I’m a big advocate for checking out home decor purchases in person, because there’s nothing worse than ordering something and then to be disappointed. However, shopping online is an easy alternative to hitting up crowded stores. Plus, decorating from a wide spectrum of stores will add personality and dimension to your home, something even the most stylish catalogs can’t always capture. And if you like scaled-back and insanely stylish version of the free-spirited bohemian aesthetic, you will love THE GERDÜ.
Ger-doo (Ger-dü)” translates to ‘Walnut’ in Farsi. The Persian walnut is world-traveled and introduced to the world by Alexander the Great.
Let’s talk a little about how it all began: passion. What gave you the idea to start Gerdü?
I’ve always wanted to start a business around my passion for Scandinavian design and bohemian style (which I call island living style). You typically see this in warmer climates but I feel we need it most because of our dark winter days. I’m in love with using natural elements like wood, rattan, and straw to promote this tropical aesthetic.
I realized how easy we can create that aesthetic by bringing bohemian, organic pieces together. So I began to look for unique pieces of furniture, designed with wood and colored in neutral palettes. These pieces would coexist together resulting in an atmosphere reflecting a warm and inviting space.
Soon after realizing my focus, I researched possible distribution options for my business, and I decided to launch an online shop, building a community first through marketing initiatives on social networks. It was the best way to display our aesthetic to potential customers and for them to have an insight of what was to come from our shop. Exquisite, hand-made products, affordable prices and styling which was what I had envisioned.
What makes Gerdü different?
We LOVE pieces that have unique designs within a clean & neutral palette. This allows us to create visually striking spaces in an organically subtle way. Hand made goods are a must for us as we see beauty in their imperfections. We’re one of the few furniture retailers that’s exclusively online and believe in cutting out the middle-man to provide better prices.
Most shops these days maintain too specific a focus, whether it be condo living or big-big-box stores selling items for large spaces like suburban homes. The choices generally fall into small-sized with modern styling for condos and apartments or large-sized clean-cut pieces for larger homes. What we hope to accomplish is a simple amalgamation of the two, providing pieces to accommodate both spaces with the added touch of unique designs. We hope to help the interior-designer in you to create the space you want with pieces that speak to your character.
How do you find the pieces for your store?
We’re big travelers! Everything is sourced from artisans of different countries that we’ve met either in person or online. We explore the local markets in each destination and start asking around ☺. There are numerous criteria that we look for in an artisan but the most important is whether we love the product and the person. It is our personal opinion that the best products come from people with good hearts, and those who operate ethically.
What is your greatest source of inspiration?
Travel certainly inspires me but my biggest inspirations come from amazing blogs, Pinterest and of course many Instagram pages I’ve been following for years.
How does the process from sourcing the goods to selling them on your website work?
The finished products are shipped to us where we unbox everything, look for any defects, detail them with organic solutions, and pack them for shipping to the customer. Unlike some of our competitors, we don’t ship directly to the client from the manufacturer because we believe in offering the highest level of quality assurance. This is our brand we are promoting and we want to ensure our customer’s experience with our product is a positive one.
Who is your ideal customer?
We target the individual who aspires to or already has a stellar sense of style and understands that their home should contain pieces that not only look good, but also carry a rich story. From the young professional to the established adult, we are looking to help those who wish to display a little piece of themselves through our signature pieces.
What are your ideal future plans for Gerdü?
This style is very popular in places like Australia, Mexico, and Greece. My dream is to grow a community of like-minded people right here in Toronto. Being a city with such diversity it should definitely be possible to expand that diversity to interior home and décor. Similar to how the food industry sees such a multicultural influence, we simply wish to display that within the furniture industry. We’re looking into introducing new product lines such as jewelry, textiles and clothing to complement our aesthetic.
Nasim F. is the founder and director of THE GERDÜ, a Toronto-based online boutique aiming to create an eclectic fusion of raw and bohemian-inspired collections of home goods and textiles, sourced from artisans around the globe. She got her Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, and worked for a few chemical manufacturing companies before she decided it simply wasn’t the correct path for her. Nasim has always had an interest in the industry of fashion and interior design. Starting Gerdü has been the single greatest decision of her life and she’s incredibly fortunate to have brought it thus far.
GERDÜ is a homage to craftsmanship. In GERDÜ, we’re committed to bringing a timeless piece of culture into your home. Each unique piece tells a talented artisan’s story and allows them to share their craft.