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The Blog from Oi Polloi presents: by Steve Sanderson •

You may or may not be aware, but independent businesses are a bit of dying breed. Alright, not exactly dying — but a lot of them are being absorbed by the corporate Borg. The thing is, being independent and having your own take on how stuff goes down is super important for the whole eco-system of on-line and bricks and mortar retail.

A few months ago I was on my computer looking for some lights for the house. Whilst checking out a few brands and products on the web, I found myself on Nest’s web site. They're an online furniture and interior store... I liked what they had, so I placed an order.

Here's the point, I received an email back from them, saying they like what we do. Obviously I liked what they did, so long story short, I picked up the phone and started talking to them. Turns out they'd been in business a similar amount of time as us and that they were just as into what they do, as we're into what we do.

We decided it might be good idea to go pay them a visit and talk with MD Toni Anne Sanderson (no relation)… 

What is Nest?

Nest.co.uk is a retailer of beautiful, iconic, authentic, future-proof furniture and lighting… not a big corporate machine.

When did it start?

Officially Nest.co.uk started in 2003 and was originally called Living Rooms, a boutique retail showroom on Ecclesall Road in Sheffield. A few years later Nest.co.uk was born, we re-branded and flourished from there.

Why did it start?

The CEO Christian started it due to his love and passion for beautiful things, for quality and timeless design that he discovered whilst travelling the world with his now wife Debbie.

Why are independent businesses important?

I believe passionately about independent businesses. I also know there’s room for us all and that larger corporate businesses have their place and deservedly so. But independents have a story to tell, they are more than just a business in many respects. They offer a more human approach, a difference that can often be difficult to replicate within a larger corporate structure without losing the essence.

What did you eat for breakfast today?

Cinnamon Grahams and Shreddies – a cereal mix up!

What’s the last great film you saw?

My husband Sam and I watched Into the Wild this week and that was pretty damn good.

Have you read any good books lately?

A great book to dip in and out of is If I Could Tell You Just One Thing… by Richard Reed. Growing up Jane Eyre was my go to read and still holds a big part of my heart. For an easy read with humour I’m enjoying Dawn Frenchs fiction.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Now then this is tough, lately I’ve heard so many inspiring words and snippets of advice, but growing up my granny would always teach me to ‘spend a bit and save a bit’. I never did quite put it into practise.

However, it terms of a mantra to live by and return to I love this quote from Einstein, “There is nothing that is a more certain sign of insanity than to do the same thing over & over and expect the results to be different.”

I also value the phrase ‘perfect imperfection’.

What next?

Lunch?! 

Junior wears clothes from Norse Projects, Glerups, Stone Island, Converse, Universal Works and Clarks.

All furniture courtesy of Nest.co.uk

Photos by Mike Sallabank.

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