Ethnic Artz Inc. specializes in bringing its customers eclectic home décor from around the world. They position themselves as an alternative to the larger chain import stores because their merchandise is hand-picked by the owners. Items from their collection are one of a kind or at most one of several. This is in sharp contrast to chain import stores where merchandise is bought in quantities of identically produced pieces numbering in the thousands.
Ethnic Artz' collection includes beautiful handmade tapestries, decoration pieces, artwork, exotic pillows, lamps, handmade papers, and more from all corners of the world. Ethnic Artz additionally has the capacity to customize pillows, cushion covers and tapestries to customer specifications.
Ethnic Artz' retail operation, which opened its doors in late May of 2002, is located at 1102 East Carson Street in Pittsburgh's Historic Southside surrounded by independent cafes, coffee shops, clothing stores, and bookshops.
The idea for Ethnic Artz, however, had been the owners' Michael Nee and Tazeen Chowdhury's dream for years prior to the store opening. It wasn't until Michael was laid off from his executive level position in the high tech industry in November 2000 that the idea started to transform from dream to reality.
Michael began visiting with the Small Business Administration's Business Information Center (BIC) in December 2000 seeking assistance and counseling in creating Ethnic Artz into a viable business.
Donald Nemchick, Economic Development Specialist for the BIC, played a crucial role in counseling Michael in many aspects of business development ranging from writing a business plan to budget forecasting. Michael continues to work with Don and is currently seeking assistance from SCORE.
Ethnic Artz, Inc is now in the initial stages of developing its wholesale operation. Its website, which is currently under development, will serve as a showcase for its wholesale products.