SARSFIELD BROOKE Q&A
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.