About Us

About Us

‘Iguazu’ was established in 2003 by Neil and Karen, and has been a thriving family run business ever since!

Before starting our own business, we spent years after studying (where we met at Nottingham Trent University) travelling the world and livingĀ in places as diverse as Vancouver in Canada, Asuncion in Paraguay, Sydney in Australia and Hamilton in New Zealand.

Using these areas as bases to explore, we quickly fell in love with the myriad of fantastic handicrafts being produced around the world.

Having studied International RelationsĀ  at university, Neil’s focus was on the inequalities found in the global economic system that kept these highly skilled artisans in a cycle of poverty.

Seeing this first hand around the world on our travels became something we could not ignore, so we decided to do something about it!

On returning from living and working as teachers in Paraguay, we opened a small shop in Beeston near Nottingham University selling fairly traded gifts from around the world. As interest in our business increased, we rapidly took over two more shops as they became available and started selling many more interesting lines from silver jewellery to furniture.

Neil and Karen in our first year of business, its not even a digital picture!

And here we are 15 years on at the Broxtowe Business Awards!

So, why did we call our shops Iguazu?

The name ‘Iguazu’ is derived from our time in Paraguay, with the mighty Iguazu (or Iguacu, or even Iguassu!) waterfalls on its border. This stunning natural formation was our escape from the big city was the highlight of our time in South America. Being on a triple border, it also highlighted how differing peoples, cultures and values can work harmoniously side by side, which is something we hope is now shown in our own shops – with products from all over the world tied together by the ethical supply chain in which we work!

In 2008, alongside the birth of our first child came our second shop, situated in the West Bridgford area of Nottingham near the Trent Bridge Cricket Club. We opened the doors to it in September 2008, around the same time as the world’s financial centres melted. Throughout the long recession, even though life was tough, it was hugely encouraging to see that interest in our products and a belief in ethical shopping did not diminish through our own nations hardships.

Sadly, by the end of the recession, the fair trade industry had taken quite a hit, and a number of our suppliers either retired or did not make it and new fair trade importers were few and far between. This created a problem, but also gave them the opportunity to do what they have always wanted to do, import our own ethically sourced products!

In early 2016 Iguazu received our first container of handicrafts and furniture sourced from all over Thailand.

Iguazu has been working ever since with over 200 small suppliers, bringing in unique products not seen in the UK before. Iguazu now import furniture from Java as well as Thailand and hope to start importing from Bali in the coming years. This has brought a new lease of life to the shops; Iguazu has always supported many fair trade importers and continue to do so, but to have our own producers, and to work closely with them building the supply chain together is incredibly heart warming.

A container is being filled in Thailand!

And here it is arriving at our warehouse!

And then came our huge new extension!

In 2017, with so many new products to showcase, we took the decision to build a huge two storey extension on the back of Iguazu Beeston.

Part of our upstairs extension in Beeston!

A small part of our downstairs extension in Beeston!