We wanted to showcase the incredible showrooms that feature our furniture line. We thought we’d kick off this series by interviewing Tom Hunter at Trammell-Gagné. Trammell-Gagné was our first showroom partner after LUMA Design Workshop launched our first line. Located in Suite 105 at the Seattle Design Center, Tom’s sophisticated style and dedicated staff put his showroom on the map. Tom graciously caught us up to speed on all things Trammell-Gagné.
When did you open Trammell-Gagne and what brought you to the business?
I opened TG in May of 1999. I entered this industry in about 1995 by chance. I was working for Nike, living in Denver. I made friends with someone that worked in the Kneedler Fauchere showroom in Denver who wanted to start a showroom in Phoenix, I agreed, we moved to Phoenix, the partnership lasted about 4 years then I moved on to Seattle to openTG on my own. It’s the best happenstance in my life.
What are the most rewarding parts of your business and what are the challenges?
Our biggest challenge is finding talented staff. It took almost 2 years, and a COVID pandemic to hire our last sales rep. The most rewarding experience working in this industry is truly the talented people that we get to work with, the amazing art and architecture that we are exposed to, and the privilege of being a minor part of the creation of such beautiful spaces.
How would you describe your showrooms’ aesthetic and what sets you apart?
TG has always been a contemporary showroom and we have pretty much stayed true to that style since we arrived in Seattle. We will be doubling down on the contemporary feel in our space in December when we launch Italian brands, Henge and Giorgetti furniture in the showroom.
What are you looking for when you add a new line/artisan to your showroom?
We ask: is it unique, will it sell in the PNW, do we love it, do we want to work with the artist/owner?
How do you connect with your customers and draw them in? How has this changed since 2020?
The showroom has been an enormous asset since COVID. Our foot traffic has quadroupled. Design and Architcture firmes are mostly not accepting in-person presentations so they have been coming to see us. Our other otlets are mailings, telephone, and Instagram (social media).
What is popular right now? What type of pieces, finishes, and/or materials are customers most drawn to?
As a catagory, lighting has been HOT for about a year. Oil rubbed Bronze is still a favorite for metal but it is more and more common to see warmer brass finishes showing up more prominently in projects.
If you had your choice, what type of home would you buy and decorate for yourself, Craftsman, Mid-Century, Cap Cod, ranch, etc..?
My all time favorite space to live in would be an Italian Palazzo. Everything about the style is appealing to me; stone, courtyards, fountains, plaster, fire places, open windows.
What does a day off look like for you and/or your employees?
I think it is very different for each of us, I will try to guess an activity that each of us might participate in: playing dinosaur with kids, drinking mimosas and vacuuming, beer pong, gardening and knitting, visiting parents, doing drag, washing the school bus.