Millennials Can't Get Enough of This Tableware Brand Kathryn Duryea didn't want Ikea dishes, and she didn't want fancy china. And she bet other people her age felt the same.
The tableware industry is enormous and old — a $7 billion space dominated by high-end legacy brands and low-cost plates from the likes of IKEA. Is there room for more? Kathryn Duryea once worked in brand management at Tiffany & Co., where she was part of that old guard, but then she saw a new opening: "We're in a moment of women embracing leadership and entrepreneurship, but there's still a desire to build community at home through entertaining," she says. That led her to create Year & Day, a modern, minimalist tableware brand that has raised $3.5 million in funding and attracted a celebrity clientele, and is growing revenue 40 percent every quarter. Here's how she created a new place at a very crowded table.
1. Spot the opportunity.
Duryea had inherited her mom's beloved dinnerware, but it all shattered during a move. That's when she decided to build her own collection. "It felt like a right-hand-ring moment: I was a woman of a certain professional stature, and I wanted to treat myself," she says. But the marketplace wasn't serving her need. Everything felt outdated, generic, and suited to a lifestyle she couldn't relate to. She — and other women her age — didn't want boring everyday dishes and fancy dishes for special occasions only. She wanted tableware for every day and every occasion, and she wanted it to feel like a treat.