The SME Story: Christiane Nasr, founder of The Bowery Company
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The SME Story: Christiane Nasr, founder of The Bowery Company

The SME Story: Christiane Nasr, founder of The Bowery Company

Nasr is taking her online store of furniture and home accessories and expanding it into one that now has a physical presence in Dubai

Christiane Nasr Bowery

What were you doing before starting up The Bowery Company?
From 2006, I started working in Geneva in the private banking industry as an investment advisor for ultra high net worth individuals, and in 2012, I relocated to Dubai, as a regional director covering the investment advisory for UHNWI across the GCC.

In the summer of 2014, I was walking through New York’s Bowery Avenue – an edgy district running through Manhattan. I saw many industrial lightings fixture shops along the avenue and I got the idea of bringing these to Dubai. I came back, and without even working on a business plan, I ordered my first container of furniture and home accessories.

Which are some of the main brands that The Bowery Company has brought to the GCC region?
We are the biggest retail partner for Ferm Living in the GCC with the largest stock quantity in the region and the exclusive distributor of 101 Copenhagen and NORR11, two of the most prominent design brands in Europe. The Bowery Company is also the first to bring design brands Bolia and Hay to the region on a retail front, as well the first to launch FÉST Amsterdam in the region. I have my eye on an upcoming Norwegian design brand, as well as some Swedish and Danish ceramic designer brands which I hope to bring on board in the near future.

Could you give us a business overview of your current operations?
The Bowery Company ships all over the GCC with an emphasis on UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Kuwait. We offer around 10,000 products from our 12 Scandinavian brands and we are a small but growing team of 10 employees working hard on operations, sales, marketing and business development. We have scaled up our business five-fold in the past 12 months, and we are forecasting to continue on the same growth trajectory in the coming months.

You have a new space opening in Al Quoz. Tell us about it.
Our new 5,000 sqft flagship concept store is home to our showroom, an in-house built warehouse facility, a coffee shop as well as an innovative workspace environment for our interior designers’ community. We strive to be an innovative multi-disciplinary design space with like-minded people to gain inspiration and give a sense of being at home.

What are your business expansion plans?
Most likely the next step for The Bowery Company will be to look at Saudi Arabia and build on a physical as well as online presence in the country. We already have clients there to whom we deliver and are working on specific projects as well. However, we would love to maximise on that in the near future.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt about being an entrepreneur?
I learnt along the way that not everything happens as planned and that it is okay – accept failure as part of the journey, stay curious, be open to opportunities and partnerships, as one door can lead to another. Value one’s time and learn to delegate to others.

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