Ariel Kaye, founder and CEO at Parachute, spoke with Insider Intelligence about creating a lifestyle brand within the competitive home market category. Parachute offers consumers luxurious and accessible home products, and has expanded from a direct-to-consumer business to partnering with Nordstrom and launching 18 retail locations.
Insider Intelligence: Why in-person shopping experiences?
Ariel Kaye: We're bullish on retail. We have 18 stores and have partnered with retailers like Nordstrom for an in-store pop-up experience so that people can touch and feel our products. This destination merchandising allows us to tell our story in a way that is different than if you were just to see our product on the shelf alongside other sheets or products.
II: How does Parachute stand out in a crowded home goods category?
AK: One type of brand in the home space is category killers, which focus on one singular product. But when those brands move into other categories, it feels less authentic to the consumer. From the beginning, my approach was having a broader assortment of products, ranging from furniture pieces to home loungewear.
The telltale sign of a lifestyle brand is when you think about the brand, you don't necessarily think about one singular product: You think about the essence of the brand and the way that it makes you feel. The Parachute ethos is tied to quality and comfort and living a more comfortable life.
II: How have you found the balance of introducing new products while remaining authentic?
AK: When we introduce a new category, there's a learning curve and we have to educate the customer. For example, when we launched rugs, we had to tell the story behind the rugs—about our manufacturers, the factors differentiating our rugs from others, the design. We use it as an opportunity across multiple channels to bring new categories to life and tell the story, so that people know that our strategy isn't just to sell products in a transactional way. It's to bring to life the products so that they feel special and speak to why we have gone down this path.