approach, and LuxeYard experts will then source either the exact product, or one known to be comparable or even higher quality, and offer it on the site at a fraction of the retail price.
MO: How has LuxeYard managed to acquire over 200K members in less than 2 months? What does your marketing strategy look like?
Braden: We are very aggressive with public relations, SEO and SEM as well as Facebook advertising and Twitter. We have reached out to the heart of our demographics, where they surf the net and try to message directly to them. While we are a young website, we have been able to create a dedicated member base that has been happy to share LuxeYard with their friends and associates and have a large numbers of members join based on referral invites. We also have some great LuxeLife Trendsetters that have reached out to their following to accrue members and provide a more curated aspect to our product mix.
MO: What are some of your favorite features of the site?
Braden: As someone with the deep background in furniture and interior design, I believe that our room planner is a great feature on our site to really help our members make an educated decision regarding the pieces that they purchase for their home. Our Concierge feature is also a great way for us to keep our finger on the pulse of the buying public and our member-base, to ensure that we provide them with what they want and need.
MO: What design sites and blogs do you visit most regularly?
Braden: I actually try not to visit a ton of style blogs because I don’t want them influencing my own designs. I want to have as clean a slate as possible when I create.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for LuxeYard?
Braden: We are very interested in some of the development work we are doing to further hone Concierge Buying and the concept. We want to work to integrate more “Pinterest like” community aspects into our site. We are also looking ahead to other verticals that make sense for us to launch.