Interview: Nôsa MD Mike Manders on establishing his new brand

InterviewFeatures Wed 8th May 2024 by Amelia Thorpe

Interview: Nôsa MD Mike Manders on establishing his new brand

Interview: Nôsa MD Mike Manders on establishing his new brand

Feature by Amelia Thorpe | Wed 8th May 2024

Amelia is an award-winning journalist, specialising in kitchens, bathrooms, interiors and design. She has contributed to many leading national publications, and has written about the kitchen and bathroom business for more than 15 years. More

As former Lusso MD Mike Manders launches e-commerce bathroom brand Nôsa, Amelia Thorpe finds out how he plans to carve a niche.

When the former MD of Lusso, ranked as one of the best performing companies in the UK, sets up a new venture, it is worth paying attention. Mike Manders has just launched e-commerce bathroom brand Nôsa, with a full range of products including stone resin freestanding baths priced from £1,000. "Our focus is on affordable luxury with European contemporary design, along with some traditional styles," he says.

Chloe freestanding fluted stone bath

After joining Lusso in 2018, Manders, 49, left the business in 2023. "I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny," he says of the reason he founded the new company. "I felt Nôsa could enhance the customer journey from start to finish and offer the same or enhanced quality products at a more accessible price point," he says.

Nôsa is backed by Leader Online, the company established about 20 years ago, which operates Leader Floors, Leader Doors and Leader Trade. "It has a £40million turnover and allows us to utilise their procurement, marketing, warehousing, transportation, purchasing operations and so on – I can lean on that until we are in a position to recruit our own team," continues Manders.

Belaire freestanding stone bath

Nôsa products – from baths and basins to vanity units, taps, showers and accessories – are made by ‘partner factories’ in the Far East and exclusive to Nôsa in the UK. Clearly key to the ‘affordable luxury’ offer is the ability to source at competitive prices, something that Manders says the Leader team are expert in. "We’ve got our own sourcing team – with staff employed by Leader Online that work in China, constantly looking for innovative and good products," he says. "We are also forward-buying a lot of stock, which means we are able to negotiate very good prices which we can pass on to our customers." Current stockholding at the Teeside warehouse amounts to some £3million at cost, notes Manders.

Valor freestanding stone basins

The focus is on stone resin products, initially in polished and matt white and black, but already expanded into colours such as Mako Grey, Olive and Graphite, with many more new products to come as the business establishes itself, suggests Manders. Like Lusso, products are not available through retailers, only direct through the website. "But we will be looking to open appointment-only showrooms in affluent areas, such as Surrey, Altrincham, Harrogate," he says. "They will allow people to touch and feel the products if they want to, but they won’t be transactional showrooms." In another departure, he also plans to attract interior designers, architects and developers by offering trade accounts.

Claridge Matte Cream vanity unit

The name ‘Nôsa’ was inspired by ‘nossa’ a Portuguese word for ‘wow’. "We wanted something short, snappy and a reference to European design," explains Manders. He’s candid about the challenges of getting his new brand established. "It’s something that all new businesses face, but once people know my background and that I’ve run a successful business, that will give them confidence," he says. Meanwhile, we can expect a Nôsa presence at shows, such as Grand Designs, and other marketing activity, including a possible pop up in London, and even an anticipated move into Europe (in 2025) and America (2026) with independent website fascias.

Chesterfield freestanding stone bath

"Sales have doubled week on week since inception and this year, our projected turnover for this year is £4million," notes Manders. "We want to become a recognised household brand, known as the go-to place for good quality, well-designed products with good after service, great guarantees and a no quibble returns policy."

Edge Matte Black stone resin shower tray and Modern Matte Black shower screen

Tags: interview, features, nôsa, mike manders, bathrooms

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