About Anderson Somerselle
Anderson Somerselle has come a long way from the Virgin Islands beaches of his childhood. Employing the charismatic spirit he was born with and later developed as a radio personality, Anderson has spent the past decade cultivating close relationships with artisans and interior designers from around the world. With an intuitive understanding of current and upcoming trends, Anderson has served as the critical point person between brands and the designers who rely on their products.
He entered the industry working with big-box retailers and went on to run departments at luxury design showrooms such as Holland & Sherry and John Rosselli & Associates. Throughout his career, Anderson has provided his talents in design and marketing to highly respected brands such as Sister Parish, Robert Kime, Peter Dunham, Lisa Fine, Carolina Irving, Peter Fasano, and Kathryn Ireland.
As CEO of SOMERSELLE, he will utilize his decade of interior design experience, his arsenal of industry allies, his keen sense of design trends, and his radical vision for the growth opportunities available to the modern showroom.
Growing up in the Virgin Islands, how does your upbringing inspire your design aesthetic?
Growing up in the Virgin Islands influenced my design aesthetic in so many ways. I appreciate clean lines and a classic understated palette to connect to the expansive coastal shoreline.
As far as you can see, white sand meets the turquoise water, with ranges of grey cliffs and charcoal caves in the distance. I love for my home to feel bright, airy, and open, which also is a staple of island living.
Working in the retail space for many years, did it teach you the ends and outs of how to run a business?
Working in the retail space offered me an irreplaceable education. When working in retail, you handle needs from every direction – from customers, coworkers, managers, and corporate.
Learning how to juggle each client’s day-to-day needs while maintaining an eye for the company’s bigger picture is so important. Quality customer service is a rapidly dying art, which is a much bigger conversation. Still, I can confidently say that my retail time taught me how essential good customer service is to any business.
Now that I have started my own business, I’m prioritizing my team’s service level, which I know is one of the essential steps to a company’s long-term success.
Describe your brand vision in three words.
How has COVID-19 changed how you run your business?
SOMERSELLE launched in January 2021, very much in the middle of the global pandemic. During the past year, showrooms in Manhattan have had to follow strict operating guidelines that made it difficult and unpleasant for designers to browse. Their visits generally had to be made by appointment, and in some cases, came with time limits.
I had always planned SOMERSELLE would offer a digital showroom option, allowing designers to source our products on an intuitive, all-inclusive digital platform. This concept seemed like an even better idea given the safety restrictions of 2020/2021.
What our digital showroom does is incredibly unique because it allows designers to manage every step of their process remotely. It enables our partners easy access to critical information such as sample requests, which sample requests translate to orders, how long that turn-over takes, and so much more.
Our goals are to keep the process accessible and transparent for the designer and provide as much information as possible to our brand partners, helping them in their design and decision-making process.
Working with clients who have various needs, how do you allow them the grace to feel confident in their decision-making for their home or office design?
When designers come to me with a general idea of what they are seeking, I’m more than happy to shop our collections for them and send them many samples that I think they would love. That’s particularly fun for me to do!
Sometimes designers come to me with a clear vision and very specific needs, and in those cases, if I have a product that works for their design, that’s fantastic. If we don’t happen to have what they’re explicitly seeking, I always try to point them in the direction of another showroom that might be able to help.
I’m never resistant to the idea of “losing a sale” to another showroom if their product is going to serve the designer better. This way of thinking establishes trust and community feelings that I’m aiming to create with SOMERSELLE.
I love, love, love your texture selections! What inspires your choices?
I trusted my instincts when considering which lines to take on. I hope that SOMERSELLE will offer a diverse selection that can answer every need a designer may have.
I made sure to have lines with plenty of solids and wovens and lines that offered texture and pattern. This may seem obvious, but I made sure to receive physical samples before moving forward with any line because I wanted to feel the fabric’s quality in my hands and see the depth of color in person with my own eyes.
To that end, you can say that all my lines are literally “hand-selected.” In addition to quality, I only selected lines that I felt had an extra special something, whether that was a particularly unique use of color or pattern, an artisan with a unique worldview–something else that makes me feel the line had a spark of personality.
You work with various brands in your showroom. What are your requirements to be considered for placement within SOMESELLE?
Although we are not seeking to add any additional lines at the moment, I would say there is no definitive list of requirements that I would apply to a line in consideration.
The qualities that I appreciate the most in my partners are professionalism, proactive communication, and honesty. For me, these attributes are the essential bedrock of any partnership.
What do you know now that you wished you knew before starting your company?
I’ve learned a lot as we have been working and growing. If I could go back to the beginning of my process and give myself a tip, it would simply be to trust myself. I always knew that I had the brain, the skills, and the instincts to do this, but it’s tough at the beginning of a project to swallow your doubts, trust yourself, and take the leap.
It’s like they say, “leap, and the net will appear.” In my case, the net came in the form of my colleagues and industry mentors, who were always happy to jump on a phone call with me when I needed some affirmation. I’m very thankful to them for all those late-night chats that helped me stay on course.