MG West, a San Francisco design firm, has joined the Haworth family as the premier dealer in the Bay Area, ending its 50-year partnership with Knoll.
“Haworth was really the rational and best choice, as they are truly a global player in the industry,” said Andrew Sullivan, MG West managing principal. “With them as our partner, it gives us incredible weight behind the services we offer to our clients wherever and whenever they need them. It's a tremendous advantage.”
MG West started out 110 years ago as a safe and bank vault company founded by Monroe George West. It eventually morphed into a furniture dealership — one of the original office furniture dealers in the Bay area. West ran the company until the 1980s, when Andrew Sullivan's father, Don Sullivan, bought it. In the early 2000s, Andrew Sullivan bought the company from his father and incorporated new partnerships with European companies.
“The San Francisco Bay area market is much more akin to the London market from a design and utilization standpoint,” Andrew Sullivan said. “The cost of space and construction, and the limited amount of space and capacity available is very reminiscent of the London market. San Francisco is one of the most expensive markets in the country, if not the world. So, space needs to be utilized efficiently, yet be welcoming to the employees. We have to address that as a furniture dealer, and we need to be thoughtful of that in our market.”
Andrew Sullivan and Jaime Swickard, MG West principal, weighed in on their enthusiasm for tapping into Haworth's partnerships with distinctive companies like Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, Belgium-based BuzziSpace, nature inspired JANUS et Cie and lighting company Pablo Designs.
“Between their line of accessories, storage, color pallets and collaborations, Haworth really speaks to our market right now,” Swickard said. “We love the overall aesthetic and the vibe.”
He added the commitment from Haworth includes design leadership, industry-leading technology and a global network that will add value for MG West clients. The partnership represents a new beginning of craft, innovation and timeless design for MG West.
“There's a strong sense of innovation with Haworth,” Andrew Sullivan said. “They are very dedicated to the office environments specifically.”
MG West is finding its niche in delivering alternative resources to clients looking for office designs that are different from the others. With about 60 percent of its client base coming from the Silicon Valley tech sector, MG West understands its clients' need to stand out and be unique. The firm has not sold a panel system project in years.
“We're very focused on each client's' direction and bringing creativity to that,” Andrew Sullivan said. “We're constantly thinking of ways to repurpose or hack traditional solutions to fit what the client is trying to achieve.”
Swickard said she sees other designers in the area beginning to make the shift, too.
“I think it is the future of our market,” she said. “And for us to have a partner on the manufacturing side who embraces it, on their level of creativity, this is what we need.”
At the helm of MG West Andrew Sullivan has worked hard to stay progressive and relevant in the office furnishings industry by working with European designers and manufacturers. Bringing new products to the Bay Area market provides more opportunities to develop agile collaborative, third, communal spaces. MG West's clientele wants a wide variety of ancillary options.
“Creativity goes along with that,” Andrew Sullivan said. “We evolved with the marketplace. We're incredibly excited about the partnership with Haworth. They're on the same philosophy plane about the direction the market is going. And we feel we're bringing a new look the San Francisco Bay marketplace.”