Beth Cole was nice enough to give the owner of Plexi-Craft an interview and post this to the blog at One-Lily (our web designer and host). Plexi-Craft’s web site – this one you are on now – is a great tool for our design partners. We encourage you to use it to the fullest and help us grow it to be the best acrylic furniture resource on the internet.
Allen Frechter is no stranger to the New York acrylic furniture company his family purchased in 1972, in fact he spent many hours as a kid alongside his brothers and cousins assembling furniture and marveling at the ways it could be put to use.
When his father passed away in 2007, Allen returned to his roots as he took over the leadership of Plexi-Craft and began to apply the marketing expertise he had gained in his career to the business.
“The first thing I did was figure out where our business was coming from. The majority of our products are custom made, 80% to be exact, and the rest are stock items. So our primary customers are interior designers, decorators and architects, with a secondary market of design-conscious consumers.”
Allen saw an opportunity with designers and began to change Plexi-Craft’s positioning to cater to designers.
“I scheduled meetings, found out what they read and what they want from a custom furniture company. I learned my design clients need better product shots and photos of the furniture in furnished settings. So that’s what we gave them. The results have been staggering.”
Since launching the website in 2010 the traffic has increased to over 7,000 unique monthly visitors and the company has a backlog of orders, a very good place in which to be. They are using a multi-channel marketing strategy including….
- Direct mail postcards once per quarter to designers
- Monthly email newsletter to designers and clients
- Tweet updates
- Facebook marketing
- Reaching out to bloggers
- Google ads
Allen has one simple piece of advice for those who are considering business ownership and that is,
“Understand your market and your customers. Find out what they need so you can surprise and delight them. One thing we have done is create a design community on our website where we feature designers and showcase their work. It has been a huge hit and something we want to continue to expand.”
That design community has also enabled Allen, a seasoned entrepreneur, to reach out and help designers with their own businesses. Allen provides mentorship and advice that comes from years of experience in developing sales, marketing, finance and human resource programs for his own companies. He now shares that knowledge through the web site, his blog and in-person with his customers.
Because of the website and market niche of designers, Plexi-Craft’s reach is not limited to New York City, they can work with designers across the US and around the world.