Mark Bergadon is the Global Sales Director of Home at JOOR and today, we're speaking with him to gain his personal insights on the home goods industry, current and upcoming trends, and his exceptional tenured career.
Tell us a little about your background in home.
I spent my career in the home fashion industry on both the retail and wholesale side, primarily in luxury. I've had the pleasure of working in many home verticals: furnishings, decorative accessories, stationery, gifts, lifestyle brands, and housewares. Over the course of my career, I developed a comprehensive viewpoint on a home in general.
How would you describe your personal taste in home decor?
I would describe my personal taste as eclectic and elegant. I like to mix and match different styles. For instance, I'll have a modern piece combined with a find from a Paris flea market. It's not unlike building a personal wardrobe where you select items that you're drawn to, bring them home and try to work them all together with your existing collection. I personally enjoy lots of color. Every time I work in a different vertical of the home fashion industry or with different brand, I learn something new, and get influenced by that point of view.
What trends are you currently seeing in home?
Since the pandemic began, there's a big trend toward natural materials. Natural elements like beads made out of cocoa or grasses, natural hides, or faux natural hides. Think natural materials and colors that are typically found in nature. In terms of colors, this means greens and blues are hugely popular.
Consumers are also not afraid to use color anymore. Color reflects people’s mood, and people are embracing it more, particularly since we have all been spending much more time in our homes lately. So, I think the idea that color is more accessible and acceptable will continue to be a big trend.
How has the home fashion industry evolved over the course of your career?
The big one is how inventory is moved. If you think about HGTV, or the Food Network, and what those channels did for both home, and food brands by elevating the consumer experience—that’s how the home fashion industry has evolved. It taught consumers that there's a lot more to a sofa than just it being a sofa. There's more information available for consumers to educate themselves about home products, the materials, manufacturing process, and ethical sourcing. That itself elevated consumers’ expectations of what they want in their own homes.
If you also recall the early days of HGTV, consumers were made to believe they could be their own designer. Over time, consumers have realized that while they could visualize what they wanted in their homes, they couldn’t be the designer. Through this evolution, the home design profession has become a lot more influential. Designers are now accessible to a broader audience. Consumers are connected directly to home brands through social media these days, making brands stronger.
Even speaking for myself, I’m hooked on Instagram because brands are able to make you feel a part of their community. Social media lets home designers amplify their brand persona and communicate to their followers in ways that really make them feel connected. Now, they can talk directly to their consumer group. Just a couple of decades ago, consumers could only discover new brands at the department store, but now brands can build their own following. I think that's just amazing. I love that it brings everyone closer together.
What inspires you about the home fashion industry?
From the beginning of my career, the people and community have continually inspired me. I've witnessed different brands, even competitive brands, build friendships and connections at the executive level that are supportive rather than adversarial. The home fashion industry, in general, operates in a more deliberate manner and moves at a slower pace compared to other retail verticals. That's one of the many things that I love about the industry, that most of the time decisions are very intentional, trends are here to stay, and the community is supportive.
Why did you decide to join JOOR?
That's a question that's fresh on my mind because it just happened. I was perfectly happy where I was, but the idea that I could be part of the future—and cutting-edge technology like JOOR is definitely the future—is why I decided to join the team. JOOR is moving toward the future and it's just in its infancy. Certain technologies have been around a while, but the pandemic poured fuel on that fire for digital transformation in retail. The future will likely be completely digital, certainly for the management of orders and wholesale. Even in terms of the traditional tradeshow experience, it has already become digital through the pandemic and may become a hybrid of in-person and virtual going forward. Back when I first started in the home fashion industry, it was in retail, and if we didn't have an item in the stockroom, we didn't have it. Consumers had to walk into the store and buy it. To be involved in the shaping of the future is really why I made the move.
As a tenured home-centric professional, what do you think JOOR brings home?
JOOR is twelve years old now, and it was among the first B2B wholesale retail technology of its kind. We started in apparel, and in the luxury segment. The luxury segment is also where JOOR will be able to serve the home fashion industry well. JOOR delivers an experience to wholesalers and retailers that lets them manage the large transaction volumes that have to occur on a daily basis. Because JOOR ramped up over the course of the twelve years that we've been in operation, and went through iterations of platform updates, the brand experience is exceptional. JOOR brings investment in technology and innovation to the home fashion industry. We also have a team that's constantly looking ahead, mapping out what's coming for the future, and understanding what we need, a year out, three years out, and five years out, so that we're ready. That's the big push from our leadership, and the big differentiator for JOOR.
JOOR immediately had a great adoption from the top luxury brands because of trust and high levels of in-house expertise. This experience and level of validation from where we started is an indicator of why you can trust JOOR Home: JOOR is able to talk to the level of expertise that the luxury market brings to understand it. When COVID hit, tradeshows and fashion shows were canceled. Within months JOOR had virtual tradeshows and fashion shows on the platform. That’s the level of expertise JOOR brings to the luxury home sector. JOOR understands the needs of the home fashion industry.
The future of JOOR Home
I foresee JOOR dominating in the home fashion industry, doing what we do best, which is building relationships and meeting the needs of our users. A big part of our world is community and I've been putting together a team that represents trust and knowledge about the home fashion industry to support that. The home fashion industry worldwide is huge, worth about $700 billion currently, with room to grow. The future of JOOR Home is bright and I look forward to charting a course for JOOR Home that will make it an industry leader much like JOOR has thrived in the apparel industry.
Interested in learning more about what JOOR has to offer the home industry? Request a demo.