Interiors - Leo Mizrahi Casa Tessuti
PUBLISHED: 00:13 18 July 2014
It was a business trip to LA that gave Leo Mizrahi his light-bulb moment, when he came across a business model that he knew would work well in design-savvy Cheshire.
“In LA interior design is big business, as it increasingly is here, but often people know exactly what they want but can’t purchase it direct as most of the premium and high end fabric and furnishing houses will only deal with trade accounts and not direct to the consumer.
“In LA a new kind of interiors specialist has come to the fore – someone who has access to a good supply chain with the brands design- aware customers are most drawn to, but who doesn’t charge in the same way as an interior designer will, meaning customers save money without compromising on their brand selection.”
Having grown up here, Leo was well aware that residents of Manchester and Cheshire were highly design literate, and that a service which put them directly in front of the best and most beautiful home furnishings and allows them to make their own selections would soon gain traction.
He was right.
“I launched the business in January this year and have already had two customers who wanted to furnish their whole house and have supplied many more clients with product and a wide range of interior accessories from lamps to individual artworks.
“Often people are looking for a single, simply amazing, piece for a specific room and have a very clear idea of what they want. Or perhaps they love the room the way it is, but want to replace window dressings or re-upholster special pieces.
“We chat through their wishes and meet at their home, where they can browse through the catalogues I am provided with by the brands I work with – which, in short, is a very extensive list! Armani Casa, Christian Liagre, Porta Romana – usually these brands are only available via an interior designer. I simply act as a conduit whereby design aware consumers can get direct to the item they want with a vastly reduced commission comparable to most interior designers.
“I have also developed a network of craftspeople, so if a client wants new curtains or blinds I can arrange this for them; I can also have furniture made wholly bespoke for a client. They might have seen the perfect sofa arrangement in terms of shape, but the size won’t work for example, so we can have that made for them and they can choose their own fabric, ensure it fits perfectly in the space they want it for and not pay anything like they would were they to select an alternative from a design house.”
Already Leo is meeting customers who have been referred to him by his first clients.
“This is very flattering; it’s the ultimate proof of customer satisfaction, isn’t it?” Leo says. “I know that there’s a market here for really beautiful interiors objets, lighting, fabrics and furnishings for the home and that people often don’t need or want a full interior design service. I meet a need, and I’m serious when I say that no-one can compete with the prices Casa Tessuti offers!”