The growth-focused North American arm of global textile innovator Camira is settling into its new West Michigan headquarters, just minutes from many of its largest customers and squarely within the nexus of the contract furniture industry giants.
After operating out of an Indianapolis warehouse since 2010, Camira recently moved into a spacious facility on Grand Rapids’ northwest side, replete with a showroom, offices, collaboration zones, and a fabric sample space. These areas edge the 10,000-square-foot distribution center stocked with 50,000 yards of textiles in myriad colors, patterns, and textures.
In this change of locale, the company is considering more than just its proximity to the contract market, according to Rune Akselberg, president of Camira Group, Inc.
“Our move to West Michigan is really about Camira embracing a completely unique customer experience,” Akselberg said. “We now have a very comfortable space where we can bring customers and designers to showcase our culture, to get a better feel for the story behind our fabrics, and to work more closely together. This makes a huge difference in our ability to meet our customers’ needs.”
At the same time, Camira is signaling its aggressive commitment to the North American market by leasing a permanent showroom in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart. The 11th floor showroom is being renovated this spring in preparation for the annual NeoCon World’s Trade Fair exposition in June.
Camira’s burgeoning brand recognition and preference among the architecture and design community is due in equal parts to its strong environmental message, as well its portfolio of trend-forward designs while keeping prices and lead times low.
Camira maintains a closed-loop supply chain so it can control and trace everything from the pure new wool and hemp to the dyes and stinging nettles used to produce the all-natural fabrics. Utilizing natural and sustainably farmed resources and operating its own mills in Europe allows Camira to develop new products faster and cheaper, and to manufacture and distribute its fabrics quickly. Lead times in North America currently run at two to four days, and the Camira mills typically can make and deliver a new fabric for a customer within a week.
The relocation also is a harbinger of the brand’s projected growth here.
“We have big aspirations and expectations,” Akselberg said. “I’m really proud of this company and our people, as well as our products. We strongly believe that we are leading the way as the go-to provider for natural fabrics—and that’s mirrored at Camira on both sides of the pond. This is an exciting time for us.”