The Block effect: how being on TV can shine a spotlight on small business



As longtime fans of The Block, Australian furniture manufacturer Toni Briggs Brown and husband Simon Brown dreamed of getting their product on the show and set out to make it happen this year. Here’s how their kitchen stools made it into Mitch and Mark’s kitchen on Sunday night and their first order came through before the episode even finished!

Image via David Cook Photography/The Block Shop

TH Brown is a family-owned furniture manufacturing brand that was launched 110 years ago by Simon’s grandfather Thomas Howard Brown. The couple relaunched the brand in 2017 with the objective of reissuing the iconic designs that Simon’s family created from the 1950s through to the 70s. The Danish Barstool is their most recognisable piece. It was designed in Adelaide and is still manufactured and hand finished there to this day.

After years of seeing the contestants refer to The Block Shop for inspiration and to purchase items to style their homes, they set about trying to get stocked. “I thought they were part of Channel 9 and it would be more difficult, but the team at The Block Shop from customer service to marketing, guided us through the process to make it really easy,” says Toni.

Once filming started, Toni asked if they could get their pieces put forward to contestants by the Block Shop. The morning after the Sunday night when kitchen week was announced, the couple got a text message from customer service at the Block Shop saying that there was a contestant interested in featuring the Danish Barstool for their kitchen. On the episode you can see Mitch scrolling online, then finding the stool saying, “these are magnificent!”.

Then the call came from Mark and Mitch directly, wanting to know if they could supply and deliver the product by Friday. As each stool is handcrafted, the team worked overtime to create them within two days. Not wanting to risk them not arriving, Simon packed up the car and drove from Adelaide to Melbourne to deliver them in person!

Simon Brown delivers the TH Brown stools himself!

“Seeing the style of the home and the beauty of the House 2 kitchen that Mitch and Mark had designed, it was a great fit for the Danish Barstool to create that extra layer of luxury and design form. It sat perfectly in the space, which is testament to the duo’s design skills and that the classic look of the stools transcends trends and is simply a timeless design,” he says.

And it didn’t take long for “The Block effect”, which so many other small businesses have benefited from over the years, to take hold! “Our first order hit the The Block Shop while the show was still airing, and orders and multiple enquiries have continued to come through,” said Toni yesterday. “The coverage we received both on the show and online has been fantastic for our brand and a celebration of Peter’s timeless and iconic design.”

Mitch, Simon and his brother Justin Brown and Mark at The Block site

TH Brown pieces become family heirlooms. Each one is certified, quality controlled, has a 10-year warranty and comes with a serial number as they are collectibles. “We’ve heard that families have original pieces from the 1950s they’ve inherited and have ordered new stools from us recently to add to their kitchen, creating a set,” explains Simon.

“Seeing our stools on The Block is a pinch me moment, to be honest,” Toni says. “We talk about our brand being 110 years old and three generations, but we only relaunched the TH Brown brand four years ago. For a small Australian furniture brand to find themselves on The Block and have Mitch and Mark love the design and include it in their kitchen is an amazing opportunity.”

The full range of TH Brown kitchen stools and coffee tables are available through the Block Shop, and stockists Australia wide.

See their range via The Block Shop | For more on TH Brown

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