Langford is Robert’s second name, passed on through his late mother’s side of the family for generations. He felt that to use the name in this way would be a fitting tribute to her.
The first collection consisted of eight headboard designs. Robert worked out of the spare bedroom in his apartment in South London, visiting designers and relentlessly building the brand for the first 18 months.
By the time the company moved to a small studio in Lots Road, London, the range had grown to include upholstered beds and upholstered end pieces.
The customers started to ask for a wider selection of upholstered furniture and Robert began adding dining and occasional chairs to the collection in 2007.
Realising the company needed more space to display the growing product range, Robert took the plunge and moved the company to a 3,000 square foot showroom located in the iconic Furniture Cave building (you guessed it, the jolly green giant of a building) on the corner of Kings and Lots Road, London in April 2010. It was a tense time as the country was still moving out of recession.
The gamble paid off and, very soon after moving, Robert Langford had over 100 products, employed more than 10 staff, and the bustling showroom became a “must visit” destination for the discerning designer.
But something was afoot in the design industry. Every time the showroom floor was restocked with samples to sell the designs from, they were snapped up by designers, eager to furnish projects with shorter lead-times. Robert identified the gap in the market for a one-stop shop full of stylish furniture scaled to fit London homes.
In 2014, Robert started curating the first “in stock” collection of items, sourced from the United Kingdom, Europe and South East Asia. The aim was to have at least 2-3 full apartments of furniture in stock at any given time, ensuring that customers could always rely on Robert Langford to help them meet shorter lead times.
Much to their accountant’s relief, the stock program worked out quite well and in 2018 was responsible for almost half of all sales.
Going forward, Robert is looking forward to some exciting collaborations with both leading and up-and-coming designers, creating new stock collections. Robert is also actively seeking distributors from around the world.