Hans and Patsy Thomsen opened the store in 1980 with furniture from Scandinavia, mostly Hans' native Denmark, but over the years have expanded their offerings to include items from South Africa, Italy, Vietnam, Russia and a host of other countries. The Thomsens buy direct from the vendors to get the best prices.
"We travel extensively," says Hans. "We study the trends through many media -- publications and other stores we share ideas with. We look for quality at a good price and materials that will last."
Instead of opening new stores at different sites, the Thomsens maintain a 30,000-square-foot showroom in Metairie and deliver and install 99.9 percent of the furniture they sell in homes and offices in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Scandinavia has thrived over the years by being the best at what it does with both home and office furnishings. "We're really the only ones who have a good selection of contemporary office furniture both very low end (in terms of prices) and very high end. We're very competitive. Everything we have is different from everyone else's," Hans says.
"Many furniture stores ... run big sales with 50, 60, 70 percent off. We run a no-gimmick everyday low price. We don't have sales. That has been our philosophy, and it has worked." A New Face Tracy Ewell Cosmetics and Skin Care will open Aug. 1 in a new location at 538 Nashville St. (269-8490) not far from where the makeup artist now operates inside Mimi (5500 Magazine St.).
The building once occupied by Uptown Flowers will allow Ewell to better display the large selection of makeup and skin products she carries as well as provide her with space to hold special events and private makeup parties with music and refreshments. Ewell also plans to display the works of local artists on the walls.
In addition to Tracy Ewell Cosmetics and Skin Care, the complex will house a business that provides manicures and pedicures and another that performs massages and facials.