In 1997, our founder, Stacey Tiveron, created TODL.com (the Trade Only Design Library).
The goal was exactly that ... provide a trade-only library of products and brands, all digitized and searchable online, and exclusively for interior design professionals. Our purpose was to save design professionals time and money by enabling them to source products instantly.
It was a lofty goal for 1997; less than 10% of the industry even had websites. Design offices were filled with wall-to-wall catalogs, mostly out of date. Interior designers were running to and from design centers and showrooms searching for products to fit their vision (and most times settling for something less than perfect due to time and budget constraints). Converting print catalogs to online specifications and searchable catalogs was a tremendous first step towards streamlining the product search and specification process that is so critical to help interior designers locate the resources needed for their client's projects.
By 2000, the platform was one of 22 websites serving the design industry. By 2005, there were less than five! We continued focusing exclusively on the trade during the subsequent years with several major upgrades, each employing the latest technology. It also meant the survival of the 2000’s Internet bubble burst, the crash of the hospitality industry in 2001, a couple of major economic crashes plus a hurricane or two. And in the end, the little company with a lot of guts remained to service the industry it loved.
Over the years, we’ve worked directly with tens of thousands of industry professionals, interior designers, architects, facility managers, manufacturers, artists, reps, showrooms, magazines, trade shows and event venues. We learned a lot along the way - from both our successes and our failures - and are proud of our history.
But in 2015, it was time to retire the old brand to our own history books. We said “thank you” to all that helped contribute to the wealth of knowledge, experience and great community of industry relationships that will always be a part of our heritage and corporate culture!
Steelyard is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s a completely mobile platform that connects and supports the top product resources in the interior design industry all in one place: interior designers, architects, purchasers, manufacturers, reps, products, artists, design centers, showrooms, trade shows, markets, magazines, design schools and associations. It’s a marketplace hub of innovative products, inspiration, trends, vendor connections, and tools, project efficiency, all instantly available at the touch of a computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Between the 12th and 14th centuries, a walled and protected community known as Steelyard grew on the banks of the Thames River in London. This community was only open to the merchants and those that serviced the flow of goods into the European countries. Its purpose was to protect the interests of those merchants and traders conducting business within that community.
When we learned of this community, we felt a perfect historical connection to the mission of TODL. In the 14th century, if you wanted to build your business within the vetted and protected community of merchants and traders, you went to Steelyard.
Even today as many vendors know, if you want to build your business within the vetted and protected community of the design industry, you need to be on Steelyard.