In Valencia there are some really nice things, and then there is Really Nice Things, which is something else again.
Really Nice Things could have been just another exmple of a company importing low cost products from China, but that idea didn’t really work out for Andrés Gramage and his team.
It did however pave the way to the current project, which is all about marketing and distributing really nice Valencian things to the rest of the world.
Although they haven’t conquered the Chinese market yet, they are now exporting artisan Valencian products to France, Germany, the UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Holland and Italy, ensuring that it’s not only Valencians, and especially Valencian shops, bars and restaurants that get to enjoy such tasteful paraphernalia as Mister and Mrs cushions, tree slices, the bust of a dog, letters made of light bulbs, a genuine ‘Rosebud’ sleigh, a white plaster horse’s head (very useful when making an offer that cannot be refused) or a cactus made of esparto grass.
Clearly their current market is the north of Europe, where people spend a lot of time behind rain-spattered windows looking at objects that remind them of their warm, Mediterranean holidays; and it was the whole idea of Nordic supremacy that led them to conceive of their brand Surdic, an umbrella concept under which they export colour, warmth and sea breezes to the cold, drab north.
The furniture and décor they trade in is all produced in Valencia by skilled, committed artisans in five workshops, and is able to reach beyond Valencia thanks to Really Nice Things’ team of seven, led by Andrés, who came to Valencia from Albacete in 2001, and studied Communications and Marketing before working for a textile company.
Their tiny shop in the Carmen district is a feast for the eyes, although they achieve their sales mainly on the Internet, and for the year 2014 expect to reach the figure of 1,000,000 euros in turnover.
Really Nice Things doesn’t just sell anything, as the name suggests; they focus on ecological products using traditional materials and methods, fomenting sustainable growth in an environmentally friendly manner, and indeed, all their packaging is recyclable.
As one of their slogans, in English of course, states: ‘Normal is so boring’. There is a stronger version, but I’ll leave you to discover that.