You often hear that imitation is the greatest form of flattery and so, as leading designers of furniture for contemporary learning spaces, we should be flattered by the number of furniture manufacturers drawing inspiration from our unique education pieces in Australia. But we’re not. In fact, we’re concerned!
Schools have been contacting us about look-alike products that are breaking just weeks after of installation, are too heavy, or not fit-for-purpose. We are frustrated – we are frustrated for them and we are frustrated that someone designed something superficially similar, but nowhere near the quality of our genuine products.
Before NorvaNivel was founded in Australia, there were very few educational furniture designers who offered flexible seating and surfaces for schools and multi-functional learning platforms. There were no Cloud tables, no Rainbow collections, no Genga blocks and certainly no Rocker Ott or Grassy Dome .
While we welcome healthy competition from anyone, what disturbs us is when manufacturers and other furniture suppliers blatantly and unethically imitate our products.
Yes, of course it hurts us as designers and as a business, but it also hurts us as a team of people with school-aged children who are creating learning spaces to provide our own, and everyone else’s children, with the best possible learning environments.
It’s also been hurting schools and teachers, especially in New South Wales, which we’re not very happy about!
NorvaNivel prides itself on addressing warranty issues with our customers in a friendly and timely manner. We are also committed to improving design when it’s not meeting our customers’ standards.
Over the last year, we’ve seen issues like this arise where schools have unknowingly purchased similar-looking products to NorvaNivel’s, but they fail to measure up to our high standards.
Imitation stops being flattering when inferior products flood the market, wasting school budgets and risking the well-being of students.
So how do you identify a NorvaNivel product versus a fake product? In the past year we have implemented a consistent labeling of our furniture to ensure our products are easily identifiable, enabling customers to contact us about future purchases and warranty issues.
Almost all of our soft furnishings have a blue tag that reads ‘NorvaNivel’ with our logo and URL, while our laminate furnishings have warranty stickers on the underside with our contact details.
We welcome any inquiries about our furniture from new or existing customers and endeavour to resolve any issues as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, if the furniture is found not to be one of our original pieces, there will be nothing we can do.
To ensure you’re always buying genuine NorvaNivel products, please message us for information on how to purchase directly from us.