Anyone who’s decorated a room knows the woes designers face – finding the perfect pattern in the wrong color, the ideal color on an awful print or, arguably worst of all, great items that just don’t go.
Like many a great startup, The Guildery Inc. focuses on solutions.
“We realized an interesting problem to solve would be helping people get a color-coordinated look,” said co-founder and CEO Shane Reilly.
Partnering with Tiny Prints co-founder Kelly Berger, the Los Altos entrepreneurs devised a digital printing platform that simplifies interior decorating.
Guildery licenses exclusive patterns from artists and transforms them into coordinated collections – now totaling nearly 200 different print groupings with virtually endless customizable color combinations.
The selected designs are printed on demand using high-quality materials, currently available in Belgian linen and a variety of cottons. Fabrics can be purchased by the yard or as finished products like pillows, ottomans, draperies and wallpaper. Reilly said the company plans to continue rolling out new products at varying price points.
And in terms of coordinating well – as long as customers shop within a collection, they can’t go wrong.
Simply put, “the interior design is kind of baked into the goods,” Reilly said.
The Guildery Inc., previously online, moves today into a pop-up shop at 170 State St.
“We may be pursuing retail as our distributional model,” Reilly said, noting a growing trend among online retail companies. “E-commerce is moving offline as an added way to interact with the customer and build the brand experience.”
Reilly and Berger come equipped with business savvy. Reilly owned a design firm before launching Decorati, a home decor website acquired by Gilt Groupe. Berger’s Tiny Prints has since been purchased by Shutterfly.
The entrepreneurs found each other at the right time, when both were considering ways to custom print textiles.
“A friend suggested we meet,” Reilly said. “It was great because I had a design background and he had a technology background, and we could hit the ground running.”
In late 2013, the company launched in Reilly’s guesthouse. Venture funding moved the operation to an office space on Main Street. The new corner pop-up shop, leased for a minimum of four months from Passerelle Investment Co., is a block from the company’s permanent office.
The sunny State Street storefront, former home to Red Racer Hobby Shop, serves as a showroom for homeowners and interior designers. Customers can drop in or make appointments with a design manager for help with placing orders online. A colorful selection of decorative throw pillows is available for purchase, ranging in price from $62 to $134 based on fabric, size and insert options.
As an added in-store bonus, customers can bring photos of items they already own or color swatches they like. Design managers can custom color most fabric designs to an acceptable match, Reilly said. Problem solved.
Guildery also opens a shop-within-a-shop at Anyon Atelier today, a home decorating boutique on San Francisco’s Sacramento Street. The store features a selection of products and a curated collection of Guildery fabrics.
“The owner created her aesthetic so it fit her store,” Reilly said. “We’re looking for other collaborative opportunities in the area. Different storeowners can curate their own selection.”
Originally, Guildery looked into opening a space within neighboring The Makery.
“The space next door opened up, and we think we’re actually perfect neighbors,” Reilly said. “It’s just a creative area – a design district.”
And no matter how long the pop-up shop remains on State Street, Guildery isn’t going anywhere.
“We won’t move out of town,” Reilly said. “We’re here to stay in Los Altos.”
For more information, visit guildery.com.