Australian luxury bathware company apaiser is reaping the rewards of a superlative product which offers clients complete customisation and an intelligent business model. Indesignlive hears from company founder Belinda Try about apaiser’s origins, culture and ambitions for the future.
February 3rd, 2014
Above: Viceroy Maldives, apaiser custom bath and vanities
indesignlive (IDL): What was the motivation to found the company?
Belinda Try (BT): I perceived there was a massive gap in the marketplace for natural, customised eco-friendly stone composite bathware. I had a passion to change the focus from designers on the kitchen to the bathroom, and a passion for generating a spa like space to relax in.
IDL: Where does the focus on quality and customisation come from?
BT: My intention was to create a luxury brand, and that meant we had to focus on quality from the start. To be able to offer customisation was a deliberate strategy to assist designers who desired this customisation but were being denied by the bath manufacturers who resorted to catalogue-driven products and mass-manufacturing. It was also a very specific value proposition.
IDL: Where does the technological/design expertise come from?
BT: Our internal design and manufacturing team are responsible for the technology. We have been fortunate to work with many leading ID firms who have created amazing new designs for us.
IDL: What is the business model – with regards to foreign manufacturing, marketing and distribution in contrast to Australian headquarters?
BT: Our business model is based on direct channels for the major markets and agents where we have limited penetration. We sell directly into North and South America, SE Asia, UK and Europe as well as Australasia and the Pacific.
Our selective use of agents is carefully designed to make use of local networks where they are difficult to access from our major office locations. We have a focused strategy to use the best manufacturing available as well as shipping proximity for our key markets. We have our own sales and marketing offices in Australia, Singapore, USA and UK.
IDL: Have there been any unforeseen challenges in the company’s history?
BT: The rapid appreciation of the Australian dollar was a big issue for us to manage as we were growing rapidly at that stage.
IDL: What have the most important successes been for apaiser?
BT: Our notable successes included winning the total supply contract for the Four Seasons Guangzhou, the Park Hyatt New York, over 12 Four Seasons properties globally including their new flagship property in Toronto, working with WOHA Singapore on such award-winning projects as Parkroyal on Pickering and also working with global leading ID firms such as HBA and Yabu Pushelberg.
IDL: What does the future hold for the company?
BT: We are continuing to expand our markets and distribution as we open our own branded showroom space in Singapore this year. We will follow this with retail showrooms in New York and London. Our recent project wins in South America show terrific promise for us in the coming years.
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