Simply You - - Contents -

Donna Hig­gin­son, co-owner, shares her se­crets for busi­ness and in­te­rior suc­cess.

Donna Hig­gin­son, one half of the hus­band-and-wife team be­hind this in­ter­na­tional fine fur­ni­ture whole­saler, shares her se­crets for busi­ness and in­te­rior suc­cess.

What sets Sarsfield Brooke apart?

Our em­pha­sis has al­ways been on sup­port­ing our client base with care­fully cho­sen prod­ucts. We keep across trends but don’t buy into one look, so can of­fer a truly in­ter­na­tional feel to our show­room. We at­tend in­ter­na­tional fairs, in­clud­ing Salone di Mo­bile (Mi­lan Fur­ni­ture Fair), but we are also in­spired by vis­it­ing in­flu­en­tial de­sign centres, such as the New York De­sign Cen­tre. We take qual­ity of ser­vice se­ri­ously and have in­vested in our own in­stal­la­tion team, who de­liver in our van, re­move all the rub­bish and leave items groomed, as you'd ex­pect from a world-class pro­fes­sional com­pany.

What is spe­cial about your brands?

The brands we rep­re­sent ex­clu­sively in New Zealand have a world­wide rep­u­ta­tion of the finest crafts­man­ship, while util­is­ing the lat­est tech­nol­ogy. Their in-house de­sign­ers and ar­chi­tects of­fer a unique cus­tomi­sa­tion ser­vice so our work with them is al­ways in­ter­est­ing.

How do you stay con­nected to th­ese com­pa­nies?

We are in con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion with our man­u­fac­tur­ers, talk­ing most nights about the or­ders in pro­duc­tion and fi­nal­is­ing de­tails for th­ese or­ders. We also visit them every year to en­sure the qual­ity is be­ing main­tained, and to view new items in pro­to­type stage and the lat­est tones and fab­rics. Our man­u­fac­tur­ers set trends and we lis­ten.

How does the busi­ness of hus­band and wife work in the fur­ni­ture trade?

We re­spect each other’s skills and share the same morals and ex­pec­ta­tions. Peter (Lan­caster) leaves me to select stock — I leave him to work with any­thing in­volv­ing tech­nol­ogy.

Our team is ex­cep­tional and most de­ci­sions are shared.

How im­por­tant is hav­ing an in­te­rior de­signer?

An in­te­rior de­signer is im­per­a­tive. If you are skilled in some trades a de­signer will work with you, but they only need to save you from one mis­take, such as pick­ing a fab­ric not suit­able for its ap­pli­ca­tion or buy­ing the wrong size piece of fur­ni­ture, to make their fee worth­while.

What is one piece of ad­vice you would give to any­one in­vest­ing in fur­ni­ture?

If you see sense in in­vest­ing in paint­ings and known artists, then ap­ply that same at­ti­tude to­ward fur­ni­ture. You won't be dis­ap­pointed. In­vest­ment pieces are passed on to the next gen­er­a­tion and are im­por­tant to any stylish home.


Moon­light ta­ble, Guapa chairs and Guapa floor lamp, all $POA, by Midj. Arte Ve­nen­ziana Cab­i­net

La­gune ta­ble, $POA, by Arte Veneziana.

Fer­di­nand sofa, $POA, by Opera.

Wall cab­i­net, $POA, by Arte Veneziana.

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