Designer Library was founded by Janine Guerin and Chad Mitchell in 2019 as a road-based purveyor of high-end wallcoverings, textiles, rugs, furniture, and lighting for the design trade. On April 5, they opened their first brick & mortar Galerie in Georgetown as a place to discover, create, and shop their growing family of brands. They are adding a physical footprint to their Mid-Atlantic territory of Maryland, Washington D.C., D.C. Metro, Virginia, Eastern Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
Designer Library will operate by appointment only to focus on personalized service that will further the Galerie-style formula they have created to pay homage to the Parisian Galeries prominent in St. Germain des Prés. The new Galerie was designed to curate and highlight what is unique about each maker, showcasing each one in an intimate and elegant space, providing designers the opportunity to touch, explore, and shop the product.
The industry has been ready to evolve for a long time, and most people seemed to know that the conventional way of doing business was coming to an end. It just wasn’t clear what that new model would be,” says Chad. Building on the first-hand experience that designers benefit from the convenience, customer service, and strong relationships of road-representation, Chad and Janine felt that they could create a new hybrid model that combined the showroom setting with the personalized service of road representation.
Janine & Chad started to think about how long it would be before the pandemic was over and how long customers would remain nervous about the team traveling around between design offices the way they had pre-COVID. More and more, it started to make sense to push forward with the plan to build out a physical space and adapt to this new reality. They needed to cater to the unique challenges and keeping in mind that if they provide a service that benefits their customers, everything else will fall in place. The Galerie was born out of determination to figure out what would be most helpful to their designer clientele. Ultimately, this space became available, and Chad & Janine were presented with an opportunity that felt right.
The team accelerated their plans, secured the lease, and dove into the design and build-out, making December and January crucial months to install the Galerie. They wanted it to feel like a jewelry box where customers discovered future treasures. When a designer walks through the antique steel doors, it feels like it is their personal materials library, and they could find the exact product they were looking for in one place. Designer Library curates its portfolio of artisanal brands with trained eyes and experienced sensibility of what products they know designers will love.
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