Stacey Sheppard is a freelance writer and blogger running The Design Sheppard as her online home, blogging about all things interior design-related. From furniture, lighting and flooring to kitchens, bathrooms and wallcoverings, you name it!
In this feature, Stacey and Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre, sat down to discuss the Kuldea website and how it is changing the way we shop for furniture for our homes. Find out the inspiration behind Kuldea and about the company’s future plans.
Introducing Kuldea: The Furniture Comparison Site
Today, I want to tell you a little bit more about one of the things I struggle with when it comes to shopping for my own home. I am incredibly indecisive. I think this mostly comes down to my journalism background. I love research and I’m really good at it. So when I’m looking for products for my own home, I never ever spot one I like and buy it there and then. Never. This just doesn’t happen.
Let me walk you through my thought process.
“Wow, I love that bedding. The colours are perfect for our bedroom. Maybe I should buy it?”
“Wait, but what if there is other bedding out there that I love more? What if another colour combination could work better? What if I can find something cheaper? I better keep looking!”
And this process is ENDLESS. I know deep down that the first thing I fall in love with is the thing I should buy and I should trust my instincts but I can’t seem to stop myself from continually looking, just in case there is something better, more suitable, cheaper, bigger, smaller and the list is endless.
So what happens is, I very rarely ever buy anything. The fear of choosing the wrong things can be crippling. Does anyone else get this? Please tell me I’m not the only one.
If only there was a way to shop smarter, to search for an item and have all the options come up in one place. Nobody has time to search through tens of different website in pursuit of the perfect coffee table, do they? I mean we’re all super busy people.
So imagine how happy I was when I discovered Kuldea. Founded by Deirdre Mc Gettrick and Ray Wright, Kuldea basically aims to be the Skyscanner of the furniture world. A furniture comparison site. A place where you can quickly and easily compare items and prices across a whole host of retailer websites without having to visit each one independently. I won’t go into too much detail here because Deirdre kindly agreed to tell us all about it.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
My name is Deirdre Mc Gettrick, I am 32 and I grew up on the west coast of Ireland in a village called Ballymote in County Sligo. It’s a relatively small town with about 2,000 people living there. My family owns a small clothing shop on the high street where I spent many years watching my Dad run the business and engage with his customers.
I am an avid reader and follower of all things interior design and my Mum would take me to the furniture stores around Sligo when I was younger to go through what styles we’d like to apply to our family home. We’d then go home and create those styles in scrapbooks so we had a blueprint of what we wanted to do. I was so passionate about interior design from such a young age.
Leaving home at 18, I studied Law & Accounting at University in Limerick and completed an MSc in Finance at Trinity College Dublin. I moved to London originally in 2008 for an eight-month internship during my undergraduate degree and then returned again in 2011 to work in the world of finance which has led me to set down my roots in the UK.
What were you and Ray doing before Kuldea?
Prior to starting Kuldea, I’d been working in the world of Investment Banking for HSBC. It’s been a fair step-change moving from that environment into launching my own online tech business.
Ray’s background is in SaaS (Software as a Service) where he worked for a rapidly growing marketing software company. He joined that business as a start-up and they took it global over six years so there was a lot of time spent travelling and expanding the company. His experience and contacts aligned quite nicely to what we required at Kuldea so Ray took the first step to leave his role and set about creating the business in the early days.
You founded Kuldea off the back of your own shopping frustrations, can you tell us more?
The idea for Kuldea came from my experience in furnishing my own apartment. I knew what I wanted through seeing furniture on Pinterest, Instagram, in magazines and whilst out in restaurants and cafes, but when it came to finding the items online, I found it so difficult to find them. I’d spend hours trying to search on Google and clicking through retailer website after retailer website after retailer website, it really was a painful, frustrating process.
After reviewing the problems I was having I thought to myself, ‘why isn’t there one website that aggregates all furniture across the market so I can search and find what I want in the easiest way possible? A place where I can find what I want and discover new and niche furniture retailers that I would never have found otherwise.’ It just didn’t exist, so I set about solving the problem by creating Kuldea with the vision of a website that helps everyone searching for furniture discover what they want, no matter how unique it is to them. It’s like what Skyscanner has done for flights or Airbnb for home rentals. Simple, valuable, informative and inspirational all in one for consumers and furniture retailers alike.
How exactly does Kuldea work? What’s the model?
We describe Kuldea as ‘The Home for Furniture Discovery’. Consumers visit the website and can dive straight into a search for specific furniture items, search furniture by the room or browse through furniture products and interior design content to help them gain a greater idea of what they might like and where they can get it from.
Further to that we’ve built amazing functionality into Kuldea where consumers can favourite products, build out collections of products across multiple retailers (i.e. a collection of sofas to compare or a collection of living room furniture for a home furnishing project), set sales alerts on products so they are immediately informed by email if a product goes on sale and share products and collections with others so they can collaborate on purchasing decisions.
Once a consumer has found the product/ products they want, we provide them with a simple click to enter through to the product on the furniture retailer’s website where they can their purchase and make payment.
Read the full article here: Introducing Kuldea: The Furniture Comparison Site