We sat down with the woman behind our home decor app, Samantha Simonton, to hear how she first got into the furniture industry, her favourite decor tips, and how she came up with the idea for this game-changing platform.
Joie Digital Marketing (JDM): Tell me about your experience in the furniture biz.
Samantha Simonton (SS): My father was a travelling salesperson when I was growing up. I never wanted to get into sales because I saw that he was never home! But I always wanted to be in business. I got my business degree and worked in business operations for years.
I’ve been around the furniture and appliances industry my whole life, so it was natural that I eventually stepped into a role at a furniture, mattress and appliances company over a decade ago. Later I started my own furniture agency, representing the manufacturer as an independent business.
JDM: How did you first come up with the idea for AMY inspired?
SS: AMY Inspired was based on a need from the next generation of consumers. Typically, this group is subscribing for wants and needs. They’re not necessarily saving for big purchases. It’s a generation of no ownership: no cars, no phones, no homes.
Furniture is not an asset. It depreciates at least 90 percent as soon as you bring it into your home. There’s got to be a better way. AMY Inspired was formed out of that. Your “Amazing Memorable Years” are now, and you don’t have to wait for someday to experience them.
Our goal with AMY Inspired is to have beautiful space for about $100 a month, approximately the same price as your cell phone bill. That will get you about seven pieces, from a selection of about 217 pieces listed on the site now.
JDM: Why do you think having a beautiful space is important?
SS: Your home should be your safe space. Wherever it is, your home should feel like you. Technology is making us crazy, when it was intended to simplify our lives. When you go home, you need to recharge. Having a beautiful space gives you the foundation to do that.
JDM: Some people might think this service will cost them more over the long run than purchasing furniture. What do you say to that?
SS: This service is about ease. You are paying for a high-value customer experience. AMY Inspired helps you save time and takes the hassle out of furniture ownership.
JDM: How does AMY Inspired go about selecting the furniture items listed on the site?
SS: We pull directly from Canadian family-owned manufacturers, suppliers and wholesalers.
JDM: How did you come up with the name AMY Inspired?
SS: AMY is an acronym for Amazing Memorable Years. AMY is also a resource: she’s your guide in the design. To save you time and energy, we work with interior designers to put our collections together. AMY’s helping you along the way. On the e-commerce site, you choose a room, choose a time frame and an anchor piece. Other recommended pieces are designed to fit with the anchor piece. On the app there is a questionnaire that helps us determine your decor style. We ask: What is your go-to outfit on the weekend? What’s your favourite carnival ride? With that we will curate the collection based on your personality and the size of the room.
Next, you use the app to scan your room so that the augmented reality feature can access its dimensions. This way, you can easily visualize different combinations. Next, you can share the rendering with friends and family to get their opinion, and check out on the app. Or the quick version of buying is on the website.
JDM: What sets AMY Inspired apart from other similar furniture rental services?
SS: We offer fresh, fashionable furniture without the risk. You can pay for it in your monthly budget now, and decide if you want to keep it later. We also have no hidden costs: delivery’s included and takeaway is included.
JDM: Do you personally use the AMY Inspired app/website?
SS: Yes, I am now a customer: I have a chair and a nice marble table. My husband and I are disagreeing about which sofa we need!
JDM: Do you have any favourite decor tips to share?
SS: Break the rules! We have art pencil rubbings that we brought back from Cambodia and placed it in my living room. But I added lots of layers and textures on top of the art. Some people don’t really like it. But I love it. It’s breaking the art rule.
About six years ago, I was shopping for a new sofa, and I wanted a blueberry blue sofa. Everyone thought I was crazy. We still have our blueberry blue sofa. All of a sudden, four years later, everyone has blueberry blue sofas.
Also, I don’t have a coffee table, because I like the open space. We have side tables.
Learn more about how AMY Inspired works here.