Boulderites Lindy and Jordan Williams solved a number of interior designers’ most persistent problems last May when they launched Saltwolf, a direct-to-designer, e-commerce furniture company that makes it easy for design pros to sample and order timeless, heirloom-quality furnishings online—and receive them in a remarkably short time. Now, one year later, the husband-and-wife business partners are changing the game again with their debut of Saltwolf’s mobile showroom, bringing shoppers a new way to touch and try the product before they buy.
“We knew we didn’t want to go with the traditional third-party showroom or sales-rep channel like most trade brands [do],” Lindy says. “However, since a lot of designers prefer to see furniture in person before they specify it, we wanted to test the market to see if we needed our own brick-and-mortar location, or if we could exist as an e-commerce brand only. Creating a mini showroom on wheels seemed like the perfect solution.” And a downright brilliant one, at that, in the era of COVID-19.
“Once the pandemic hit, we were thankful we already had the showroom box and truck in production, as it became an incredibly timely idea,” Lindy says. “We could safely introduce Saltwolf to design firms (masked up and outdoors) without compromising anyone’s health or comfort level.”
And while the mobile showroom (affectionately called “Ms. Saltwolf”) may be an 18-foot-long box truck attached to a truck cab, its interior looks and feels like a living room, “so designers can get a sense of what our furniture would look like in one of their projects,” Lindy says. “Jordan has a theater background and experience with putting on corporate, concert, and sporting events, so I have to give him all the credit for turning a simple idea into something really special.”
The custom, heated and air-conditioned space houses upholstered pieces from each of Saltwolf’s four lines: a 7-foot Linden sofa in Belgian linen, a Hawthorne chair in Italian leather, a Mapleton chair in performance velvet, and a Norwood bench in Belgian linen. The selection displays each of the brand’s three wood finishes, and large fabric samples are also on hand, “so designers can really see what each material and color would look like at scale, versus tiny swatches,” Lindy says.
After several test drives last year visiting design studios in Boulder, Denver, Aspen, Salt Lake City, Park City, and Austin, the showroom embarked on its maiden voyage to Southern California in June 2021. Following a few more stops this month to meet with designers in Portland, Seattle, Bozeman, Jackson, and Sun Valley, the team (Lindy, Jordan, or other team members fly to each destination to meet with individual designers and/or host events in the showroom), will finish the summer tour back on the Front Range with an event at Roth Living in Denver on August 26.
Come fall, they’ll hit the road again with more visits to Colorado mountain resort towns, as well as stops in Utah and Lake Tahoe. Then, at the end of this year, the showroom will find a permanent parking spot.
“While we have grown very attached to Ms. Saltwolf, once the tour is done, we will return to running the business solely out of our design studio in Boulder, with sample pieces on display there,” Lindy says. Saltwolf will, however, begin offering remote tours of the showroom via video conferencing, and the team is exploring the possibility of placing pieces in designers’ showrooms in several mountain resort towns.
“Buying behavior has changed significantly across many industries since the pandemic, and one thing that COVID-19 has clearly done is make consumers [and designers] much more comfortable purchasing luxury goods online, without seeing them in person first,” she adds. Now, it’s up to brands like Saltwolf to find more ways to make it effortless.
Saltwolf’s upcoming mobile showroom stops are posted online at saltwolf.com, where designers can RSVP to a scheduled event or request a visit. Check for updates as more stops are confirmed.