20 Years | Co-Founder's Stephen and Alan Mendel

Jul 09, 2024

To celebrate GlobeWest's 20th anniversary, we sat down with co-founders Stephen and Alan Mendel for an exclusive interview. Join us as we delve into their journey, from humble beginnings to the remarkable evolution and success of GlobeWest.

Discover the vision and passion behind GlobeWest in the interview below.

A Conversation with our Co-Founders

GlobeWest is an Australian-owned company based in Melbourne, Australia. From small beginnings in 2004, we have now become a leading supplier to the Australian Interiors industry. We design, develop, distribute & market a covetable range of attainable furniture and homewares. We also proudly distribute complimentary, like-minded international furniture brands.

Since 2004, GlobeWest has grown significantly, employing over 100 people and gaining the respect of boutique retailers and specifiers across Australia and New Zealand. The company’s success is attributed to listening to our customers, taking calculated risks, and emphasising quality. Our commitment to planned growth and continuous improvement remains central to our philosophy. We credit the success of GlobeWest to the collective effort of our dedicated and talented team and the valuable insights from industry veterans. Today, GlobeWest continues to thrive, driven by our founding principles of creativity, quality, and customer focus.



Tell us about how GlobeWest started?

Together, we founded GlobeWest here in Melbourne in 2004. Growing up in Napier, a small town in the Western Cape of South Africa, we were inspired by our parents’ passion for collecting and restoring antique furniture which laid the groundwork for our future endeavours. We both moved to Cape Town for our education, where we were influenced by the region's architecture. “From a young age, Stephen was always captivated by beautiful things” says brother Alan.

After university, we began our careers - Alan pursued a career in finance, while I [Stephen] worked in sales and marketing with Adidas Australia. We often discussed starting a business together, combining our skills in commerce and creativity.

Recognising a market opportunity for distinctive, accessible furniture, we decided to venture into the furniture business. GlobeWest was born from our desire to create high-quality furniture that resonated with the Australian lifestyle. Our first trade fair revealed a strong interest from interior designers, setting the stage for our focus on boutique retail and design professionals.


Describe the growth of the business and how you and the team have developed over the last 20 years.

Over the last 20 years, GlobeWest has been humbled by the significant growth and development of the business, driven by our team listening to our customers and focusing on their needs. We have always strived to expand our product offering and diversity including growing our customisation program allowing our customers to transform our most loved silhouettes to reflect their needs and their clients. 

We have grown our design team to focus on increased in house innovation and design and are proud of the beautiful ranges we are bringing to market.  By carrying stock on hand in Melbourne, we can also respond quickly to customer demands, further enhancing our ability to provide excellent service. We continue to invest in our website with our trade portal, designed to streamline customer's business operations and offer the tools to aid our customers in growing their businesses profitablity. Throughout our journey, the dedication and hard work of our team have been instrumental in our success, and we are proud to continue growing and developing for our customers.





What has made GlobeWest so successful?

GlobeWest's success can be attributed to several key factors. Firstly, our remarkable design diversity offers a wide range of styles and aesthetics that cater to various customer preferences. 

Secondly, our unwavering commitment to quality sets us apart. GlobeWest’s furniture and homewares are meticulously designed in-house by a dedicated Melbourne-based product and design team, ensuring high standards are maintained throughout the production process. Additionally, having stock readily available in Melbourne allows GlobeWest to meet customer demands promptly, enhancing the overall customer experience.

We wouldn’t be here without our trade customers and their ongoing support. We endeavour to always prioritise an inspiring and enjoyable customer experience. We offer industry-leading trade benefits and online tools that streamline the purchasing process, making it easier for customers to find what they need. This dedication to customer satisfaction, combined with our diverse product range and commitment to quality, has solidified GlobeWest's reputation as a leader in the furniture industry.




Explain GlobeWest in 5 words. 

"Design-driven, talented, fun, inspirational, rewarding."

 

What are you most excited about for GlobeWest in the next 5 years?

We're most excited about our future innovations and own designs, finding new ways to meet our customers needs and the needs of the Australian interior design industry. Our capabilities in the commercial and project area have grown exponentially with a major focus on offering greater durability for select environments. We are proud to have listened to our trade customers’ and have innovated products that meet their needs and are growing their businesses in these categories. By investing in these areas, we aim to ensure that GlobeWest remains at the forefront of the industry, delivering exceptional value and service to our customers. 




What has been the most challenging aspect or biggest learning experience over the past 20 years?

Over the last 20 years we have learned to embrace the challenges we have faced as an industry and business. We have had to adapt to the ever-changing needs of our customers and their clients, which has driven us to innovate and enhance our offerings continuously. Two notable examples are the increasing demand for greater customisation and offering products suitable for the commercial environment. These demands have presented challenges in terms of the time and resources required to execute them effectively. However, our dedicated team has consistently stepped up to these challenges, embracing complexity and ensuring we meet our customers' needs. Balancing this complexity with the goal of making our customers' lives easier has been both challenging and rewarding, this has definitely been worth the effort and investment.

 

How does it feel to celebrate 20 years together with Decor and Design?

It feels like we have come full circle. What better environment to celebrate this achievement than where we first started. Over 3 days we will be able to meet with and thank our many thousand customers who have been the key reason for our success.

We are proud to not only have survived but thrived over the past 20 years and to celebrate this milestone together with Décor and Design.


 Over the years Decor & Design.


2008


2015


2018


What are you most proud of in regards to GlobeWest?

We are most proud of how our products continually evolve to meet the ever-changing market needs. A reflection of our team's dedication to learning and commitment to exceptional customer service have been crucial to our success.

We've built a strong, admired brand that genuinely improves everyday lives. As we celebrate our 20th year, we're proud to be industry leaders with a solid foundation for the next 20 years, with the best still to come.

We're also incredibly proud of the team and culture we've cultivated. It's remarkable that so many team members have been with us for 5, 10, 15, and even 19 years. Their loyalty reflects the strong, supportive environment we've built, making our 20-year journey truly special.




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Content hub

20 Years

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    To celebrate GlobeWest's 20th anniversary, we sat down with co-founders Stephen and Alan Mendel for an exclusive interview. Join us as we delve into their journey, from humble beginnings to the remarkable evolution and success of GlobeWest.

    Discover the vision and passion behind GlobeWest in the interview below.

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    Photography by Mitch Lyons.

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