Sunday, 28 July 2013

profile diana campbell - the third row.

circle shelf three tier bride and wolf

confetti system bronze pink garland third drawer down

danish leather strapping chair white fenton and fenton

agnes sandal gorman

francesca rockette blue-neon orange southern skies everingham and watson

langazela chevron cushion safari fusion

oh the places you'll go print hunting for george

Diana Campbell founder of The Third Row

Today I am really excited to share a new concept which will make navigating, and wading through the abundance of products available online, a whole lot easier. The Third Row is a new site devoted to pooling the latest and greatest pieces from independent designers and beautifully curated online stores, which have received great press across magazines and blogs. When I first met the founder Diana Campbell last year, I thought it was a wonderful idea, and after more than a year of hard work, IT ingenuity and incredible drive, Diana launched the The Third Row last week. For those who don't know where to start when looking to shop online, TTR is one of the best directories you'll find(which could prove particularly handy come Christmas time). Having lived and breathed the project from its conception, there is no-one better to describe the The Third Row than Diana herself.

How would you describe yourself?
omnivore, interrogator, improviser, impatient, unco.

What was your childhood dream?
That Kentucky Fried Chicken would open near the turnoff to our sheep farm. We lived 100km from the nearest town and the nearest KFC was 500km away in Emerald.

What’s your background?
I was lucky to get a job with a startup during the dotcom boom as a 19 year old with half a media studies degree. Since then I’ve worked in various web roles in Australia and the UK, writing, marketing, and managing websites, and making them enjoyable to use.

lavumisa fabric basket tatu feather and buzz

What inspired you to create The Third Row?
The seeds were planted when I was travelling in my 20s. I became really aware that the same stores seemed to be popping up in cities and towns all over the world - Zara, TGI Fridays, Mango, McDonalds. This homogenisation really saddened me (and ruined my travel experience!) and my subconscious started whirring, thinking about how I could use my web knowledge and experience to help small independent businesses survive the onslaught from global retailers.

More recently, after working for other people for +12 years which was then followed by my daughter Eugenie’s arrival, I felt like I was ready to do what I’ve always wanted to do professionally: start my own business. It had to be web based of course!

The idea evolved during sleepless nights in Eugenie’s first 6 months. I knew I had it when I’d thought of a website concept that was unique and would challenge me to use everything I’ve learnt professionally, that would also have a positive impact on other people and businesses.

over the rainbow cubby love

What do you love about independent design?
When you buy an item from an independent designer or store, a creative person has put their heart and soul into designing and making, or selecting, that item. I feel like these goods have a soul and a positive energy that is absent from a 50% off bargain from a chain store.

How would you describe the site?
The ultimate starting point if you want to buy beautifully designed fashion and homewares (with positive energy!) from fabulous independent stores that you read about on blogs and in magazines.

pinched & glazed planter LEIF

How does the site work?
It’s the most convenient way to shop from independent stores you hear about in the media.

You can search for cushions between $50-$100 and compare 100s of cushions from multiple independent stores on one site, without having to trawl sites separately.

You can see particular products that have been featured on blogs and in magazines. You can see which publications have been talking about stores, which may give you more confidence to buy from a designer or retailer who is new to you.

You can also search for cushions from stores that your favourite blogs and magazines are talking about. For example, visit Kylie’s ‘store’ and search for ‘cushion’.

Only independent stores that have received good media coverage can showcase their products on the site, so you can be sure that everything is of a very high standard.

We don’t process transactions. When you click ‘Buy’ you will be taken the stores’ site to purchase.

blossom 4 inaluxe

Which magazines and blogs does TTR draw from?
We draw from our partnerships with blogs like Kylie Jackes, Fancy, Pitch and Four Thousand. We also keep an eye on publications like Real Living, Inside Out, The Design Files and Design Sponge.

What challenges have you had to overcome?
Explaining the idea simply, because it’s quite complex!

How many stores/designers do you have on board?
110 so far.

What are some of the featured items on The Third Row you’re currently coveting?

* 2. Mr Kitly - Kirsten Perry cushion
* 3. Marz Designs - Bright Beads "Africa" pendant
* 7. Y.S collective - High Collar Stool

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
When Douglas and Bec and Rachel Castle said they were interested in showcasing their products on the site.

mad confetti castle

What's next?
More partnerships with great blogs like Kylie Jackes, more products from amazing independent stores, and doing everything we can to send customers our stores’ way.

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to:
Read - Frankie, Real Living, The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Watch - SBS News, Mad Men.
Cook - Nothing - my husband cooks on the weekend!
Create - The Third Row, cubby houses.
Listen to - Melody’s Echo Chamber, The Wiggles.
Dream about - Having some spare cash to buy things on the site.
Look forward to - Moving into our own house after living in 5 different rentals in 3 years!