Roche Bobois, Venus Williams do 'Extreme Furniture Makeover' at Miami Homeless Shelter

Lotus House shelter for homeless and abused women and children received brand new home furnishings for the entire facility from Roche Bobois Paris working with tennis icon Venus Williams' V*Starr Interiors.

The Sundari Foundation’s Lotus House, a Miami shelter and life skills resource center for homeless and abused women and children, recently hosted a brigade of furniture movers and volunteers as truck loads of new furniture were delivered from Roche Bobois.  The Paris-based company, the world’s largest manufacturer and distributor of luxury furniture with over 250 showrooms worldwide, donated home furnishings for all the buildings consisting of nearly 35 resident apartments, dining facilities, common areas and offices.  Items included dozens of brand new sofas, chairs, tables, sideboards, desks, bedroom and dining furniture, lamps, area rugs, wall mirrors, art and accessories. Lotus House was singled out by tennis icon Venus Williams, who works in conjunction with Roche Bobois in continuing her efforts on behalf of women and children challenged by poverty and abuse. About a week after the furniture was installed, Williams toured the center and shared some encouraging words with residents, which included some valuable lessons she learned from her mother who accompanied Williams to Lotus House.

“One of the most important lessons my mother taught me was to be confident and believe in yourself. That really has resonated with me because it’s hard to always be successful, and it’s even harder on you when you fail,” Williams said. “That’s going to happen, too. You’re going to fail. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end. When you fail, it means you’re at least trying something, which shows you’re on the right path.”

Roche Bobois’ Julien Bigan, U.S. Communications Director said, “This is one of the most remarkable facilities of its kind. It’s not simply a shelter. Lotus House has programs to help residents improve their interpersonal and work skills so they can become productive and self-sufficient when they’re ready to leave. To be able to make Lotus House feel more like a home to these incredibly brave people is both a pleasure and a privilege. We are affiliated with charities around the world, and Lotus House has made one of the biggest impacts on me and my associates.”

Sundari Foundation Director Constance Collins, who spearheaded the entire concept of the facility, explained the mission of Lotus House and how much the makeover means to those who live there.

“We want every woman and child who stays at Lotus House to not only feel safe and cared about, but begin the process of healing and reclaiming their lives. This is why we focus on providing those we shelter with the support, counseling, education support, job readiness training and other essential tools and resources to build the foundation for a brighter future. And now, with these beautiful furnishings, our women, youth and children may have a greater sense of self worth and feel more hopeful about the future. Roche Bobois has completely transformed our surroundings here at Lotus House.”


In keeping with the “tennis” theme of the day, Ana Maria Zuleta, part of the Roche Bobois team, volunteered to create and direct a tennis program for the kids at Lotus House. Zuleta is the tennis pro at Flamingo Tennis Park in Miami Beach and assistant tennis coach at Barry University for the women’s team, Division Two 2014 National Champions. Howie Orlin, President and Executive Director of Miami Beach Tennis Management LLC, has donated the Flamingo courts for Zuleta’s program.


Sundari Outreach Associate Azra Samiee added, “We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to Roche Bobois and Venus Williams for their amazing efforts on our behalf. The feedback has been nothing but sheer joy and excitement. We cannot stress enough how significant this feeling of comfort and welcoming is to our guests. It is priceless.”

For Roche Bobois in Coral Gables call (305) 444-1138, in North Palm Beach (561) 835-4982. For information on Lotus House, call (305) 438-0556.For V*Starr Interiors call 561-744-7177.


Categories: Non Profit, Home Improvement and Renovations, Tennis

Tags: Bobois, Lotus, Roche, Venus

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