With first-hand knowledge of the Brazilian range Karsten, Erika knows quality is key when it comes to her collection. We have a chat about her business.

SH+O: What is the quick pitch that defines your business?

KARSTEN: High quality cotton homewares with a unique touch of Brazilian style and design.

SH+O: Where do you find inspiration?

KARSTEN: When I was 18 years old, my first job was selling Karsten products. I was a sales assistant in the most fancy Department Store in Brazil. I had to know the products very well, and provide good customer service to sell them. I was fascinated with the quality and the beauty of the Karsten products since then.

So, after I started my Interior Design Course in NZ, I decided to contact them and bring this amazing brand to New Zealand and Oceania.

SH+O: What was your biggest challenge when starting your business and how did you overcome it?

KARSTEN: My biggest challenge was the rushed hours to set up the displays at two trade shows on at the the same time in March this year. I had to be extremely well organised, to launch an unknown brand inside the competitive NZ market dominated by Australia, Pakistan, India and China brands.

SH+O: What was your best business moment?

KARSTEN: I have so many… My first box of samples from Brazil, my first orders at the gift fairs in March, seeing Karsten products on my customers' websites and Instagram.Receiving the positive feedback from my customers, about my products, and the change from the unknown brand to "I know Karsten that's the Brazilian Towels"

SH+O: Where do you see the future of retail heading?

KARSTEN: While there is a strong trend to online shopping for commodities I think there will always be a place for hands-on experiential shopping, with a return to the appreciation and enjoyment of the unique and lasting features of quality design and manufacturing.