AH&L: OwenLawrence recently moved to the WestSide design district. How do you like the new location?
Fio Pichardo: Over here you get a mixture of different backgrounds, from a socialite in Buckhead to the most normal, down-to-earth person in Midtown, or even Marietta. We wanted to be around people who mix contemporary with traditional. We carry a $10 wine glass up to a $60,000 painting. We have something for everyone.
AH&L: How far have you gone to help a client?
Pichardo: At times we have delivered products to our clients’ homes if they had a busy day and couldn’t make it into the store. And if someone calls during the afternoon and asks me to stay late for them at the store, of course I will. I will wait for you.
AH&L: Launching an e-commerce site could mean hundreds of new clients across the country. Will that make sales easier or more difficult?
Pichardo: It will be easier when it comes to certain products, of course. With sofas and fabrics, many people will call and ask me questions about the quality. For most of the products, though, it will make everything easier when it comes to sales.
AH&L: You design a line of furnishings for OwenLawrence. Where does your inspiration come from?
Pichardo: Everything has to be functional. I love coffee table books. I needed a space to display more books, so I designed the perfect table. And the side table has a place where you can store magazines. I had to find a way to display all the little knickknacks that I love, but I wanted it to look clean, be functional and of the highest quality. It has to be functional.
AH&L: Your pieces are the perfect complement to Werkstaette, the Austrian line of furniture the store carries. Is that by design?
Pichardo: It’s amazing, actually. When we put my coffee table with the sofa [in the front of the store], we were quite amazed by the parallel design and how they worked so well together. It shows that I wasn’t too off on European design. At the end of the day, my influences are the same as the Austrians. We’re all part of the same thing, that history, that movement, the influences.
AH&L: Any other new lines?
Pichardo: We just got a new glassware line called LSA, and it’s incredible. It’s a great price point, and the quality is amazing. I even bought a new set of glassware for myself. You can get a whole set for somewhere around $90. It’s very affordable.
AH&L: What’s next for OwenLawrence?
Pichardo: We’ve been asked a lot what is coming up next. I’m thinking that next year we’ll be developing new lines for our brand, OL: coffee tables, book shelves. It will all be keeping with the practicality of my design. The success of my coffee tables right now pushes me to keep designing, keep making functional pieces that people can really use.
Owen Lawrence, Westside Marketplace, (404) 869-7360, owenlawrence.com.