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Built with compassion and generosity

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Sunaina Rana / EMIRATES BUSINESS

The Urban Yogi offers you a sustainable eclectic mix of home style, luxury furniture and accessories. It is local grown brand, offering its customers array of unique and conventional pieces of decoration or furniture to adorn your adobe.
Nisha Verman Shetty founder and CEO of this distinctive brand in 2012, The Urban Yogi dominates urban landscapes, and extensive range of tribal artisans works from the rural villages. As the art is slowly and slowly getting distinct from the modern world, as a concequence the artisans are giving up their centuries-old craft to learn to hang drywall and mix cement.
The Urban Yogi in quest to preserve the thousands of years of traditions and legacy. The brand connects with artisans from all over the globe to provide them a unique platform to amalgamate age old traditions with new contemporary designs all together complimenting your home decor.
Further more, the Dubai based home-decor and lifestyle store has been providing a platform to inspire people to live a beautiful life for over three-years. The company is striving to grow strength to strength, aiming to develop as a prominent name in the region as well as earning the stature of an International lifestyle brand that focuses on a sustainable, conscientious yet stylish way of life.
Nisha Verman Shetty talks to Emirates Business about her story so far.

The Urban Yogi a venture initiated in 2012, having a media background, what led to exploring the furniture industry?
I spent over a decade in advertising and worked in Singapore, Qatar and then Dubai in outdoor & digital media. Building brands has alwaysbeen my passion.
When we were re-decorating our home in 2011, we walked in incredible amount of stores in Dubai where we found mass-produced, soul-less furniture and nothing seemed to inspire me. There was hardly any story-telling and most home decor stores were/are all about pushing volumes. Having a strong CSR culture was also lacking in the retail landscape. This was my starting point where I felt that I could create a brand that stands for the goodness that lies in all of us- Generosity, Compassion and the desire to Give Back.

What is the inspiration behind The Urban Yogi?
Our vision statement is ‘Recreating Culture through Craft’ and we aim to fabricate a culture of sustainability within the UAE. Our brand stands for individuals with a heightened sense of Karma, who want to make a difference in other people’s lives. Our brand stands for self-actualisers.
We’re very eclectic, drawn to colour and we don’t necessarily follow any rules and our aim is to create joy with every setting we create.

Do you import/ export products?
Yes we deal in both import as well as Export. We have earned a good reputation in the market for our unique, traditional plus contemporary pieces. Also we have exclusive items with no reputation at all. We try to provide our customers a set of unique products that are exclusively for their home.

What are the aspects you keep in mind before producing/purchasing a product?
We are known for our sustainableproducts. Whilst when we select a product, it needs to be handcrafted, as we believe in preserving the art. Also it needs to be made with reclaimed wood and it needs to be one-of-a-kind.

What kind of clientele do you target?
Our customers are amazing individuals and they understand the value of sustainability and generosity, they know the difference between mass produced and handcrafted and they genuinely care about the world we live in.

Can you share the growth rate of your company ?
We have witnessed a solid growth in the recent time. As Dubai is gearing up of Expo 2020 growth spurt and we’re experiencing a high volume of enquiries for hospitality related
projects.

What is the popularity of sustainable furniture in the Middle East?
When we started in 2012, there was hardly any awareness on sustainable furniture, or why is it so important to think about these pressing matters, so a big part of our journey has been all about educating the market on why handcrafted is better.

What is that one goal you aim to achieve in next five years?
We aspire to be a Global brand in the next 5 years and with each country having their own production unit.

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