It’s raining at 10pm on my first day at the High Point International Furniture Market. Storming, really. I cannot remember ever experiencing a real storm while I have been here for any market, Spring or Fall, in all the years that I have been coming. This one has all the requisites: thunder, lightning, wind and pouring rain. I’m glad I made it back to my hotel before the torrential downpour that has just begun outside my window. But even a bad storm can’t dampen my spirits. I have had a great day of visiting just a handful of showrooms (the market doesn’t officially begin until Thursday) where I reconnected with people I have known for years.
At Thomasville, I said hello to Nancy Webster. Nancy and I met years ago when she was at Fieldrest and I was new in my own business. Now that she is President and CEO of Thomasville, we have even more to talk about than we did when she was V.P. of the trend department at Target. She left that job for Thomasville about a year ago.
Nancy’s mark is beginning to be apparent on the Thomasville line and it looks good. In particular, a group called Felicity has the makings of a best seller with a trend-forward attitude. Fabrics are casual yet well colored (I loved the Graphite selected for the lead vignette) and touched with details like all-over embroidery and dressmaker pleats. Case goods are versatile and scaled right. I took the picture at left when I toured their showroom.
At Hickory Chair I saw Ron Fiore. I love Ron’s energy and insights, not to mention his color sense. He had just finished putting the finishing touches on the showroom as the doors opened for a 5:30 party. He collapsed into a chair to visit with me for a few minutes. When I asked him about business he blurted out “Business is great.” I love hearing that!
“Brown with everything sells.” That was another insight from Ron about what is hot NOW. Hickory Chair introduced a group of Nudes for the future that feel like they were taken from The Trend Curve Colors™ Skin-Tone Neutrals™ (you can still order these from Cathy or via The Trend Curve’s™ Trend Store).
Four Hands hosted a dinner party tonight. Kathi Cunningham, a Senior Account Manager who has also been coming to my talks for years, invited me. It was great to see her again and to connect with a roster of industry luminaries who were also invited.
I didn’t expect to see Ann Wimmer there. Newly hired by Four Hands, this sharp accessories maven (I met her when she worked at Gabberts) is just getting her feet on the ground as a product manager. Six months from now, after Ann has relocated from Minneapolis to Austin, TX and settled into what I’m sure will be a hectic travel schedule, I hope to see Ann’s mark on the Four Hands line. I know it will be great!
Of course, Four Hands really has quite a nice line today. One of my favorite new pieces was a cast aluminum trophy head in their African theme. The clean lines of this accessory piece broke the paradigm of what African looks like.
Tomorrow is a full day that begins with an appointment at Pennsylvania House at 8am and ends with an event at Century Furniture. I’ll be blogging again tomorrow and every day that I am at the market.