With this week's boutique, you can have any colour you like – as long as it's red. Crazy or genius? We let Red Candy
founder Andrew Menzies try to convince us that one colour shopping is the future:
Butterfly clock, £120 at Red Candy. Pic: Red Candy
Andrew, did your friends think you were crazy when you said you were going to set up a site selling only red products? And what do they think now?
Simple answer – yes! Most people I described the concept to, including some close friends and family, thought that I was absolutely bonkers. They struggled to see how a website could succeed if it exclusively revolved around one accent colour, no matter how enthusiastic and passionate my descriptions and arm waving became. In turn, I couldn't understand why the idea hadn't been thought of before. I mean, colour is so important when putting together an interior, so why not dedicate an entire website that helps lovers of a certain colour accessorise their rooms in one quick & easy go? Anyway, my non-believing friends were soon converted when the army of passionate (and slightly mad!) red lovers descended en masse.
Normann Copenhagen Swing Vase, £22, £27 and £31 at Red Candy. Pic: Red Candy
What were you doing before you launched Red Candy?
After studying furniture design at university, I worked in various design roles from interior accessory design to wristwatch design, whilst selling a few bits and bobs on auction websites in my spare time. Combining these separate interests, I was then employed to start up and manage My Living Space
; another modern interior accessory website. I had always wanted to start up my own business, so this gave me the experience and confidence I needed to venture out on my own.
I didn't want to become a direct competitor of my previous employer, hence Red Candy being so far from the norm. Although I've moved from purely design-based jobs into business management, I've fortunately never lost touch with my creative side. In fact, I'd go so far as to say I've never felt more creatively liberated than I do now. Running my own business is like having the largest blank canvas in the world, and ten thousand tubs of brightly coloured paint to throw at it. I highly recommend it to anybody that cares to listen!
Is it all about red for you or do you plan Pink, Green and Orange Candy sites for the future?
For the time being it's red all the way. However, we're continuously receiving heartfelt pleas from plenty of passionate pink, blue, green and purple people to dedicate a website to them and their colour, so sooner or later we'll take what we've learnt with Red Candy
, and venture out across the colour spectrum. I don't want to say much more about this, so let's leave it at a mildly cryptic 'watch this space'.
What's the nicest thing a customer has said about Red Candy?
Since day one we've received so many compliments from red lovers who have stumbled across Red Candy, mostly thanking us for dedicating a website to them. I think that one comment a fan left on our Facebook page recently stands out from the crowd, as she perfectly captures the passion and extrovert nature of our customer base:
"Ooooohhhhhh. I just had a good look at your website! Roll on payday :D. RED Bin, RED cutlery, RED storage jars, RED glasses, RED kettle WOOP RED RED RED RED RED WOOP!! :D XD xx"
I think that if you can evoke that kind of emotion and passion towards your creation then you're onto something special.
Is your own home a riot of red?
My kitchen is on fire with this colour. I've got these fantastic hi-gloss red wall units that really stand out from the usual whites and creams, plus a really interesting chunky red floating-shelving unit mounted on the back wall, packed full of red glassware. The kitchen surfaces have a mix of red chopping boards & storage jars, and I've recently purchased a red Wesco Spaceboy bin
The red theme continues through my living area with a huge red butterfly clock
above the fireplace, and I've just got my hands on a red and curvy surround-sound speaker set from Scandyna
– they look like extras from Avatar. A few brightly coloured scatter cushions from John Lewis and a chunky deep pile rug finish the look off nicely. Red isn't too prevalent throughout the rest of the house as yet, although we've just introduced quite a large range of red bathroom accessories to Red Candy which I think would suit my bathroom just perfectly!
Typhoon Vintage Kitchen Scales, £27 at Red Candy. Pic: Red Candy
Which products are your best sellers?
The butterfly clock
literally flies off the shelf! Sorry, couldn't resist... I think it must be the addition of the three separate butterflies that can be positioned wherever you want across your wall that adds the extra appeal to this clock. It gives people the chance to be more creative when they introduce it to their interior, ending up with a layout that is unique to them.
We also stock a huge range of funky photo frames, and the best seller of that bunch has to be the bright red Umbra Mosh Multi Frame. The bright colour and exciting jumbled configuration make this little beauty stand out from the rest of our collection.
The Normann Copenhagen red rubber washing up bowl is also hugely popular item. I love the way that Normann Copenhagen apply design to often overlooked areas of your interior. A £50 designer washing up bowl...who'd have thought?
Other hot sellers include red toilet paper, red bread bins, red soap pumps, and red cutlery trays.
Do you have any current favourite products?
Yes, we've just got our hands on a fab collection of wall stickers and I'm currently eyeing up the Dandelion wall sticker for my front room and this stunning Sakura Tree Blossom sticker
for the wall behind my bath.
In the immediate future we're on a mission to expand our product ranges into red soft furnishings, children's bedrooms and a wider selection of kitchen appliances. In the mid-term, we're working on a bit of a site facelift. We've had some fantastic feedback from our customers as to what they'd like to see, so the new site will definitely reflect these suggestions: think Stylist-magazine-meets-Facebook and you're getting close to our grand vision.
The next part is going to be more exciting still... Red Candy's own range of branded products! We're all keen designers here and have been itching to get involved with product design, so that's exactly what we're going to do. We're also going to be encouraging customers to get involved in our design projects, so if anybody out there fancies themselves as the next Eames, Stark or Rashid then get your pencils and sketchpads ready!