What a difference a year makes... Today we would like to put our founder Janaika in the limelight since today it is Urban Nest’s first birthday! Janaika: ‘Indeed what can happen in a year! If I think back to September 10th 2017, I feel a mix of joy, excitement and nervousness. A bit like the first day of school. That day I started living my dream, in a way.’
Multi culture Dutchy
Janaika is a multi-cultural modern-world product; born from a Peruvian mother and Dutch father, met her Lebanese husband while living in Paris and has settled down in Dubai for quite some years now.
As a Dutchy living abroad and especially while living in Dubai, Janaika felt something was missing. ‘Although I have social DNA from all over the planet, there is always some of that Dutch ‘down-to-earthiness’ left in me.’
Dutch ethics and esthetics
‘I especially felt that when I was shopping for my new home here in Dubai: I was looking for simple, well-made quality products. No-nonsense, sustainable and preferably hand-made or at least authentic instead of mass-production. Of course that was there to be found, but there are just a lucky few with a money-tree in that size. Back in the Netherlands I never had a problem finding affordable products that are still close to my ethics and esthetic preferences. I started bringing accessories and furniture when I was traveling back and forth between the Netherlands and the UAE, but here the seed for the idea for Urban Nest was already planted.’
Creativity in place
Besides out of a need, Urban Nest also started out of a wish. ‘I’ve been living with the feeling that I was neglecting my creative side for years. Ten years back I worked in the creative industry in Paris and that always stayed with me. Here in Dubai I started with my own home but had a growing desire to help others finding the right touch in their houses as well. Now Urban Nest is up and running for a year already, and I am studying for my Interior Design Diploma at National Design Academy. And I never felt more in place.’
Within a year...
When we look at our sales statistics, but also to our fast growing fan-base with not only Dutch people, we dare to say that Janaika’s step to start Urban Nest was the right one. It is great to see that beautiful Dutch design products are being spread all over the Middle East. That design brands as Puik, HK Living and Tiny Miracles wanted to cooperate and ‘win the Middle East’, but also that a brand like WIJCK wants to collaborate on creating that special Dubai edition.
Soon after launching the web shop the need for a physical location became clearer: Urban Nest’s Studio was launched just a couple of months later in the Ibn Battuta gate office building number 903C & 904E. Janaika: ‘This really is a high light for me for this year: it gave me the opportunity to meet and bond with the customers, show the products with the attention they deserve. And good to know: I always like to open the doors for customers. Drop by for a peek in the collection and some coffee!’
Janaika: ‘Another great thing I discovered here, is that the creative scene is really cooperative as well; we rather work together than compete.
Pastrology with Maja Kozel
I am really happy with the work I have done for and with Maja Kozel; a Dutch interior designer working in the Middle East. Especially her pastry concept for ‘Pastrology’ that gained the attention it deserves was a hit (and is now shortlisted for best F&B projects CID Awards 2018!). We were happy to be involved with that.’
JamJar photoshoot with House of Hawkes
‘Another thing that still makes me glow with pride is the collaboration with House of Hawkes at JamJar, that did a wonderful photoshoot including all of our brands. I am really grateful that people are willing to help and bring out the best of Urban Nest.’
Of course one year is just a year; the start was wonderful and of course are we planning on growth. There are a lot of wishes and goals to work on. We prepare and hope for nice projects with the Expo2020 coming up. We start to cover more and more countries in the Middle East and will continue to do so. Of course we would love to become agents for more Dutch design brands, that’s why Janaika is now scouting at ShowUp and Maison & Objet.
And last but not least to really embrace Janaika’s multi-cultural background; we hope to soon add some Peruvian quality brands to our collection and will start with the launch of Peruvian fair-trade brand ‘Threads of Peru’. So far for all festivities; back to work! Stay tuned!
The products made by Tiny Miracles are all designed by Dutch designer Pepe Heykoop and manufactured by the women of the Pardeshi community, who live in one of the most impoverished areas of Mumbai, India. Tiny Miracles Foundation supports these women and their families.
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