Affordable and quality African home décor has become a popular choice with consumers in the past few years, and to meet their client's cravings, designers and decorators are seeking out stores and online sites that can provide those quality and authentic products and services.
"Designers and decorators enjoy the fact that all our products are 100% authentic, that we travel to the continent every year to do our own buying. Knowing that we travel to Africa, we have been getting many special requests from designers seeking specific products for their clients," said Gary Stern, founder and owner of Nontando, based in Sarasota, Florida. Nontando has recently appeared in a number of leading designer profile's as their choice for the best of African home decor. Stern says, "We are extremely proud of this achievement and we have been working very hard over the past few years to ensure that we can meet the specfic requests of the decorators and designers we work with".
In a recession-rocked economy, savvy customers are seeking affordable, quality products and the fact that Nontando has been able to minimize overhead with its business operations, has allowed Stern to bring his products to the consumers at very competitive prices.
"We have minimal labor costs, we have no wholesalers and middlemen to deal with as we deal direct with the source in Africa, we have no rent to pay as we own our commerical property and we developed and maintain our website ourselves". Stern says, " We also import directly from Africa ourselves and have been importing for 9 years now, which, through trial and error, we now do in the most economical and operationally feasible way possible". Stern says,"All these factors allows us to bring our products to the market at great prices which in these economic times, is a real attractive proposition to our customers, designers and decorators alike". Stern continues," In addition, when a designer is seeking a specific product we do not normally carry, they know that based on the way we operate, that we will find it and bring it to them at the best price possible". Nontando has, over the past 8 years, established sources and relationships throughout the continent of Africa based on his annual buying trips. "We have had some unusual and very unique product requests over the years, and in some cases it has taken a fair amount of effort, but we have managed to fulfill most of them", Stern says.
" I have noticed in recent years many of our designer and decorator clients have had to operate more effeciently and effectively and you get a sense they appreciate the way we manage our business and yet still be able to fulfill their needs with top class products and service," said Stern.
"People will always want beauty in their lives," he added, "so we have worked hard in exposing African design as a wonderful option to consider for our decorators and designers clients, who can give their clients this choice when considering design and decor possibilities"
Stern tells us the the trends of the production of Africa products is real exciting. He says he sees first hand on his trips the evolution and direction of African design and is always looking to introduce a product that is not only unique but may bring a different dimension to someone looking to encapsulate some African decor within their existing style.
"Working with designers and decorators has been a way for me to share my design aesthetic and bring some of my ideas to products that are affordable,"
"Connecting with a designer is a great way to inject a fresh perspective to our assortment in this marketplace"
Stern remembers how in the 1990s, Target pioneered the idea of designer exclusives.
" I think the trend of seeing more and more colloboration and strategic alliances will continue to grow", Stern predicts, "To be able serve your clients with home decor in a global, diverse and more competitive marketplace the ability to evolve will be critical".
Nontando has the ability and will continue to strive to bring their clients products that is
unique and not available anywhere else.
"Who knows, maybe a Nontando limited-run collection on our home accessories could be in the pipeline". Stern says with a smile.
Contact: Gary Stern
Nontando, 6578 Gateway Avenue, Sarasota, FL, 34231
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Nontando, operating since 2003, has the largest and best selection of African Art, Gifts and Home Decor in Florida. www.nontando.com was launched in 2009 has attracted customers from all over the US, becoming a popular choice for designers and decorators.