Talking shop with Matt Blatt’s Deborah Drexler

  • Written by Sarah Fleming


Deborah Drexler’s favourite part of being involved with the family’s retail business has always been discussing furniture and design with customers. Close to twenty years ago, Deborah left her job as a primary school teacher to lend a helping hand in the brand’s original warehouse, fielding phone queries and acting as a Jill-of-all-trades. Nowadays, she is heavily involved in the buying side of the business as well as brand image, and she holds a seat on the business’s Board.

 

The Matt Blatt business has grown and evolved dramatically over twenty years. Deb and husband Adam have moved from manufacturing office chairs to selling on eBay to importing replica furniture and now, to commissioning original designs. Deb’s face lights up as she recalls many spur-of-the-moment decisions and rolls of the dice…all of which have made the business the expanding national presence it is today. She almost seems a little stunned by the major player Matt Blatt has become.

 

Only recently we were at an overseas furniture show and I found myself barefoot atop an enormous stack of Turkish rugs, pulling out different designs to add to our 2018 textiles collection. There was a crowd of people below watching me and I looked up and there was a moment where I thought ‘how did I get here?’,” she recalls.

 

There were a couple of key turning points, like when we decided to move from manufacturing to importing and pretty much shut down our production plant overnight. It was a major gamble and we just didn’t know whether it would pay off. I was ready to go back to teaching, and Adam was prepared to drive a taxi if the move didn’t pay off. As it turned out, we’re still in the game.

 

I work closely with our lead buyer, and Adam and I travel overseas on buying trips to major furniture fairs in Asia, Europe and the US every year. A big part of my role is maintaining the integrity of the brand we’ve built. I’m very conscious of what Matt Blatt stands for, and ensuring everything we do – and buy – reflects that,” she explains.

 

I’d be lying if I said living with your own business is easy. It’s not, it’s tough. It’s a joy and a pleasure, it’s stimulating and challenging, but you never leave it behind. There are always phone calls, emails, staff and supplier issues to work through, but it’s never dull. Like with any family business I imagine (son Joel is the company’s General Manager and daughter Avril designs prints and rugs for the brand), there are times during a family get-together when we’ll find ourselves talking shop. We do, however, make a conscious effort on certain occasions to separate work and play and to take work talk off the table,” she says.

 

Both keen travellers, Adam and Deborah find that even on personal adventures they’re drawn to exploring the retail experience in other countries. “We often find fresh inspiration when we’re not looking for it, and since we’re both fascinated by the retail business and always on the lookout for eye-catching visual merchandising ideas, travelling is often a terrific opportunity to look at things with fresh eyes. It’s even better when we’re off exploring, and we’re reminded just how unique and entertaining the Matt Blatt in-showroom experience really is – even on a global stage.”

About Matt Blatt:

Matt Blatt is Australia’s go-to destination for discerning design fans. With 13 stores around Australia it has established itself as a leading retailer of innovative furniture and homewares. The brand is the brainchild of Adam and Deborah Drexler who founded Matt Blatt in 2002. Matt Blatt showrooms can be found across Australia in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Adelaide and Canberra. For further information please visit www.mattblatt.com.au

 

Business

5 Digital Nomad Jobs Everyone Can Do

If you’ve been browsing the internet looking for jobs, at some point you must have encountered the term “digital nomad job”. In a more narrow sense, these jobs are mostly...

Top Tips to Help You Draft Contracts More Efficiently Than Ever

When it comes to professions like law, there is quite a bit of writing to do on a daily basis. And it goes without saying that one needs writing skills...

3 Ways the New Tax Cuts Just Made Your Competition Stronger and What to Do About It

Now that the GOP tax bill is in the history books, the impact of such a significant change is starting to surface.  We are reading about employee bonuses, stock buybacks...

Tips for Improving Sales at Your Start Up

Every start-up dreams of making it big one day. For most start-ups, though, making it big refers to increasing the profit margin. Sales at a business can always be better...

Dealing with your emotions in Forex market

The life of the full-time trader is very challenging. Every single second they have to gain complete control over their emotions. Do you know the number of active traders in...

4 Tips That Will Help Your Small Business Boost Its Profitability

Do you hate dealing with financing? If you do, no one can blame you, the vast majority of entrepreneurs can’t stand it! As a businessperson, you probably love meeting big...

Popular articles from Modern Australian

MAKE IT WINE TIME, ANY TIMEKeep your cool in the Far North with new 3-way fridge for the tropics Easy Dress-Up Tips for Lazy GirlsRenovation Hot Spots: The Sydney Suburbs that had the biggest makeover 5 Food Trends That Are Affecting Your Diet in 2018Inaugural Variety Big Kids BallGold medal performance from Sunshine Coast Happy Pets: How to Protect Your Pets from ParasitesHow You Can Conquer Your Dental Anxiety A Complete Guide to Buying a House in AustraliaHeaven is the Adelaide HillsHealth and Beauty Tips- Know These Important Facts5 Amazing Australian Holiday Ideas Up and away: the impact of flying on your healthSunshine Coast Capital