Poppi Designs is a bare-bones importer of furniture from Italy, with minimal overhead, and a limited number of niche markets in New England. After an attempt in the early 90's to compete with the "Big Boys," with a showroom in High Point, North Carolina, Poppi has settled on a more localized out-reach to market segments that for one reason or another are not well-served by either the large domestic manufacturers, or the large New York import houses. Poppi capitalizes on the owner's background in interior design for serving segments which are more closely connected to designer clientele than main stream furniture retailers.
Poppi Designs was incorporated in the state of New York. The company's ownership is shared equally between Kate Jackson of Wenham, New York and Luca de Febonio of Rome, Italy. Kate had 20 years of experience in the design field and knowledge of the U.S. market. Senor de Febonio had 25 years experience in the manufacturing of furniture in Italy and shipping to the U.S. market. Ms. Jackson, as president, secretary and treasurer, is responsible for the daily management, sales, and development of the company. Sr. de Febonio is responsible for the manufacturing, quality control, and shipping of the goods from Italy until they reach the U.S.
Originally Poppi established a showroom in High Point, N.C. which is the furniture buying capital of the U.S. These showrooms are opened only two times a year, for two weeks only. At these times, buyers attend the market to purchase. Due to the economics of the country at the time, Poppi was not successful in this venture.
As the country rebound, the furniture business did not return to its old way of doing business. It was becoming a global market with more competition. It became obvious that Poppi could not continue with its present plan and had to find a niche of its own in which to promote its products. The decisions were made to pull back its emphasis on the national market and focus more on a smaller geographic region, as well as to concentrate on only certain segments of that regional market (see Market Strategy).
A third conclusion reached, as a result of the High Point experience, was the need to warehouse. Customers were becoming less and less willing to wait for product. Last year Poppi began warehousing, this became the turning point of the company: since then sales have steadily increased.
Poppi works out of the home of its owner. Warehouse space is shared with its primary finishers in Plainview, New York where a small showroom is provided by the finishers, Flair Finishers.