Interview to our executives by El Nuevo Día newspaper
By: Marian Díaz |firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: El Nuevo DíaNewspaper
The furniture store, specialized in Italian and European lines, has quadrupled the estimated income in just a year and a half from being established.
Despite the fact that sales in the furniture sector have declined in double digits in the last year,there are furniture stores that have had the opposite result and experienced strong growth in that period of time.
One of them is Attiko Casa, owned by, the businessmen Noel González and the Italian Manuela Presbitero, which is located on Constitución Avenue in San Juan, an area known as the "Design District".
The furniture store opened its doors in August 2018 in a space of 1,700 square feet and 15 months later that footage has almost been doubled, so now it has 3,300 square feet.
In an interview with El Nuevo Día, the duo evaluated that sales growth has been constant from day one. "We doubled the estimated sales since we opened and with the expansion they have quadrupled," said González.
Attiko Casa specializes in the sale of furniture designed and made in Italy with Italian materials or what is known as “Made in Italy”. 85% of its inventories correspond to that country, while the remaining 15% are lines from Spain,Germany, France and Denmark.
In the show room they recreate various spaces of a home, from the living room, dining room and bedrooms, to the family room. They also have patio or terrace furniture, as well as accessories such as rugs, paintings, candles, ceiling or table lamps and wallpapers, among others.
"Everything you need to furnish your home, a shop, office, restaurants or hotels, we have it," said Presbitero, while highlighting that the client can personalize their selection by choosing the fabrics, color palette and finishes of each piece.
In the coming months Attiko Casa will add a kitchen cabinet display, will bring three lines and also bathroom equipment. In total the furniture store works with 60 European lines,of different prices. As part of the service, it has two architects who with the help of three-dimensional software can recreate or design any area of the home or office with the furniture, colors and accessories that the client chooses. This allows the client or designer to have a clear idea of how the space will look with the furniture.
Attiko Casa’s furniture has a minimum of two years warranty, the kitchens have five years and there are sofas that are up to 10 years of warranty.
Most of its clients are residential, between 70% and 75%, and the rest 25% or 30% are from the commercial field.
"Most of our clients are local, although we have several that are from Law 20 and 22. Puerto Ricans have a Spanish heritage and a taste for European furniture, design and quality," said the entrepreneur, explaining why Attiko has had such a good reception among clients.
BEGINNING OF BUSINESS
The interviewed came to Puerto Rico 10 years ago from her native Milan, where she worked in a furniture store and learned about the industry. I had the blessing of being the manager of the furniture department of a store and generated 200,000 euros in weekly sales (approximately $220,000). That lead me to be in contact with factories, suppliers and vendors.” said Presbitero.
"I come from Milan, which is saturated with design and when I got here, I saw an opportunity for professional growth, since there were many furniture’s design brands that were not known," explained the entrepreneur. While González, who studied Business Administration and Interior Design, has 12 years of experience in the sales of European furniture. When he met Presbitero, they thought it was ideal for them to join their knowledge and start their own business together.
"We wanted to set up a design studio type furniture store, where the client brings a photo of an empty space in the house and we design and furnish it. Or that the designer or architect could bring the design and we get the furniture", the interviewed said.
With an investment of $500,000 , of which the Economic Development Bank financed 50%, they started the company. They generate seven direct jobs and offer delivery and installation service to the entire Island.
"We knew we were going to be successful because we know the competition, we have the knowledge,the experience and everything to move the business forward," said Presbitero, who thanked the owner of the building, the Morgan Reed firm for allowing them to adapt the space to their needs.