In the eleventh of the series of Sofa Chats, top interior designers Nick Shute and Stefan Dodds in conversation with Casey Morrison about when they started their company, the relationship with Minotti London and their favourite pieces.
Dodds & Shute resolve to instigate real change in the design sector. They have conﬁdence that their unrivalled expertise and knowledge of the industry can provide an integral resource for interior designers and architects as they collaborate with them through consultancy and sourcing for projects from conception to completion.
Hit the play button below to watch the full conversation, or read the full transcript below:
Stefan Dodds: My name’s Stefan. I am one half of Dodds and Shute.
Nick Shute: And I’m Nick.
Stefan: Yeah. And we started Dodds and Shute about six years ago, January 2015.
Casey Morrison: Wow. Time flies, hey?
Stefan: It does. It’s scary.
Nick: It hasn’t in the past year. It’s really slowed down.
Casey: It’s lovely though. It’s nice to have watched your company grow from being right in the beginning to where it’s got to now. I love all the projects we work on together.
Stefan: Thank you.
Casey: It’s so exciting. So how do you think over the years, your opinion of Minotti has developed after working with them?
Stefan: To be honest, I’m not just saying this because it’s on tape, a lot of that relationship is with you. When Nick and I started again, as I was saying, we sort of admired Minotti from afar. And you really came in and you were like, “Look, we can work together. We can work together.”
And the relationships sort of grown from there. We always knew the quality. And I guess as a dealer, as much as I hate that word, a lot of it is about relationships. We want to use brands that we trust.
Whilst aesthetics are really important to us and our clients, if we are putting forward a brand that is letting us down all the time, that’s going to be a problem. So we’re pretty cautious about who we work with.
And as you really fought for Minotti, I guess we started testing you out and started working on a couple of projects. And it’s kind of snowballed from there really.
Nick: Yeah, that’s absolutely right. I think because of you, the relationship is at a point where we probably didn’t imagine it would ever become what it has, and yeah, we really do trust and like working with you.
Stefan: And thanks for your help.
Nick: Yes. I’d say it’s quite difficult to get our trust as well.
Stefan: Yes, agree.
Nick: You really broke that down.
Casey: It’s so lovely to say. I always find working, especially with you guys, and even with the whole team, everyone is so passionate about their jobs. And it makes it a real joy to work with you.
Stefan: We are used to always looking at brands from a pessimistic point of view. I guess we kind of become very cynical over the last few years, and the first thing we look at is, are they going to meet the lead times and things like that.
And a lot of brands, especially at the moment, they just can’t meet them. And it’s nice being able to go to Minotti and know, right yeah, actually, the lead time’s accurate.
And you always end up an email a week early saying it’s in. And I’m there going, at least we’ve one thing, the project here and sort it. I’m serious. Again, it sounds cheesy for the video, but it’s really important to us. That makes a huge difference.
Nick: Because as much as we enjoy being surrounded by beautiful things, we are the people that wear that pragmatic hat. And we can only give good service when we’re receiving good service.
So yeah, you’re absolutely right. Not being let down, knowing we can trust a business, is not a particularly the most interesting thing to hear on a call like this, but for anybody that might be worrying about a lead time or a company to work with that has got to hit a certain turnaround, then you guys can do it.
And even the issues we’re suffering with right now, in terms of Brexit and getting goods into the country, you guys seem to have nailed it in a way that a lot of other companies are still trying to kind of figure out how to deal with this stuff.
Casey: If there was a piece that you could pick from the showroom that you could take home today, is there any piece that you had in mind that you would choose?
Stefan: When you sort of did the new releases last autumn, I saw the GamFratesi stuff, and I love the Fynn armchair. I’m trying to get that into a project at the moment. That, I think’s awesome.
I think we’re not limited, but because we don’t have that many outdoor spaces here, we don’t work on that many outdoor projects. We don’t see it that often. I saw that and I was like, “Yeah, one day, I’d like one of those, definitely.”
Casey: You’ll be very pleased to know, Stefan, Fynn also comes in as an indoor chair.
Stefan: There you go. I like it.
Casey: We can have a sit on it later if you’re lucky, if you play your cards right.
Nick: For me, it would be the Aston armchair. I think that was probably one of the first pieces I knew when I was a design student. It’s a classic, but it kind of just suits any environment, really, kind of contemporary classic. Yeah, love it.
Casey: I always love the idea that it looks like a little hug.
Nick: Yeah, it does.
Casey: With the arms-
Nick: It’s true. It’s true.
Casey: I always think as well, that a chair’s nice when it has a statement kind of look without being overpowering.
Casey: Aston armchair, I always find, can sometimes look good in maybe even quite a busy fabric, and it still holds its own quite well, which I find quite interesting with some of the pieces.
Stefan: Yeah, agreed.
Nick: I think it’s also a type of chair that a lot of people have tried to replicate and haven’t done so particularly successfully.
Stefan: Yeah. They haven’t succeeded.
Casey: Yeah. That’s great. Well, thank you so much for coming today.
Stefan: Thank you so much for having us.
Nick: Our pleasure.
Casey: It’s been an absolute treat. I really enjoyed talking genuinely.
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