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FordBrady Break Up, Ford & Ching is Born

[Image on left via William Gobel]
If you're an architect or design-freak, you've probably been to a party at the Kim Sing Theater at 722 Figueroa, site of the design and art showroom of FordBrady, a longtime partnership between Willard Ford (son of actor Harrison Ford) and John Brady. But a press release entitled "FORD&CHING emerges from the ashes of FORDBRADY" was sent out earlier this week--and it notes that duo is no more given "the sudden departure of John Brady from FORDBRADY last month." But meet: Ford & Ching, a new partnership between Ford and Andrea Ching. The latter has experience working with Arkitektura InSitu, Design Within Reach, and LIMN Contract, according to the press release. But it doesn't sounds like Brady is totally out of the scene as the release notes that he'll remain as consultant to the company and will be featured in a monthly column on the web site. Already, the Ford & Ching web site is up and running.

FORD&CHING emerges from the ashes of FORDBRADY

Los Angeles, CA
June 15, 2009

FORD&CHING picks up where FORDBRADY left off to bring fresh ideas and methods to the world of furniture and design. The showroom at the historical Kim Sing Theatre in downtown Los Angeles remains the showcase for a highly edited selection of emerging designers from around the world.

FORD&CHING is a partnership between Willard Ford and Andrea Ching. Willard invited Andrea to join him after the sudden departure of John Brady from FORDBRADY last month. Andrea provides expertise culled from over ten years with Arkitektura InSitu, Design Within Reach, and LIMN Contract in San Francisco. Said Willard, “Andrea brings a level of professionalism and expertise that was absent at FORDBRADY. John Brady and I put FORDBRADY together with no experience in the field of design and somehow made it work. It was essentially a marketing and media company with unfortunate sales capabilities. The addition of Andrea will surely increase the scope of our work and better allow us to break new designers and new design.” Brady added on his way out the door, “It’s a complete miracle we did what we did given meager resources and experience.” Likewise, Andrea was impressed by the progress made by FORDBRADY. “It’s amazing what John and Willard accomplished without a proper sales department,” she said. John Brady remains as consultant to the company and will be featured in a monthly column on the new-look FORD&CHING website (www.fordandching.com).

FORD&CHING will also offer representation services that blur the lines between traditional showrooms and outside sales, marketing, and press relations to deliver furniture and accessories to a broad, relevant and qualified audience. The company will borrow from practices used to promote established brands while retaining the ability to remain sensitive and nimble. This expansion on the traditional "passive" showroom model will create an interface between emerging design, end users, people who specify, and people who love design.

Calling on their particular talents, Andrea will spearhead sales from her office and sample warehouse in Oakland, California while Willard will operate the showroom in Los Angeles and lead the marketing and press relations effort. According to Andrea, this separation of duties makes perfect sense, “Willard is in LA where all the press is located and I’m in the Bay Area where the market is traditionally stronger. There’s really no better way to have this work out. It’s a perfect match.” From her Oakland office, Andrea will make personalized presentations to interested architects, interior designers, specifiers, and developers in numerous markets. At the same time, Willard will host quarterly events at the Kim Sing Theatre to encourage and engage the design and lifestyle community by increasing awareness of showroom products, trends and creativity. Vendor partners will undoubtedly benefit fr om proven relationships with relevant media and industry professionals. These events will be augmented by product launches, mini-trade shows, community events, and cross-promotional activities designed to increase vendor visibility and sales.

FORD&CHING will build on the existing relationships established by FORDBRADY since 2005. Returning lines include SEMIGOOD, SAMUEL MOYER FURNITURE, RISSKA DESIGN, ERNSDORF DESIGN, and PAD. SKRAM FURNITURE COMPANY joins in 2009. Additional lines will be announced before Dwell on Design on June 26 to 28 where FORD&CHING will take center stage and be officially introduced to the design community. As a Dwell “community partner” and local consultant, FORD&CHING will have their own pavilion and feature prominently throughout the hall. Additionally, FORD&CHING will host a VICE magazine sponsored VIP cocktail reception and musical showcase at the Kim Sing Theatre and take part in a panel discussion moderated by Dwell CEO Michela O’Connor.

The Kim Sing Theatre is a Los Angeles hotspot blending design, fashion, and art. Also on site is 722 Figueroa, a clothing showroom for Huffer, Ample Creative, and LUDWIG, as well as the corporate offices for LUDWIG and the Earl McGrath Gallery Los Angeles.