BoConcept, the spot for Vintage magazine’s hottest upcoming party, “The Modern Gatsby," featuring Zuri McDaniels, is the embodiment of chic and stylish, two words that are a perfect fit when thinking of New York City. A furniture company born in Denmark that dates back to the ‘50’s, Niki and Shakao Cheng have taken the franchise and turned it into the premier customizable and affordable furniture store in the metropolitan area. With nine stores encompassing Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey this power couple originally set their sights on one store but one thing led to another and 10 years later they are taking the brand to new levels. Whether showcasing their goods on television or in the showroom, BoConcept offers its customers affordable, functional, and smart pieces that are ideal for city living as suburban living.
Niki and Shaokao Cheng, social movers who are connected to New York celebrities, own all five BoConcept stores in New York City, at which they have hosted art shows by artists such as Julio Gaggia and concert pianist/artist Chau-Giang Thi Nguyen.Their clients include Susan Sarandon, Faye Dunaway, Brooke Shields, P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Estelle, Lil’ Kim, and Patti LaBelle. BoConcept New York's furniture has been featured on shows such as NBC's The Apprentice, Bravo's Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, and Bravo's Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List. In just about 10 years, Niki and Shaokao have come to established theBoConcept New York Group as the premier customizable and affordable modern furniture store in the New York metropolitan area. They have opened nine stores in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens and New Jersey. They are also the recipient of the 2009 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Award, Small Business of the Year, the 2010 Outstanding 50 Asian Americans in Business Award from the Asian American Business Development Center, and 2011 Top Ten Asian American Business Award from the US Pan Asian American Chamber of Commerce the 2012 US Chamber of Commerce Dream Big Small Business of the Year Regional winner. BoConcept design has been described as forward-thinking, affordable, and chic, but it’s more than that: The pieces are smart, sleek, and perfectly suited to New York spaces, which can present challenging parameters at times. The functional and modular furniture and home accessories complement most any home, and all the pieces work together: sofas can be combined with different seats, covers, and legs; chairs, tables, legs, and shelving units can be conjoined in multitudinous ways, with each owner creating their unique look. Beautiful finishes and materials are available for each piece as well. With price points that are well under most budgets for those starting a home, the designs practically sell themselves. “It’s the ideal furniture for New Yorkers who are looking for customizable & affordable design pieces”, says Shaokao. Modern, versatile, unpretentious, BoConcept furniture works for both the urban dweller and the suburban up-and-comer. Niki Cheng was born in Malaysia where she received her B.A. in interior design from the Malaysian Institute of Art. Shaokao Cheng had a very successful career as an information technology executive at both Citibank and McKinsey & Company after graduating from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor and Master degrees in Electrical Engineering. In 2002 while perusing shelter magazines for renovation ideas, a small line of type at the bottom of a BoConcept advertisement on franchise opportunities made them rethink their career choices. Taking the step to open shop was a bold one: The couple invested nearly all of their savings to get their first store up and running. Their marriage has obviously been a perfect pairing in more ways than one: Shaokao’s management skills and Niki’s design background have resulted in the fastest growing BoConcept franchise, and one of the most successful BoConcept ventures in the world, with the gross revenue of their business increasing ten-fold since they opened their doors. Niki sees clearly that there was a need for their pieces in their urban environment: “The brand that we picked fit into the New York market—and the market needed us. My idea was to have one store, but one just led to the other!”