Today we’d like to introduce you to Tony Williams.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Tony. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
My primary job is actually as a designer. Before that, I was a realtor for a few years, which is where I really developed a passion for home design. I started Local Trade at the tail end of completing my first major project under my design company, Anthony W Design. As I started thinking about staging this home that I truly poured my heart into, it didn’t feel right to just fill it full of random, heartless pieces of furniture. Also, at the time I was toying with the idea of a consignment furniture store dedicated to local builders because I knew there were many talented people in Phoenix that didn’t have an adequate space to showcase their work. And then it hit me: I could do both.
I like to think of Local Trade as a community: a community of makers, artists, and small business owners who come together to create ever-changing pop-up showrooms at beautiful homes around town to collaboratively showcase what our city has to offer. From the other side, Local Trade is a staging company that is designed to stage unique and intentionally-designed homes with furniture, art and decor that is equally as unique and intentional. Either way, you look at it, the end result is beautiful.
Initially, I figured it would be just a small passion project. The goal was to generate a social media presence via an Instagram store dedicated to local makers and then, whenever I had properties available to stage we would create a temporary pop-up “Showroom” for people to shop. As most projects do, it morphed rather quickly, because the logistics of the store and selling products online and from the Showrooms was a bit too complicated at the time. After the first Pop-Up Showroom turned out far better than I could have imagined, people began to reach out wanting me to replicate the same thing at their properties. It was at this point that I realized that the most valuable thing I could offer the local maker community was exposure, so I decided to gear Local Trade accordingly by creating more of these Showrooms by staging really cool properties around the Valley. I thought, “What better clientele to get in front of than a person who will be buying a new home that they will need to furnish?” Since then we have pretty much been creating as many Showrooms as we can facilitate as our network of makers has grown from around 15 at our first Showroom to nearly 100 as we hit our one year mark.
Has it been a smooth road?
I would say the road has been pretty smooth, but not easy. As you can imagine, the logistics of curating so many spaces involving so many people can be overwhelming for one person, but I truly enjoy it.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Local Trade & Anthony W Design story. Tell us more about the business.
As a designer, I suppose I’m just always trying to create something special. I like to create things that people see and think “I’ve never seen that before but I love it.” And really, I’d say that’s kind of how people react when they come across Local Trade. As far as I know, it’s a concept that has never been done before, and people really seem to love it.
I like to think of Local Trade as a community: a community of makers, artists, and small business owners who come together to create ever-changing pop-up showrooms at beautiful homes around town to collaboratively showcase what our city has to offer. From the other side, Local Trade is a staging company that is designed to stage unique and intentionally-designed homes with furniture, art, and decor that is equally as unique and intentional. Either way, you look at it, the end result is beautiful.
Additionally, on April 7th we will be opening Local Trade Headquarters that will be a permanent consignment store that will be open every weekend. This in conjunction with a new shoppable website will allow Local Trade to become a city-wide store dedicated to local makers and artists.
One of the things we are most known for is our Makers Markets. These are free community events we host at select properties where our Local Traders set up booths to sell their products and where we also invite local musicians to play live music, local food vendors sell their food, various makers teach DIY workshops and most importantly we always partner with a local charity and award prizes to attendees who bring donations. We will be hosting our biggest one yet at the Grand Opening of Local Trade HQ and in the future, we are looking to make this a whole segment of Local Trade in itself by taking the concept to larger venues.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
I think the Makers Movement is just getting bigger. It’s the balance of opposites effect. As more and more people turn to the internet for all their shopping needs, I believe to balance this out more and more people will turn to local makers for quality products. As more and more people disconnect from their neighbors and live their lives online, more and more people will resist and strive for stronger more loving communities. And we want to be a vessel for that.
- Address: 2309 N 24th St Unit B Phoenix, AZ 85008 United States
- Website: www.localtradeaz.com
- Phone: 480-580-4761
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @localtrade.az
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/localtrade.az/
- Twitter: @localtradeaz
The Shepards Visuals, Roehner & Ryan