Join Kim Leister as she shares a bit of what drives the team at Simblist Group.
The Back Story
Three years ago, I became intimately involved with Simblist. For many years I had looked at the business from the outside in, and I always had a great respect for the curated package of lines and the overall vibe. There was always a feeling of hand-picked product with an attention to detail, from how the Sales Reps handled themselves, to the overall design of the showroom. It was just special. I could never quite put my finger on it, but knew it was different. Now that I have managed the business for a few years, been privy to the history, and had many a conversation with the team, customers, vendors and Ron Simblist (the original creator), I get it, and hope to continue with the founding vision.
As I write this, I realize 2023 will mark 50 years that Simblist has been in business. While the name has evolved and the ownership has changed, there is still the same feeling of who the business is. During my recent communications with Ron Simblist – the OG – he generously shared with me his initial vision for Simblist.
“When Simblist Group started, staying fresh and evolving was always the goal. We did that by taking a chance on new and evolving companies with high- quality product. We believed in having a core line, and then were able to build around those vendors by layering on new and innovative companies to our line mix. We had big lines, lost lines, tried lines, and failed with lines, but we always stuck with our goal.”
A great success story for Simblist is Jellycat. While shopping in NYC, Ron discovered Jellycat in a store that was based in London. He decided to track the line down and pitched a partnership to the owner. Fortunately, the owner of Jellycat agreed. It’s no surprise that it is one of the most sought-after products in our package. You never know what will happen when you spot something special, have a feeling and the rest is history.
Ron candidly shared that while in some ways they were flying by the seat of their pants, the constants of their original vision (while they shifted as the industry has shifted) remained the same:
- Excellent customer service from everybody in the company was paramount.
- Educating our reps and customer to have the best product knowledge.
- Sell products that “we liked to live with”.
- Having the best reps possible who shared my philosophies was an asset that very much remains today. Giving these reps the tools to do their jobs was critical to our success.
- Teamwork is SG leaders + REPS + manufacturers working together = SUCCESS.
It is funny that Ron credited companies like Jellycat, Milkbarn, and Voluspa for helping the business on its path to fame and glory, as all three of these lines are still with Simblist today.
And while I always knew there was something about Simblist that was different, it is nice for me to know the background and even nicer to know we still share the same goals.
So now if I have to sum up who Simblist is, I can comfortably say, “We are a company that believes customer service is paramount, educating our Reps and customers to have the best product knowledge is mandatory, selling products we like to live with is our mantra, having the best team that shares the company’s philosophy and believes in teamwork from the vendor to the rep to the customer brings us all success."
At the end of the day, we get to sell great product from good people to good people, and we are lucky to be able to do that. As we like to say, “We take an authentic approach to bringing good people and great product together to create a little bit of magic in the world of retail.” I am happy to see this still holds true to the original vision and who we say we are.