Furniture is more than just a functional piece of decor in your home. It can also be a statement of your personality and design. That’s the idea behind 7th Avenue, a company dedicated to crafting statement pieces that add character to any space.
At the helm of this innovative furniture brand is Director, Neshard Deen. He has a background in interior design and a passion for furniture that led him to start 7th Avenue Furniture. His vision was to create a brand that offered high-quality, customized furniture that would allow people to express their personal style and taste.
Neshard obtained his primary education at Trinity College, Kandy. Later, he obtained an Advanced Diploma in Apparel Marketing from CIM UK. He is also an Associate Member of CIMA UK. With extensive experience in various senior positions, including Finance, Export Merchandising and Marketing, Production Planning, and IT, he has gained valuable expertise in managing dynamic business scenarios within the apparel trade.
After 15 years of working in the Apparel Export Trade with top companies, Neshard co-founded Elegant Smockers. His long-standing passion for furniture and refined interior spaces led him to venture into the home furnishing industry in 2016 through a merger with 7th Avenue Sofas, a reputable brand renowned for designing and producing premium-quality sofas. He revels in the process of designing, prototyping, providing design consultation, and managing the complex supply cycle of home interior projects.
Neshard presently oversees two retail brands and their respective manufacturing operations, which are 7th Avenue and Elegant Smockers. 7th Avenue serves a niche market through its showroom in Bullers Road, direct contacts, and partnerships with interior designers.
Recognized for its unmatched quality in the market, 7th Avenue positions itself among the top-tier furniture companies in Sri Lanka. With that in mind, what is the underlying philosophy at 7th Avenue, and how do Neshard’s values, leadership style, and communication skills align with the brand?
He shared with us that the core philosophy at 7th Avenue centers around upholding a high level of integrity and valuing the opinions of colleagues and customers. According to him, this value aligns closely with his personal beliefs. Neshard further pointed out 7th Avenue’s reliability in quality, explaining that the brand’s focus on timely delivery and understanding design concepts are crucial elements in managing a successful brand.
In addition, we discover that 7th Avenue places a strong emphasis on providing exceptional results for its customers. They maintain a customer-centric approach and strive to offer flexible services and products. Neshard praised his team for their agility and proficiency, noting their eagerness to experiment with new techniques, designs, and creative problem-solving.
The furniture and design industry is a constantly changing landscape, with new trends and styles emerging all the time. How does 7th Avenue incorporate these trends into its brand and continue to expand its reach?
Neshard has illuminated the topic by describing that with the widespread availability of social media platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, customers have become more knowledgeable about design trends and can make informed decisions about how they want to design their spaces.
According to Neshard, the furniture industry has shifted away from traditional norms of manufacturing and ownership. Customers are increasingly open to exclusive pieces made from non-traditional materials. “We specialize in unique finishes like rustic and white-washed finishes,” he clarified.
Looking ahead, Neshard explained that in the near future, 7th Avenue plans to focus on its core business, home furnishing, and strive to manage it effectively while continually refining its methods and processes. He hopes that 7th Avenue will remain a respected and specialist brand of lounge furniture until the market recovers and more opportunities arise.
In terms of Neshard’s personal philosophy in Interior/Architectural Design and his design approach, he asserted, “Furniture should help you elevate your mood and reflect your individual lifestyle.”
Neshard has always been inclined towards a transitional design philosophy, which he finds emotionally comforting. He also appreciates designs that embody a Modern Farmhouse philosophy. As a brand, 7th Avenue has evolved to reflect these two design philosophies in interior spaces.
According to him, transitional style interior design provides more creative freedom when decorating a space since it allows the combination of items from different eras. The brand incorporates a mix of traditional elements, mouldings, clean furniture lines, modern wall decor, and minimalism to create interior spaces.
“I have a positive and optimistic view.” – the future of the industry as seen by Neshard. Even though the industry is experiencing skilled labour migrating for work, he is confident that these individuals will gain better skills and eventually return to serve and elevate industry norms and standards.”
Furthermore, Neshard points out that two significant obstacles in the industry are the absence of personal financial responsibility and adherence to delivery deadlines. Having encountered this issue early on, Neshard takes it upon himself to train and guide his team members in breaking this habit. He stresses the importance of meeting deadlines and the negative impact they can have on the entire supply chain. This is especially important to him given his background in the garment industry, where late deliveries were severely penalized. As a result, 7th Avenue has a zero-tolerance policy and invests significant effort in addressing this cultural issue.
From a local standpoint, Sri Lanka’s current economic crisis has been a significant challenge for businesses, with the past four years marked by social unrest, as well as political and economic turmoil. Neshard, using a metaphor, suggests that this period can be likened to Moses crossing the Red Sea, testing the resilience and adaptability of businesses. Nevertheless, he believes that this crisis has led to the emergence of more agile and disciplined operators, and he expresses gratitude towards his team members for weathering the storm.
Neshard’s journey has been marked by hard work, resilience, and a relentless commitment to excellence. His ability to navigate the challenges of the design landscape and stay ahead of the competition has allowed him to position 7th Avenue as a leading player in the furniture industry. Through his passion for innovation and dedication to delivering exceptional customer service, Neshard has established himself as a respected and visionary leader. His contributions to the industry have been invaluable, and his legacy will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the future of 7th Avenue.