Arkada Plus has been helping people create and upgrade their perfect NYC space for over 20 years. Arkada has been a leading provider of designing and fabricating the highest quality interior and exterior cast plaster mouldings for both residential and commercial properties across New York City. The team has specialized in Baroque, Classical, Renaissance, Venetian, Traditional, Modern and Art Deco plastering and moulding design, renovation and restoration.
With their main showroom located in Brooklyn they have provided installation for all of the boroughs including Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx, Staten Island, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Long Island; working with restaurants, bars, boutiques, hotels, spas, as well as residential projects.
Have you wondered “How can I make my apartment or house look better, now that I am stuck inside during Covid” When we spend so much time working from home, it really helps to breathe some fresh ideas into our space. Studies show it’s a good thing to change things up and update your personal, everyday space as it can help with creativity, focus and overall mental health.
They were recently awarded with the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE) distinction by New York State and we wanted to sit down with their founder Nara Alekperova to learn about the company and what its like being a business owner in this field.
How did Arkada get started? What inspired you to start Arkada?
My older brother had been working in the plastering and remodelling business since he was 16 in Moscow, where my family is from. After taking a trip to visit him, I fell in love with all of the old buildings and the idea of beautifying these buildings and spaces, so I decided that I wanted to bring that to New York. It’s now been a family business. We became one of the largest plastering companies in Moscow, and as you may know Russian people love plaster and moulding ornamentation more than any other country in the world. With years of expertise and working on some of the most complex construction and remodeling projects, we wanted to bring our years of expertise to the New York market.
What is the Arkada philosophy? Where do you draw your inspiration?
Our philosophy is to find the beauty in everything. Between Russia and New York, I truly found a love and appreciation for the history of their buildings and architecture. After realizing just how many of these buildings hadn’t been kept up and needed to be restored, it really became important to me to get involved in the process of keeping the beauty of the buildings alive for years to come. Whether old or new we believe that you can beautify and customize any space, either by restoration, renovation or repairs. We work with some of the best craftsmen and handymen in NYC to deliver above and beyond results every time.
Arkada was just awarded as Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises (M/WBE), and going forward you will have access to government contracts. How do you feel about this honor?
It’s challenging at times as is any business but the final results always outweigh the tough times. Making our customers happy is our primary goal, so of course that comes with its challenges. But seeing people fall in love with our work every time makes it all worth it. It’s very satisfying. You see old buildings become brand new for people to enjoy.
We were so humbled and grateful to be recognized for our hard work by New York City with the M/WBE certification. For over the last 20 years, we have found so much joy in helping people bring their ideas to life from the initial ideation process to the final result, so it’s an honor to receive this distinction.
Who needs plaster and moulding? Is there any type of business or person who would benefit from custom plaster design?
Restaurants, boutiques, homes, any commercial or residential business can benefit from plaster and moulding, there is really no limit to who needs it. Before getting into this industry I never paid any attention to just how much plastering is used, but it’s used everywhere. Of course there are places that are looking for specific ornamentation, like a brownstone residence looking to restore some historical charm with crown mouldings, but even the most modern of spaces use plain plastering. The great part about Arkada is that we can cater to the most luxurious or most utilitarian of tastes.
With people being more at home now, there is more of a focus on improving personal spaces. We’ve always worked in both residential and commercial spaces, but it’s actually nice to see that more and more people are finding the value in renovating their homes.
What are your favorite aspects of your job?
Working with people and being creative in every step of the process are my favorite things about the business. When they’re happy to see the results it’s priceless. Customers come in with an idea, and walking them through our process, working with them step by step and bringing it to life is an amazing experience. Watching a place that goes from looking bare and empty to having the right mouldings and ornamentations, you see the whole picture and it completes the space. We work so closely with our clients to get them exactly what they want, and that’s why we are able to satisfy our customers’ tastes regardless of project complexity.
Arkada has done some amazing space design, and if you are looking to work with an award winning MWBE company in new york, they are at the top of the list.