WILSON, N.C. — Sarreid will work with image production platform company Live Furnish to create photo-realistic silhouettes and room scenes with Sarreid products and build out its 3D image library.
“There’s been lots of industry chatter about the whiz-bang possibilities of 3D technology, most of it focused on consumer-facing websites,” says Brad Cates, chief executive officer at Sarreid. “For a long time, we thought the ability to engage shoppers by turning product from this angle or that would be a nice-to-have parlor trick, and an expensive one at that, but it wasn’t until we were approached by Live Furnish that we began to believe that 3D technology might have far greater potential for a better-end manufacturer like Sarreid.”
Live Furnish aims to “simplify 3D technology to the point that anyone with basic knowledge of Photoshop and image editing can begin using the platform with less than a single day of training,” according to co-founder Preet Sahil Singh.
Cates notes that he was a skeptic about the usefulness and cost-effectiveness of 3D technology. “Like many executives in my position, I was fielding inquiries from companies pushing the technology on the regular. Live Furnish got my attention because Preet absolutely blew me away in the first few minutes of conversation with his understanding of what we’re trying to achieve here at Sarreid. He showed me a few sample images, and I then challenged his team by selecting three of our toughest products to replicate: A bed, a leather sofa, and a dresser, all with the kind of complex, multi-layer, broken/chippy finishes that have set our company apart in the marketplace.”
Singh describes Sarreid in the “play and learning” phase of its relationship with Live Furnish, but he says the cost-savings Sarreid has already realized have been significant. “Based here in Wilson, N.C., the closest first-class furniture photography studio is some two hours away in High Point,” Singh says. “That means we’ve historically had to move products to High Point to shoot, risk damage in the process, and devote considerable resources out of the office and warehouse here in talent, time, and equipment.
“Now, our internal graphic artist can put together a stunning room scene in less than 20 minutes, and I can look over his shoulder and say, ‘Change the light here, remove that rug, add a plant there, take the camera up three feet, or change the overall dimensions.’ This new partnership enables us to take studio time and costs to zero, while still beautifully maintaining the ethos that is Sarreid.”
Cates, who admits to being a tough critic when it comes to graphics, says the first round of images he got back from Live Furnish were “so close to spot-on it was scary.”
“As we’ve continued to work together in collaboration and as a team, the images of our products have gotten so good that they literally fooled my own wife,” he says. “I had my laptop open on our dining room table, and she asked, ‘When did you go back into the studio?’”
While Cates says Sarreid intends to always show in High Point, the company is no longer beholden to introducing products during the traditional market dates. Committed to showing customers new and in-stock goods, the company is simultaneously looking for the newest and fastest way to get its products into the hands of dealers and designers.
“Now, because we have been able to move quickly in adopting this new technology, our customers can see new product before a sample is ever made and shipped here,” Cates explains. “We’re also able to share and collaborate with dealers and designers on what’s coming in an entirely new way, and frankly, we’re already selling products that no one has ever seen beyond these images.”
He adds that in the long term he foresees a day “when a designer can approach their Sarreid rep saying they’re working on a project and need images for my presentation to the client and using the Live Furnish, the reps “will be able to add an entirely new level of service to what they already provide, efficiently sharing with clients and customers images of the extraordinary products they are specifying from our line.”
Singh adds, “We know brands like Sarreid are becoming more and more digital, and the importance of their digital presence is slowly becoming just as important, if not more, than their physical presence,” “That is the reality in which we live today. But project just five or ten years down the road, and it’s going to become even more important because the world is moving in that direction. Sarreid understands that now is the optimal time to create their digital identity, and that to create that digital identity they must put out high-quality content consistently with full creative control.”