Douglas & Bec
Established in 2007, Douglas and Bec is a New Zealand-based furniture and lighting company led by father-and-daughter team Douglas Snelling and Bec Dowie. Today, they run showrooms in Auckland and Melbourne, showcasing their unique collection of timeless, contemporary furniture and lighting designs that hero old-fashioned craftsmanship.
Growing up on a farm in the north of NZ, Bec studied fine arts in Auckland. She spent her early 20s in Melbourne, working as a barista in Fitzroy, before returning home to launch and co-run the family business.
‘We had amazing feedback through blogs and media (such as yourselves) and so knew there was demand for our product in Australia,’ tells Bec of their motivation to branch into the Melbourne market. While Douglas & Bec were already stocked at a couple of Aussie retailers, being a sell-direct company was always a priority, so they wanted a presence on the ground. ‘It was really a no-brainer to set up: an opportunity arose with Julia from Dagmar Rousset to open a space next to hers in Collingwood. I was so familiar with the area, so I jumped on a plane the very next day!’ recalls Bec.
Bec does admit that logistics, shipping and maintaining a great team across two countries are the major challenges they have to work to stay on top of, and advises having a great accountant is a must! Overall, though, opening in Melbourne has been an overwhelming success for Douglas and Bec, and has allowed them to reach a much greater pool of potential customers and projects. ‘It’s such an inclusive industry; in both cities, there are creative and clever people supporting one another.’
Douglas & Bec is re-opening its Melbourne showroom on Bedford Street in late May. Coincidently, they’re actually working with our next NZ creative (below) on their new fit-out…!