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Edwina Bartholomew Speaks To The Icon By Design Co-Founders

Father/son team David and Adam Light saw a gap in the Australian market for timeless design, beautifully crafted solid timber furniture at an affordable price point, so they developed a very unique business model to fill that gap.

Icon By Design recognises that customers wish to discover style and product choices on their social networks such as Facebook and Instagram. They often research products and brands online, and wish to visit a store to experience the product in person. And while they are making their choices engage in-store, on social, via chat or even on the phone. 

Sustainability is another part of the Icon By Design difference. Rejecting a disposable society, Adam and David Light believe furniture should gain its own history as it becomes part of our lives. David explains their objective is for a customer to purchase a piece and ten years later look at it and say ‘I still know why I bought it. I’m still enjoying it for what it is’.  And while the furniture is sustainably crafted overseas and the materials globally sourced, it’s all 100% Australian-designed. The company take pride in supporting and fostering home-grown design talent.

So how does this beautiful furniture come at such an affordable price-point? The answer is that at Icon By Design they’ve re-thought the supply chain model – from sourcing wood responsibly through to manufacturing and retailing David and Adam have cut out the middle-men. David explains this single factor has enabled them to offer the range at “half the price, or even less, than our competitors”. Adam adds the two-price model also offers shoppers a choice of Buy Now convenience or the alternative benefit of pre-ordering to reap a further 20% saving on the price of purchase. This system also allows for a more efficient supply chain since they don’t carry excess stock since inventory purchases and inventory levels are based on actual demand, updated daily.

The concept has been a clear hit, with Icon By Design reaching the finals of The Telstra Business Awards two years in a row plus winning the Houzz 2018 customer service award.

So, what’s their secret? They maintain the strength of this father/son business is not just in the family bond and care factor. An important asset is that Adam and David contribute their opposing but complimentary skill sets and thought processes, clearly strengthened by the awareness of this difference and the trust between the two men. 

The family connection continues within the business with David’s daughter Nicki Light as General Manager. Nicki points out “Other stores increase the price of their products so they can afford to offer discounts so customers feel they are getting a great deal. They also discount steeply to get rid of stock that is selling poorly. We prefer an honest, fair and sustainable price structure.” 

Clearly the public have embraced the company’s ethos – as has Edwina, she certainly took a shine to the Icon By Design items onset!

Written by Presenter

Edwina Bartholomew is an Australian journalist and television presenter. At Network Seven's breakfast show 'Sunrise', Edwina has covered everything from the Olympics, Royal Weddings to the Oscars. Now, as the host of Game Changers, she interviews inspirational people in business and entrepreneurs.

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