Ready, set, tablescape. Australian homewares brand In The Roundhouse is creating a new category of stylish dinnerware – from plates and side dishes to cutlery and napkins – designed to capture the social media generation’s attention. Alyce Tran and Brooke Bickmore ,the duo behind the viral brand, are best friends turned business partners. The origin story of In The Roundhouse began eight years ago when co-founder Bickmore was looking to set up her new apartment and co
nt and couldn’t find what she was looking for – vibrant and affordable dinner sets. At the time, Tran was responsible for hosting endless social events in her previous role at The Daily Edited and similarly struggled to find aesthetic tableware. Now, the two women are sitting at the head of the boardroom table ready to disrupt a once-stagnant industry and help customers set their tables in style. Tableware for a new generation Bickmore and Tran concluded that there was nothing in the dinnerware space that spoke to their target demographic, Gen Z and Millennial women. “Ultimately, our blue-sky vision is to be the go-to tabletop homewares brand for the Gen Z and Millennial market. That is our vision – when someone moves out of home and they’re 23 or 24, they think of In The Roundhouse to get for their apartment,” Tran said. Gen Z and Millennial consumers are looking to curate every corner of their lives to reflect their tastes and interests from their closets to their kitchens, but few tableware brands on the market were catering to them. “It was a space that was very traditional in its presentation and packaging. In a world where people want to customise everything, people didn’t have the option to pick and choose individual plates,” explained Bickmore. The term “mix-and-match” doesn’t come close to describing In The Roundhouse’s collections, its trend-forward table pieces are sold individually and in sets. The cult-following In The Roundhouse has acquired can be attributed to customers’ ability to collect limited-edition products from the brand, not that different from collecting art. “It’s something you can grow and add to over the course of many years rather than it being a sort of set-and-forget type purchase,” explained Bickmore. Fashion influencing homewares Much like fashion, the brand looks beyond industry trends to broader themes to inspire and guide its collections. “We actually look at fashion trends and think about how this would translate into a home good product,” Tran elaborated. The co-founders’ creative process includes exploring how elements of Loewe’s spring/Summer runway and the Chanel Cruise collection can inspire plate designs. “So what we think about in that space is, what do these consumers care about in terms of fashion, function, lifestyle and aesthetic,” said Tran. The brand’s cycle of teasing and dropping collections more closely resembles a fashion brand rather than a traditional homewares brand. In The Roundhouse is successfully making the case that dinnerware can be an extension of customers’ personal style and fashion doesn’t have to be limited to customers’ wardrobes. Dinnerware turned lifestyle brand Forecasting and being reactive to consumer trends have allowed In The Roundhouse to stand out from its competitors and cater to its demographic. “We are also at a size at the moment where we can still trial things in quite small runs and give it a test run. We can still be very reactive to sales on a day-to-day basis,” Bickmore stated. “The big difference between us and a bigger brand is that if something comes up in two weeks we can react to it and have it on your table in June,” added Tran. While the founders keep the brand on the pulse of viral trends they remain focussed on increasing its product range to set the whole table. “For us, it’s really been building out that tabletop, anything you might want for the tabletop we’d like for someone to find it at In The Roundhouse,” Tran added. “We did a really big job in 2023 of filling in all the gaps on that table so you could buy everything from us… and that’s getting completed this quarter.” The co-founders didn’t give too much away in terms of the brand’s upcoming releases but one thing is for certain, as In The Roundhouse adds to its viral collections customers continue to add to their carts. “We are excited to set a table!” exclaimed Tran.