While Geri Murphy remains firmly at the helm of furniture store Originals , there’s another generation of team members supporting her. We meet DEVONA BALL and JASDEP SINGH to hear about their roles, and what’s new at the company. Bright The Future’s BY AMY BROOK-PARTRIDGE PHOTOGRAPHY MICHAEL BERNABE
is a result of media such as Pinterest and Instagram. That’s exciting for us, as people aremore invested in finding their own style. J: We always try to be ahead of the crowd, and follow trends in Europe and Australia – when we see something we think will work, we have it very quickly up on our site. We’re a bit experimental now, and not afraid to try out new things; the majority of the time they do well! Geri has a great eye for design and product, and a strong instinct for whether something will work. D: Sofas have been huge for us; we’ve expanded so much since bringing them in about four years ago. Our supplier has created our own range, and we’ve been developing them constantly. The newest one comes in a lovely turquoise colour – and we’ve definitely got a thing about linen sofas; we love the material – it’s great for this climate. What’s new? D: Our outdoor range – it’s something we’ve talked about for years! One of our core suppliers, Vincent Sheppard, came out with a collection that we liked, so we brought that in. Our Nomad outdoor range comes from another supplier, whomGeri met a year or so ago. We think they both offer something different to the
Where are you both from? D: I’m British American but grew up here in Singapore. I went to international school, and then studied political science in the US. After graduating, I worked for a fewyears in Beijing, before moving back to Singapore. J: I’m Singaporean. I’ve travelled around the world from a young age, however, and D: I first got to know Geri as a family friend – my mum knew her from the fairs she used to have pops-ups at. Before I went to Beijing I did an internship here, in 2010. I came back to Singapore in 2013, and started a full time position at Originals. J: I’d studied graphic design advertising and was working for an agency here, but wasn’t enjoying it. I then started work with a British furniture brand to help set it up; after that I was introduced to Geri, and started working at Originals in 2012. I have family all over the place. How did you start working at Originals?
What do you do here? D: I’m responsible for a lot of the buying, so I travel with Geri, and work with amazing people in amazing places. I also manage the logistics and operations side of the business. To be honest, everything here is a team effort. Anyone new that comes to work at Originals, regardless of position, starts with sales. This helps them get to know the customers, learn about them, their likes and dislikes. Customer service has always been a keystone of what Geri believes in and everything she does. J: I handle all our product photo shoots, from the styling to the photography. I also design our ads and marketing collateral, and put together our website. How have you seen Originals grow? D: Originals is always evolving and we keep the style changing, but what we’ve noticed more recently is our customers are a lot more design-sensitive, which I think
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