One year in the making: The process behind creating our Homebody Collection
You’ll notice that this section of the blog includes our longest explanation - and that’s no coincidence. Much to our chagrin, designing modular + oversized pieces with overseas manufacturing partners was not as easy as we’d hoped.
When the idea for our Homebody Collection first came to mind, we decided to order a sample of four full-sized pieces. Now, this wasn’t a simple or easy feat. Those sample pieces arrived damaged due to the shipping process and method (and likely due to their size).
While we were disappointed after having waited weeks to see our first samples, we were able to identify early on in the process that shipping our Homebody pieces via cardboard boxes would not be sufficient.
Additionally, we realized that our samples were slightly *too* large (shocking, we know). We wanted to ensure that our Homebody pieces remained moveable and stackable, while still being oversized and portable. Our original design dimensions were 18x18x18, but we pared things down to a more achievable (and shippable) size of 16x16x16.
When it came time to select materials, we noticed that MDF was far too soft for pieces of this size. The corners of the Homebody pieces were becoming damaged during the shipping process, which meant that they’d also be easily damaged when moved around the home or studio. So, we brainstormed other materials to use, and decided on powder-coated metal.
Naturally, due to the change in materials, we needed to find a new factory - which meant restarting the sampling process, while also bringing our new manufacturer up to speed on Moodelier’s standards for quality and craftsmanship.
Our Homebody pieces were unlike anything most factories had made before (they weren’t necessarily “furniture” or “props”), which threw a bit of a wrench in the creative process. Because our Homebody pieces don’t actually have “bottoms” due to their modular design, we needed all sides to be painted, which made our manufacturer’s job even more difficult.
With all of that said, we finally received our second set of samples, this time, in powder-coated metal. While the pieces were in better shape, they were still imperfect.
Now, you might be thinking, “oh, that’s no big deal, right?” Well, to give you a bit of perspective: signing on with a new manufacturer is a fairly expensive process, as is requesting multiple rounds of samples.
As we’ve now learned, overseas factories have the tendency to overpromise, and under deliver. At the time, we were a bit more naive - we saw that our samples were not perfect, and provided our feedback. Rather than waiting for another round of samples to come, we trusted that our manufacturing partner would be able to rectify the mistakes. We then placed our first bulk order before the end of 2021.
Once we received word that our bulk order was ready, we sent a Moodelier team member to see things in person. That team member identified that almost all of the 300 pieces had imperfections and design flaws. Heartbreakingly, the Homebody Collection’s design details just weren’t on par with our vision.
So, what did we do? We scrapped all 300 pieces. However much it hurt, we were grateful to have caught the design flaws before shipping our pieces out to our Moodelier community.
The lesson here? Always make sure you see perfect samples before placing your manufacturing order, and try to negotiate a smaller minimum order amount, as well as a minimal deposit. Many factories will request 50% payment upfront, but if it’s your first time ordering with them, we recommend negotiating for 30%. Had we negotiated a smaller order amount and required another round of samples before placing our official order, we would have saved ourselves a ton of heartbreak.
After several sample rounds, we finally achieved the quality and design standards that we had dreamt up. We felt so confident and excited in our final Homebody Collection iteration, we actually included a tiny Moodelier logo on the sides.
Once we got through the year-long process of actually designing our Homebody pieces, it was finally time to place our first official order. And of course, the world experienced a major supply chain shortage and shipping crisis, right at that time.
Due to the fact that our pieces are shipped from overseas, this meant a several month delay in launching our Homebody Collection.
*Due to current shipping restrictions, our Homebody Collection is only available for U.S. orders at this time directly through our website. All orders will be shipped by boat and will take approximately 5 weeks to arrive. If you live outside of the U.S. and are interested in purchasing our Homebody collection, please email firstname.lastname@example.org!
The Final Details
Our long and painstaking process paid off in the form of two incredible, modular and oversized pieces, offered in two signature colors.
We designed our Single-Sided Wavy Cube and Double-Sided Wavy Cube (aka the Homebody Bestie Bundle) to be fit and stacked vertically or horizontally. Use them alone as pedestals or side tables, or together as a coffee table or bench. No matter what, we want you to feel creatively free to use your Homebodies at home (of course), or in your office, studio or retail space, anytime you like.
Our favorite part about our Homebody Collection? Both pieces are light enough for just one person to pick up and move around. But don’t take our word for it, check out the collection for yourself!
Limitless options, infinite Moods