When you set your sights on assuring that every move you make as a manufacturer of handcrafted bespoke furniture expresses a luxurious essence, that includes the company you keep. We’re thrilled to announce that we have added two affiliations to the list of design boutiques carrying our furniture—Nandina Home in Aiken, South Carolina; and Jalan Jalan in Miami, Florida. They join Travis & Company in the Atlanta Decorative Arts Center as fine establishments who offer our furniture to their clientele. I’ll fill you in on the point of view of the dynamic duo Bruce and Aurelie Platt of Jalan Jalan in a journal entry soon.
At Home with
Today, I catch up with Susan Victor, the co-owner—with Sue Shannon—of Nandina Home and an interior designer. I slanted my questions to give our Bruce Andrews Design Journal readers a taste of how she and her team go about producing the sumptuous interiors they turn over to their clients and what they look for as they curate products for their stores.
SH: Your tagline “Real Life/Real Style” is terrific. Do you think there is an art to designing homes that afford clients the opportunity to exist within livable luxury? If so, how do you always keep this outcome in mind as you are designing interiors?
SV: When my husband and I, along with our business partner Sue Shannon, opened the original Nandina ten years ago, we were in the throes of raising our families. I have four children and Sue has three, so we lived these crazy lives filled with kids, pets, carpool, parties and baskets of laundry! We wanted a brand that reflected a real life—more than what you see in a magazine. But, we also wanted a brand that was sophisticated, curated, collected and reflective of personal style. We always believed in messy kids, capricious dogs, and crazy fun-filled lives, as well as stylish inviting homes that coexisted under one roof. It has become one of our value statements, and all of our designers have adopted the “Real Life, Real Style” philosophy.
SH: Can you give our readers a feel for how you curate for the shop?
SV: From day one we wanted to create a design and retail operation that was boutique in nature, representing a lifestyle that felt curated and collected. When you walk through our doors, you are greeted with inviting room settings that we hope make you sigh and say, “This place gets me.” We want every potential customer or client to instinctively feel like this is the home they want. We also want them to see the creative process that goes into making a beautiful home. We have placed our design business front-and-center in our stores with large, open work-tables. We’ve stacked fabric books on generous walls of shelves and selected textiles that we’ve hung for inspiration so that our customers can comfortably browse the store while our design clients work with the designers on their projects.
In order to stay true to our brand, we have become extremely disciplined buyers. We do tons of research before we go to market and we hunt for the unique and bespoke product like Bruce Andrew Design. We often are willing to take risks and bring in something that is true to our brand but would be a onetime purchase for our clients. We want to impart the concept of investment purchasing, which in the internet shopper world of today can often be a difficult sell.
SH: Would you say you have a main point-of-view when you are sourcing products for Nandina Home?
SV: We are constantly searching for product that has one or more of the following qualities:
1 Outstanding Style; 2 Value (Is it a great investment for the product?); 3 Quality; 4 Craftsmanship; 5 Uniqueness; 6 Something we would love for our own homes!
If the answer is yes to two or more, then it is a winner. We’ve vetted this roster of questions many times and have learned a painful lesson each time we have steered off course for our brand.
SH: What was it that inspired you to include the Bruce Andrews Design Ann Chair in your shop?
SV: The bespoke quality of the chair makes it a truly special addition to our showroom. It fits the curated, one-of-a-kind emotion that we want to invoke in our clients as they walk through the showroom. The story behind the craftsmanship of the chair is a narrative that our designers enjoy sharing; plus, it is just such a beauty!
SH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with Bruce Andrews readers that I have not asked?
SV: In this day and age you can buy furniture anywhere. At Nandina we are selling our service, our attention to detail, our belief that quality and craftsmanship are worth the investment. But, most of all, we’re championing our belief in home and how central this is to our lives.
How to Reach Nandina Home
I’d like to thank Susan for taking the time to answer these questions. With designers/retailers like her and Sue in the world, we believe the future of the furnishings industry is looking up, don’t you?
Nandina Home has two locations. The Aiken boutique can be reached by calling 803-649-0616 and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm. The Atlanta shop is open during the same hours and can be reached by calling 404-521-9303. The Aiken Design Team includes Susan Victor, Owner and Lead Designer; Sue Shannon, Owner and Lead Designer; and Michelle Merritt, Lead Designer. The Atlanta Design Team includes John Ishmael, Owner and Lead Designer; and Jessie LaFalce, Lead Designer. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To see how actualized the busy designers are, visit the Nandina Home blog where they share news, such as the fact they were selected as one of the Southeast’s top retailers and design firms to create a vignette for the AmericasMart Atlanta’s #RetailMeetsDesign exhibition this past summer.
This post, At Home with Nandina Home, © Bruce Andrews Design, all rights reserved. Our furniture is now available through Nandina Home in Aiken, SC; Jalan Jalan in Miami, FL; Travis & Company in ADAC in Atlanta; and the Ellouise Abbott showroom in Dallas, TX. We will soon be showing in the Ellouise Abbott showroom in Houston and in the Michael-Cleary showroom in Chicago, IL.