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Pandemic supply chain issues cause businesses to look for new, local solutions

Interior designer founds outlet for new products
Posted at 12:11 PM, Sep 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-15 12:11:58-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Many industries have been hit hard by the pandemic and supply chain issues are causing problems for many in day-to-day business.

“So it’s been a perfect storm,” said Nikki Levy of Nikki Levy Interiors. “We have the influx of people, and the entire commercial industry has suffered greatly. We have no workers. No materials. Shipping has declined enormously. Our vendors are under a lot of pressure.”

The "perfect storm" begets positive solutions and silver linings in this case.

“Had the pandemic not necessitated us finding new avenues, we would never have come across these people,” she said.

Levy said it’s been a year unlike any other in her business of interior design. She’s had more projects.

“People up north, and all the way west, have discovered that there is a beauty about living in Florida,” said Levy. “We have beautiful neighborhoods and large spaces.”

Less products are currently available, though.

“No foam. No electrical components. No fabrics. No leathers,” she said. “It’s put an enormous amount of pressure.”

She turned to new solutions to stay afloat, increasing her staff from four to 10 people.

“We are doing the same amount of work, but designing and redesigning, over and over again,” she said.

They’ve turned to new ways of finding items.

“We’ve started designing custom furniture, which has opened a whole new avenue for us,” she said. “We were very reliant on the large manufacturers.”

Her team is also supporting local businesses.

“What I have absolutely loved, loved about the positive outcome of this experience has been that we have sourced so many local, niche vendors, who are around the corner, able to come up with custom designs, who are able to meet our production demands,” she said.

For Cadance Neustein, who lives in Boca Raton, this was a first.

“I had never gone down this road before of hiring an interior decorator,” she said. “When we couldn’t get things, we made adjustments and made it work.”

She said patience, these days, goes a long way to fill the blank slate with beauty.

“Surprised? No,” she said. “I don’t think anyone expected it to go on this long, and I think that’s where people are becoming more frustrated.”

Now pivoting, leaning new skills, and using what’s available is the name of the game now.

“Even though it has been really tough on us, it’s been a positive experience,” said Levy.