Eyeing other people’s furniture and home goods via Zoom has become a mainstay in the pandemic era, and West Elm is taking those glances a step further with a new creator program.
The Brooklyn-based retailer just unveiled the West Elm Collective, a new ambassador program that gives content creators and industry leaders the opportunity to share their favorite furniture and design pieces with consumers. A landing page on West Elm’s site allows consumers to click through individually created pages of each participant to learn more them and also purchase featured items from there.
The ambassador program features two categories of creators: insiders and tastemakers. Tastemakers are leaders from various industries who will be highlighted on West Elm’s platforms every month. Right now, Tastemakers include Aurora James, founder of Brother Vellies and The 15 Percent Pledge, Diego Olivero, designer and co-founder of Meso Goods and Erick Garcia, founder of Maison Trouvaille.
Insiders are emerging content creators from different backgrounds who live in different parts of the country. There are currently 20 Insiders participating in the West Elm Collective, including Vanesa Amaro, co-owner of Amaros Cleaning who became popular during the pandemic for her cleaning tips, and Hoàng-Kim Cung, a former TV journalist and the first Vietnamese American woman to compete at the Miss USA competition.
“It’s important that [consumers] feel inspired, and that they can see not only themselves, but see how the product can fit into their life and their spaces,” said Andres (Dru) Ortega, director of public relations, partnerships and influencer marketing at West Elm.
Ortega told Adweek that people should think of creators as “sort of like your trusted best friend with great taste that you admire.”
“I think we’re all innately curious about how other people live and I think with the focus on home in the last year, the insiders actually provide a glimpse for our customers into the way the products could be used in their own spaces,” he said.
Diversity, equity and inclusion was also a major priority for West Elm in creating this program, and Ortega notes that showcasing a variety of perspectives “is only just going to get better” as the program expands.
As the West Elm Collective continues growing, Ortega hopes it remains a force for positive influencing.
“It’s going back to what social media was intended to [do], which was connect people,” he said, “and we’re just connecting individuals around home.”