Janaika Elders, founder of Urban Nest, talks about her latest collaborations with Dutch and Latin designers and future plans

How do you have a competitive edge over other brands in your field?
We speak the language of our target audience. We highly value a personal approach and listen carefully to our clients. Our brand provides a unique and surprisingly affordable collection. Our products are exclusively curated by reputed Dutch and Latin American design labels and designers.

Who are your biggest clients in the region?
We are getting more and more demands to support commercial projects, with known interior designers and design firms. We are proud of our collaboration with Dutch spatial designer Maja Kozel on several projects like Pastrology, EPA in Sharjah, and the Altitude Gym (together with IMB Creative Studio), which will be opening later this year. One exciting project that we can’t wait to open is The London Project on Bluewater Island in which we supplied the requests of Design Studio Yamjam. In the retail sector, we are happy with clients like Comptoir 102 in Jumeirah.


Janaika Elders

Could you tell us more about your latest launches?
Recently, we launched WIJCK; a graphical wall-art with prints from several Dubai neighbourhoods. We are always on the lookout for new and fresh designers to collaborate with. We had some successful meetings at Maison et Objet fair in Paris, so are expecting to work some new Dutch designers for unique furniture and lighting soon. We are also close to launching some ‘new bohemian’ Peruvian design brands.

What is your biggest challenge at the moment?
Our biggest challenge is to always stay up-to-date with the latest trends and offer the right collection to cater to all the requirements of different boutique projects. To ensure that we are on trend, I travel to all the international trade shows like the Ambiente in Germany, Maison & Objet in Paris, and Perumoda in Lima. Luckily, Dutch designs are known for being innovative, so I also visit the local Dutch fairs such as ShowUP to see what is happening in the design scene there.

What are your expansion plans?
Besides growing a bigger collection with Dutch and Latin American interior design, we also are on the lookout for more project opportunities. With the Expo 2020 around the corner and the growing number of boutique projects for restaurants, offices, and the hotel industry coming up, we do expect opportunities in this region. We are also moving towards becoming an agency more than a concept store, with more brands, a bigger portfolio, and exclusive brand deals in the region. In this region, we are planning to expand throughout the Middle East. With requests from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the Levant we are on the right track!