Building Baru with Convenience and Sustainability in Mind
Everyone walks into their home (whether that be an apartment, townhouse, or condo) envisioning the space as a blank canvas. We all want to have the privilege and ability to design our dream home. And maybe that’s why HGTV resonates with such a wide audience. But either we don’t find the pieces we’re looking for, we can’t afford it, or it’s unsustainable.
That was certainly my experience during a residency in France. I had moved to a high-rise apartment in the city for work. It was pretty small and minimalist, only one bedroom and one bath, but it suited my individual style perfectly.
During my residence, if I was inside my apartment I was either working or hosting small dinner parties. And I soon realized that I needed a desk that would accommodate that; something big enough to fit my computer, printer and fax machine (and this was back when your average computer was roughly the size and weight of a pile of bricks), while still blending with the modern feel of the rest of the space. Essentially, I needed a custom-fit desk that was both functional and stylish (and affordable).
And I just couldn’t find it.
Long-story short, I decided to make my own. I was working at a production house, so I ended up using their workshop to make a customized desk out of scrap wood. It was a very simplistic design, but it looked good and fit the exact dimensions of my apartment space.
The second time I needed custom furniture, I uncovered a well of manufacturing software and technology that was being seriously underutilized. Unless you could afford designer boutique prices, building custom furniture was still largely a Medieval operation. Someone had to design the schematics, then find material, then cut and carve the piece by hand.
This is now the 21st century, and I knew there had to be a digital solution. Just look around. There is a revolution unfolding in the e-commerce industry allowing shoppers the same interactive buying experience as a physical store. Be it a car, winter coat, or office desk, consumers are now a touch-screen or mouse-click away from ordering and purchasing the perfect dimensions, color and style of whatever it is they’re looking for.
The online shopping experience is rapidly becoming the furniture industry standard. And the use of augmented reality to virtually try out different items is almost commonplace. With Baru’s app as well, customers can expect to test virtual product placement with a wave of their smartphone or tablet.
AR shopping, as Shopify’s head of VR explained, “is not just about seeing what something looks like in your space and seeing the size of it, it’s also about seeing the materials and the details of that product.” While size is typically the most important factor in furniture shopping, we don’t think customers should have to compromise between perfect fit, attractive design, and quality materials.
My CTO likes to use the imagery of virtual lego blocks--where different methodologies and systems are artificially binded together into certain shapes. But what if we changed the current furniture shopping “shape” to something easy, economical, fast, local and customizable? What if we guaranteed white glove service deliveries for every piece of furniture?
With Baru, my goal is to allow anyone, before they reach that tipping point of shopping frustration, the option to buy affordable, customizable, quality furniture pieces from the comfort of their homes. We strive for a balance between digital convenience and transparent, eco-friendly production. Because as the front-end shopping experience gets more and more sophisticated, improving remote manufacturing processes becomes imperative. Baru ensures that every piece of furniture is customized to your needs and style, made locally to you, and with sustainably sourced materials.
No more compromising between price, look, fit and distance.