For some, it was a surprise. Others, knowing the determined and bold style of the founder and general manager of the Sophia brand, Anamaria Ștefan Georgescu, expected it, given the success
The timidity, to put it kindly, of Romanian investors and businesspeople when it comes to crossing the country’s borders is a topic of discussion.
Many Romanians have substantial financial resources, including billionaires, who invest locally but are not widely heard of making investments abroad.
Now, a woman is teaching them a lesson, and, more than that, we are confident that the franchise in Miami, Florida, launched in 2022, is just the beginning of expanding the Sophia franchise network internationally.
This is because Anamaria has a proven recipe, which has not failed so far, consisting primarily of developments with reliable partners and collaborators who share the same visions, and secondly, it relies on proprietary design, created exclusively in its own creative workshops.
Sophia’s showroom in Miami
Sophia’s showroom in Miami was opened in April last year in Miami, Florida.
It operates as a franchise, and the initiative for its opening belongs to Simona Nicola, the president of the CONAF Constanța branch, and her business partner, Leila Korotich Albu, who is originally from Kazakhstan and has been living in the United States for over 20 years.
Leila is responsible for managing the showroom along with a team of designers and installers.
The team of designers is led by the well-known interior designer Alina Duculescu, an experienced designer who has produced quality projects for years. In many of these projects, Alina came up with original, sometimes extravagant, ideas that delighted design enthusiasts and suited the American lifestyle.
Sophia’s design and installation team in Miami has already started working on interior design projects in the extensive Miami market, as Americans tend to change their interior decor more frequently compared to Europeans.
American preferences align with Sophia’s collections
Of course, before opening the showroom, all departments of the Sophia company, together with their partners in Miami, carefully studied the lifestyle, living spaces, and the preferences of the residents in the region regarding interior design and especially the fabrics used for decoration.
First and foremost, a study of homes was necessary, as the country spans from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific, and there are numerous states with different types of homes and buildings, as well as preferences and lifestyles.
In the state of Florida, and especially in the city of Miami, many homes are Spanish colonial-style villas. They have large vertical windows that are very conducive to implementing various interior design ideas, spacious courtyards, sometimes with exotic vegetation, and pools.
These homes are Mediterranean villas that differentiate themselves in style, as they have more Oriental details. Notable celebrities, including Sylvester Stallone and Cher, own such properties in Miami.
The multicultural city experienced extreme development in the 1970s and 1980s, with the construction of numerous high-rise apartment buildings with spacious layouts and large glass openings.
However, what is interesting is that local renowned designers emphasize the preservation of old, historic elements when approaching interior design projects.
For the Sophia brand, it was crucial to understand the Americans’ preferences in window decoration, the types of fabrics used in interior decor, and the color palette.
All of this was influenced by the tropical climate in the region, its location on the Atlantic Ocean, and its multicultural environment. After thorough research, it was found that the preferences included vividly colored collections with tropical patterns, velvet with plant prints, and various colors such as green, orange, white, and blue. For solid color decors, soft pink, navy blue, yellow (especially Pantone Illuminating, the color of the year 2021), and royal green are often used.
Accessorizing often includes tassels and personalized drapery with beaded trim at the base.
In the majority of cases, it was found that all the identified preferences are reflected in Sophia’s collections and design concepts, which provided an excellent opportunity for these collections to be well received in the Miami market.
For example, the collection with vibrant colors and Caribbean patterns seemed to be designed exactly to match the preferences of Miami residents.
Another interesting aspect is that Sophia has already participated in trade fairs in Dubai and offers a rich collection of accessories, tassels, and beaded trim. This demonstrates how well Sophia’s collections align with American preferences. Furthermore, Sophia will undoubtedly create new collections, some tailored specifically for the Miami market.
Participation in Florida interior design fairs
Participating in local home and decor fairs is an excellent way to promote fabric collections and the brand. Sophia has a long-standing experience in creating spectacular and attractive stands at such events.
For ten years, Sophia has been a constant presence at the world’s most important design fairs in Paris (Maison & Objet), Milan (Salone del Mobile), London (May Design), and Dubai (Index).
Shortly after opening the showroom in Miami, Sophia participated in FITCE 2022 – Florida International Trade & Cultural Expo. This year, Sophia Miami also participated in the Home Design and Remodeling Show at the end of May and, recently, at the beginning of September at the Fort Lauderdale Home Design & Remodeling Show, which took place at the Broward County Convention Center, Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
These are the largest home and decor fairs in South Florida, bringing together valuable information, high-quality products, and services covering the entire spectrum of residential design and furnishings, from home automation and lighting solutions to furniture for every function in the home and original artwork. Participation in these fairs opens new opportunities for projects and business for Sophia.
Sophia Franchise – the best business opportunity for Romanians in the diaspora
It’s worth noting that Sophia has a network of 30 franchises in Romania, and the opening of the Miami franchise is just a step toward expanding the network internationally.
Sophia’s brand has been developed as a unique business concept in Romania since its founding in 2004: expanding a franchise network nationally and internationally in the field of interior decorations, offering custom-made products produced in its own creative workshops, and providing home decor design consultancy, with a focus on luxury curtains and drapes. Sophia’s story began in Iași, and one year later, the first franchise store was already opened. In its 19 years, the Romanian brand has continuously improved to offer partners all the support they need for a successful business.
If you want to start your own business in interior decorations in Romania or abroad, find more details on our website and apply for a Sophia franchise.