High-End Home Fashion Head Gives Insights on Selling Direct

5 Min Read

Stuart Kiely, VP of Digital Strategy at Matouk shared some insight on how the Salesforce platform helped a company reinvent itself from the ground up. Matouk is a heritage luxury brand, which means they’ve been around for a long time. They make high-quality products right here in the U.S., producing high end, luxurious home textiles such as bedding, sheeting, duvet covers, shams, pillow cases, and towels.

Stuart joked that their products are so well-made they, “kind of go to sleep for you! The feel of it, the hand of it, it’s really, really exquisite stuff.” One of the benefits of being a domestic manufacturer in the U.S., is that Matouk can personalize their products. Many of their customers are high-profile designers who, “take interior design seriously and they want a look that’s completely their own and we can deliver on that.”

Growing Up at 90

Matouk had been selling wholesale to retailers like Macy’s and other brands for over 90 years. 5 years ago, they faced a new challenge when they decided to start reaching the customer directly. Traditionally they sold wholesale to independent retailers in places like Bloomingdales. But Stuart shared,

“As everybody knows, independent retail is really changing, is going through a sea change right now, the Amazon effect.”

Matouk was charting new territory and had to evolve their business to compete in the new marketplace. So, 5 years ago, when they started selling direct from, Stuart admitted they quickly realized that, “for the first time we needed to create a relationship with a customer.” Their formula for building relationships with customers is pretty simple:

  1. Make great products and have a great product experience that’s one of a kind, that can’t be beat
  2. Create great brand experiences
  3. Market to the customer. When they call into our service center we need to know who they are, recognizie what they like, when was the last time they called.

In order to maintain those hard-won relationships, Stuart remarked that Matouk relies on systems, and that’s where the Salesforce platform comes into play.

From Sticky Notes to Salesforce

Stuart emphasized that, “Information is key at all corners of the business, whether you are using it to service your customers, to market to your customers, to run the business better, or to make better decisions.” Prior to implementing Salesforce, Matouk didn’t have the visibility into the information—which meant they couldn’t act on it.

One-Stop Shop

“We not only moved our CRM system up to Salesforce, but we moved our entire operation entity up to Salesforce.” So now, they’ve got all of their data sitting in the same exact place and “it has access to all the technology that surrounds us and it’s in a turn-key way. So, we don’t have to worry about upgrading, or patching, or pulling this in here.”

With Salesforce, they also have access to Einstein. Einstein is Salesforce’s platform for machine learning, AI, and automation. “How many people can say their 90-year-old manufacturing company has access to next-generation Artificial Intelligence?”

Stuart appreciates that one of the beauties of being on the Salesforce platform, is that it can connect a business to everything. He shared that, “it really connects our company to not only the customer and our vendors, but to all the technology teams out there.”

It Scales Well

Matouk is a small business of 150 people based in Fall River, Massachusetts. They’ve chosen to build on the Salesforce platform because they know and understand how it can grow with their business. “It’s going to keep innovating and allow us to keep innovating as well,” adds Stuart.

Tip for Small Businesses to Grow

Stuart has some great advice for businesses looking to grow. He said, “The goal of any business is to think like a startup. You want to create that in your culture. You want your people to think like they can change the world no matter what they’re doing in the business. In order to do that they need the right tools. The benefit of moving to a platform like Salesforce is that it enables everybody to think creatively, like an entrepreneur.”

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