In the New York City Design District of Manhattan, a 2,000-square-foot showroom welcomes visitors from all over the world through its doors and into the furnishings of a truly beautiful home. After twelve years, Art et Maison recently relocated from its original space in TriBeCa into one of the most important design areas in America and is helping completely change the interior home design industry.

Olga Sivkova and Maria DeFilippis, met while both worked in fashion industry and bonded through a mutual taste for European design. Inspired by the beauty and quality of Italian craftsmanship, Olga and Maria decided to move forward into the home furnishings market, and found furniture companies in Italy to bring to New York.

The two women worked together to evolve their style and brand successfully within the interior design community.

Slowly, they evolved their business to a full-service home furnishings business, with immense success. Their clients obviously trust Art et Maison’s experience and taste, often leaving the key and the home and coming back to an artfully-furnished masterpiece.

After September 11th, the world’s perceptions on fashion changed dramatically. The idea of safety and comfort grew increasingly important, Olga, the co-founder and CEO, explains. “We thought that, as we transformed our work, we wanted to become closer to people, and bring them back to the comfort of home.”

When Olga and Maria decided to expand their showroom and move Art et Maison to the Madison Square North Historic District (NoMad), they met Sandra Bojorque and VEDC at the Tri-State Business Opportunity. “VEDC wanted to work on our side, which was wonderful,” smiles Olga. “The ladies were enthusiastic. It was great to have that feeling, you know?” Sandra and the team at VEDC was able to offer capital fund the expansion, and on April 1st, 2016, Art et Maison’s brand new NoMad storefront opened just off 5th Avenue. The VEDC team was invited to the opening ceremony and celebrated with the designers. “You don’t get that from normal money lenders. They don’t want to know anything about you.”

Art et Maison has big plans for the future. Within a year, Olga and Maria hope to purchase the floor above them and expand the space again, which will require hiring additional employees. “We’re restarting our engines. We can’t do everything we’re doing without more people.” Olga knows that small business can affect the community around it, and fully intends to grasp that opportunity, especially after the help she received from VEDC.

Their advice to entrepreneurs is just as encouraging as their own personalities. “There will be support if you are determined and have faith. We found VEDC, and hopefully you will find VEDC.”