17 October 2009

Paragon celebrates its 35th anniversary

Wall decor source Paragon introduces the Founders Collection, honoring the company’s founders, Wendell and Bonnie Glassco. The collection features more traditional-styled art and imagery that reflects their values – faith, country and family. The company is holding a special luncheon in its High Point showroom with the founders on Oct. 18 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. to kick off its 35th year celebration.

Automobile designers go to High Point

from a press release

High Point, North Carolina, October 13, 2009—The High Point Market Authority is collaborating with Buick to explore the intersection of design and innovation across industries this Market.

According to Brian D. Casey, president and chief executive officer of the High Point Market Authority, as part of the unique collaboration, General Motors designers Alexandra Dymowska and Magdalena Kokoszynsks will be on hand with a number of Buick representatives during Market to interface and explore current design inspirations and directions with interior designers and other Market-goers. Dymowska, with a Masters of Industrial Design from the Pratt Institute, was recruited by GM Design and joined the Advanced team in the Color and Trim Studio in 2007. Kokoszynsks, a color and trim specialist who earned her undergraduate degree at Pratt, also joined GM in 2007. Market attendees can meet them under the Buick hospitality tent on the corner of Main and Commerce Streets where the new Buick LaCrosse will be on display.

“Designers have a potential to author the history of their times, to literally shape the way the world looks,” Dymowska says. “Designers have the power to choreograph human behavior, to infuse mundane objects and spaces with expression, beauty and meaning—thus making lives richer.”

Kokoszynsks worked on the new LaCrosse and is now working on future Buick products. “Buick is doing amazing things with design and it is great to be part of it,” she said.
“With a cadre of young designers bringing energy to the Buick brand, the new LaCrosse is a rolling statement of where Buick is going in the future,” says Brian D. Casey, president and chief executive officer of the High Point Market Authority. “What’s interesting is that in creating this vehicle, these young designers are taking cues from what people want in their homes, and Buick sees our Market constituency as a key target audience. After all, High Point is the cradle of design in the home furnishings sector, and the High Point Market is known around the world for having the greatest number of new product introductions every season.”

16 October 2009


Environment, a maker of sustainable furniture, launches new products from Italian designers Aldo Cibic and Alessandro La Spada at the 2009 autumn High Point furniture market. The pieces take inspiration from "an elegant yet informal lifestyle approach and applying natural processes, proving once again how sustainability, ingenuity and style can fuel one another," according to a press release.

Retailers and designers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

Fabric supplier donates proceeds to cancer society

from a press release
Oct. 13, 2009--Greenhouse Fabrics is honoring Breast Cancer Awareness month in October by donating 10 percent of all sales from their July, August and October Sample Books and their new line of Web Exclusive fabrics to the American Cancer Society.
"This is a cause that is tremendously important to our customers and employees many of whom have been touched by this disease in some way," says Mike Bivins, president of Greenhouse Fabrics. "By offering this donation, we not only help an important cause, but also spur awareness to boost prevention of breast cancer."
Greenhouse Fabrics estimates it will raise more than $15,000 during the month of October. Daily updates to the total are available on the company's Web site www.GreenhouseFabrics.com.
The company's top 2,500 accounts received tote bags with pink ribbons sewn on them as a gift.
"We wanted to send a thank you gift to our customers that encouraged breast cancer awareness," notes Bivins. "The positive response has been so overwhelming that we made additional bags available for sale on our Web site to raise more money for the American Cancer Society."
Greenhouse Fabrics offers convenient same-day shipping on memos and a wide variety of sample books. Designers can also put together a portfolio of fabrics directly on GreenhouseFabrics.com to email to their own clients.
Greenhouse Fabrics is the industry's leading provider of the newest and latest fabrics for cutting-edge designers. Based in High Point, N.C., the center of the home furnishings industry, the company specializes in value-priced decorative fabrics with personalized customer service/

Outdoor rugs

15 October 2009

Jiun Ho furniture for Bolier & Co.

Bolier and Company is introducing a 20-piece seating and casegoods collection by San Francisco-based furnishings and interiors designer Jiun Ho at the autumn High Point Furniture Market. The Kinkou Collection
Bolier & Co. is introducing a 20-piece seating and casegoods collection by San Francisco-based furnishings and interiors designer Jiun Ho at the autumn High Point Furniture Market. The Kinkou Collection by Jiun Ho will be available through Bolier showrooms and through retailers in the United States and internationally beginning in spring 2010.

Retailers and designers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer or designer to order this item for you.

Dallas market adds hospitality show in 2010

from a press release
DALLAS – October 15, 2009 – Dallas Market Center, the world’s most complete wholesale marketplace, today announced a new annual trade event launching June 24-27, 2010: the Dallas Hospitality & Contract Design Show. The new event is being created in response to the expanding number of commercial and institutional product lines available in the marketplace.
More than 15,000 buyers, representing design groups in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America, are being targeted to attend the show. Their portfolios include large-scale projects in hospitality, workplace, healthcare, institutional and government environments. Thousands of product lines for the built environment will be available from new and existing permanent showrooms and temporary exhibitions including: lighting, decorative accessories, interior and outdoor furniture, permanent floral, artwork, bath and bedding, rugs, tabletop, and many other categories.
A record number of exhibitors in Dallas will offer product lines for commercial and institutional purposes. In response to the expanding product mix, the Dallas Hospitality & Contract Design Show will create new business channels for manufacturers and a centrally-located, convenient marketplace for designers. The new show, to be held during the Total Home & Gift Market, will allow designers to efficiently review new resources from among the more than 2000 permanent and temporary exhibitions: from lighting fixtures to chairs, wall art to permanent floral. Dallas, recognized as the international home of lighting, the U.S. center of permanent floral, and a leading marketplace for décor, remains the most cost effective business travel destination of all market cities.
“The Dallas marketplace, a leading trade center for home décor, now encompasses the built environment,” said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center. “What used to be a sharp line between home décor and the contract trade is now increasingly porous, and so it is logical to offer a new trade event promoting our unique cross-section of merchandise from existing and new design resources.”

14 October 2009

New online selling tool for furniture retailers

from a press release

Dallas, TX, October 13, 2009: Furniture store professionals can easily envision walking a customer through a showroom, pointing out product features and details and browsing through vendor catalogs and fabrics while answering questions and establishing rapport. Now imagine this face-to-face interaction takes place online as your customer shops for new living room furniture from the comfort of her own living room. LiveAction Personal Shopper software from HFIA and CEPA Technologies brings this futuristic technology to today’s marketplace.

“This is the next generation of in-home shopping,” states HFIA President Mary Frye. “Retailers will increase in-store sales by letting a new generation of consumers walk through their retail store from the comfort of the consumer’s own living room. Visitors to your web site can instantly browse your store and ask questions while you walk your camera through the store and focus on the smallest of product details. If you do not stock the item, you can even share online catalogs. If the consumer has a sample they are trying to match, they can simply show it to you using their computer’s camera.”

The LiveAction Personal Shopper combines the accessibility of the internet with the audio and video capabilities of television to bring a personal connection to online interaction. The face-to-face, interactive time with a sales consultant or designer is one of the most valuable parts of the program for retailers. Sales consultants and consumers can narrow down product selection, work with online room planners, go through online product catalogs, and do much of the leg work before coming into the store.

A LiveAction Personal Shopper session can be shared with up to eight people for an instant online seminar. This feature can also be used to involve an absent decision-maker such as a spouse who wants to provide input on a purchase, leading to higher closing rate without having to coordinate a time when both parties can be in the store together. The sessions can also be recorded to play back later.

By endorsing the LiveAction Personal Shopper service from CEPA Technologies, HFIA furthers their goal of offering industry-specific tools to independent-thinking home furnishings professionals. “Our members are used to pushing the envelope,” says President Mary Frye, “What may seem like Star Wars technology to some furniture retailers will be considered cool and exciting to others.”

This technology is already being used successfully in the automotive and jewelry industries, which have in common a relatively low percentage of online sales with the furniture industry. “New solutions for showing products as well as innovative delivery services and flexible return policies are making online sales an achievable reality for many stores whose future may be otherwise bleak. A vibrant online presence and online selling is not only necessary, it’s vital, to the survival of today’s home furnishings retailer,” said HFIA Board Member David Lively of The Lively Merchant.

Mike Callagy, Vice President of Business Development for CEPA Technologies, is excited to be working with HFIA. “I’m looking forward to showing retailers how this works at the High Point market,” he said. Visit the CEPA Technologies display adjacent to the HFIA booth in the atrium of the Furniture Plaza building, near the entrance to Plaza Suites, for a demonstration of the service. HFIA members will also receive a free 30-day trial of LiveAction Personal Shopper.

Sofas, fabrics in High Point

Taylor King is introducing new sofa frames and fabrics at the 2009 autumn furniture market in High Point this month. The Hollister sofa (below) is a transitional style. It has a semi-circular back and slender arms with thin borders.
Hollister sofa from Taylor King
Fabrics include Tribal Thread in Sunset and Opera damask in sapphire.

Tribal thread fabric from Taylor KingOpera damask by Taylor King

Retailers and designers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite retailer to order this item for you.

13 October 2009

Area rugs, and a contest

The Basketweave braided rug is inspired by the Colonial Williamsburg archives of the 18th century.  Made in the USA, this rug features a traditional, warm palette in chenille with inset borders. Capel Rug Company, giftandhometoday.blogspot.com In celebration of its licensing program, the Capel Rug Co. will be offering a "Triple Play" resort weekend and rug giveaway at the 2009 autumn High Point Furniture Market. Buyers can register to win a getaway package at the famous Biltmore Estate, the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock, or in historic Colonial Williamsburg. With each getaway package, winners will receive a commemorative rug from Biltmore For Your Home, Williamsburg, and Bob Timberlake.
Shown is the Basketweave braided rug inspired by the Colonial Williamsburg archives of the 18th century. Made in the USA, this rug features a traditional, warm palette in chenille with inset borders. It is 100% reversible. Surface shampoo and dry flat. The style comes in concentric, oval, rectangle, round shapes and as a runner.

12 October 2009

Wine storage

The Pinot wine shelf from Nexxt by Linea holds six wine glasses. furniture, wine, bar accessories, Canadian design giftandhometoday.blogspot.comThe Pinot floating wall shelf from Nexxt by Linea displays wine glasses and bottles. The shelf holds up to six wine glasses. A concealed support system provides a 15-pound shelf load capacity. It is available in black or java.

Retailers: Contact the manufacturer for prices and minimums.

Shoppers: Ask your favorite independent retailer to order this item for you.

11 October 2009

Profile: The Whistling Elk

The Whistling Elk is a furniture store owned by Barbara L. Collins in Chester, N.J.Retailers react when business conditions turn unfavorable. Some tactics they use are watching expenses, ordering more cautiously, becoming creative, and seeking partners with similar goals or clientele.
Last year, retailer Barbara L. Collins saw sales of her custom-made cabinets and furniture dry up, and customers were no longer coming for design work at The Whistling Elk, her Chester, N.J., furniture store. Shoppers just were not spending like they used to. Items priced greater than $200 were out, she said.
So Collins adapted and added less expensive items. Gifts and accessories that sell well today range from $5 notebooks to $30 candle holders. Fragrance lamps are popular, too. The retailer keeps them near the entrance so she can demonstrate the product to shoppers who notice the scent as soon as they enter the store.
Collins describes The Whistling Elk's point of view as "casually elegant." (She took the name for the store from a character in a Lynn Andrews novel.)
Customers are buying $10 at a time, but they are buying, and they keep coming back. Collins shops the Atlanta gift show for textiles, the New York gift show for accessories and the High Point market for furniture. She says emotion drivers her purchasing decisions. "If I love it, I buy it."
Chester is a tourist destination in northern New Jersey, between New York City and Allentown, Pa. The Whistling Elk is in a 19th century two-story house. Furniture and accessories are displayed in vignettes.
Collins will celebrate 20 years as a retailer next year. She takes care of her good customers, giving them a 10% discount on all purchases. She collects customer information for her mailing lists, and notes the day when they were in the store. She does not use direct mail as much as she used to. Instead, the retailer e-mails her customers every one or two months, and buys a full-page color advertisement in the local paper regularly. Collins creates her own ads, takes the pictures and writes the copy. Another of her strengths, she said, is that she is a "great merchandiser."
Her use of social media includes Facebook and Twitter (follow TheWhistlingElk).
This December, Collins will again hold an in-store fundraiser to benefit a leukemia and lymphoma society. Last year, she invited two other retailers to participate in the evening event; one carries jewelry and the other chocolates. The event attracted 150 guests, who paid $10 a person and received one raffle entry. (Collins is increasing the ticket to $20 this year.) The two grand prizes (valued at $3,000) were a set of top-of-bed linens and a sofa.
Collins has adapted her business practices and is winding up another year. With signs that the national economy is improving, maybe in 2010, as Collins celebrates her 20th year in business, The Whistling Elk will be whistling a happier tune.

This article originally appeared on The Gift and Home Channel.
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