TAMPA, Fla. — Online interior design sourcing platform Steelyard has closed after 24 years in business, but not before securing a transition for its affiliates.
Shawn Hughes, CEO of Steelyard, told Furniture Today that the past two years became too much for the independent company to overcome.
“The COVID shutdown and supply chain challenges compounded the challenges we were facing as an independent organization,” Hughes said. “Ultimately, we wanted to provide a bridge to our loyal designers and brands who would care for our design community and would offer value to the brands.”
A note on Steelyard’s blog says that Sandow Design Group has agreed to provide a path forward for Steelyard’s 30,000-strong design community and brands. Sandow has a history of inspiring, connecting and advancing the world of design through its multi-platform collective of media and services businesses. As part of the agreement with Steelyard, Sandow Design Group has established exclusive programs for Steelyard’s designer and partner affiliates with several of its brands including Luxe Interiors + Design, Interior Design LAUNCH and DesignTV.
Hughes said he’s confident that the new arrangement will provide the right value and service to all interested parties. “They’re interested in taking care of the clientele,” Hughes said. “They have a similar platform on the design side for contract and hospitality, LAUNCH, and this opens up the platform for more residential designers. I’m hopeful our designers and brands will have a happy place to be.”
Hughes said he and his wife, Steelyard partner Sandy Hughes, have enjoyed their time in the industry and the relationships they have built over the years. He said he wouldn’t be surprised to pop back up in some capacity down the line.
“I’m hugely disappointed to be stepping out of the industry,” Hughes said. “Sandy loves this industry. She’s been a judge for the ARTS Awards the last two years and has been engaged in the industry.”
Thomas Lester is Retail Editor for Furniture Today and Digital/Managing Editor for Home Accents Today. A graduate of Emory & Henry College’s Mass Communications program, Lester spent a dozen years working for newspapers in Virginia and North Carolina covering an array of subjects, ranging from community news, government, education, ACC sports, professional baseball and more before joining Furniture Today in 2013. Reach out to me with your story ideas, tips and more at [email protected]