Founder Feature: Gaurav Nanda, Bend Goods
So, you want to start your own design brand. But what does it actually take? We’re fortunate to count many independent designers & manufacturers among our membership. From past stints at big name brands to an insatiable curiosity, these founders & creators all share one thing: a wealth of insight when it comes to creating original goods and tried & true advice when it comes to protecting their brands.
We sat down with Gaurav Nanda, Founder of Bend Goods to get his take on what it takes to make a successful independent furniture company.
Why did you start Bend Goods?
I started Bend Goods for two reasons. First I had worked in a very corporate environment for a good number of years and needed to make a change in my life. I was a sculptor in interior auto design. I really enjoyed my time there and learned a lot about design, form and how that works with the functionality of an object. In the end, I really just wanted to work for myself and strike out on my own.
Second, being a fan of architecture, furniture, and design in general for as long as I can remember, I wanted to design something that I was passionate about. I carried with me a love for mid-century modern design, especially wire frame furniture. I had an idea to update that style and bring it into a more modern era. My goal was to make something completely new but still keep the nostalgia that the original styles gave me each time I saw them.
What inspires the design?
Inspiration can come from many different places for me. It can be from the beat of a song or the shadows that a tree branch casts over the sidewalk. For me it’s a lot about patterns and repetition. Having an East Indian background and making a number of trips to India throughout my life had a big impact as well. The patterns and bright colors in the culture as it relates to design there is always very inspiring. There is also the mid-century modern era as well. There is just nothing like that time from a design standpoint. It’s just a feeling that the furniture and lifestyle exude still today that will always inspire me.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
These days I am enjoying most everything about my job. I have a great team who are really passionate about the work they are doing. It took me some time to figure things out. It has been a learning experience but the Bend Goods team is in a really great grove right now. Designing new products is also very enjoyable to me; all of our design work comes from in-house, and my team and I are responsible for everything that Bend Goods manufactures. Authenticity and originality are very important to me. I want to make sure that everything that has the Bend Goods name on it is unique and innovative.
As an independent design manufacturer, what are your 3 tips for fighting knockoffs?
1. Make sure you are full of integrity and that the work you put out is real and honest. This will fuel you to live up to your potential.
2. Contact the party that is knocking you off and explain to them your story. Make sure to be authentic. In some cases, bigger companies are not even aware of that they are selling a knock-off.
3. Have media links, articles, and stories about your brand. Explain to the offending party how original design is important not just to you but the well being of the world.
Looking for more ways to protect your original work? Check out our tips for protecting your brand.