How Jamie Young stays fresh and focused

After more than 25 years in the home furnishings industry, Jamie Young is determined to keep her business — and her products — fresh.

“I love change, and I’m good at change,” says Young, who co-founded Southern California-based Jamie Young Co. with her husband, artist David Jeter, in 1997. “When you’re running a business, you need to be open to change. I’m always thinking, ‘What does the market need?’”

Jamie Young, co-founder of Jamie Young Co., says she has missed only four High Point Markets — two when her children were born and two during the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Young often finds answers to that question, as well as other business quandaries and design challenges, in the Arizona desert, where she and her husband have a home outside Scottsdale. They both have a passion for art and travel and, along with a design team, collaborate on product creation.

“It’s so peaceful in the desert,” Young says. “In that space, I still work all day, but I have this amazing ability to think there. When I’m there, I think in different ways, and that helps keep me fresh.”

The Jamie Young Co. palette is neutral and versatile, making its products ideal for interior designers who need a go-to resource for a variety of projects, the company says.

The “fresh” was on display in an 80-plus-piece introduction during the fall High Point Market. The company got its start as a lighting source, and the category still makes up between 50% and 60% of its products. But Jamie Young Co. also offers an extensive line of mirrors, accent furniture and other accessories in upper middle- to high-end price points.

Among Young’s favorite new pieces are a mirror rimmed with contrasting tones of mother-of-pearl that’s based on a larger version of a mirror she once encountered in a hotel, and a couple of round mirrors ringed in beads for tonal texture. Whipstitched leather finds its way into several pieces, including a new table lamp. New carved Naga wood tables show off the artistry of an Indian manufacturing partner.

The company started as a lighting source but now offers a range of other accessories, too.

Natural materials (woods, agate, mother-of-pearl), varied textures (smooth ceramics, nubby textiles), artisan touches (hand carving, blown glass, beadwork) and neutral hues define the line.

“Fashion is one of my passions, but I love fashion that’s really comfortable, understated and gorgeous,” Young says. “… And that’s part of what I want for our brand: It’s got to be beautiful, but it’s got to feel like I could live with it. That’s important to me….There’s a lot of elegant, glamorous (home furnishings) out there,” she continues. “My take on elegant and glamorous is always going to have a natural edge to it.”

A focus on designers

The company’s High Point Market emphasis was, of course, product introductions, but Jamie Young Co. also focused on building and strengthening relationships with interior designers, who make up about 30% of its customer base.

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At the fall High Point Market, Jamie Young Co. introduced more than 80 new products.

“We try to stay very relevant, design-wise, and are always coming up with products that (designers) can use on a day-to-day basis for their projects,” she says. “… Designers are so important to our business. And we want to make sure we’re giving designers exactly what they want.”

Part of that is being able to meet delivery dates. The company sources globally from China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam, but most of its products are in-stock and shipped within a week. (New introductions ship in about six weeks, Young says.) Cookies with “95% in stock” written in the icing helped drive home the point that sales reps made during conversations at market and were a sweet reminder that Jamie Young Co. can deliver quickly.

“We have incredible customer service,” she says. “We can hit a budget and we can hit a timetable. … If you have an install on a certain date, we’re going to meet that install date. And if there’s some hiccup, we’re going to let you know ahead of time.”

Young thinks the company’s price points are attractive to designers, too. “There are a lot of designers that are looking for great product — and not just at the very high end. We’re not the low end; we’re definitely in that medium to high end” that allows designers to earn a nice percentage themselves, she says. “… Designers care about beautiful product, but they also have to make a living,” she continues. “We can help them with both.”

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