Last week I was lucky enough to be part of the Design Influencers Tour at High Point Market. This was an opportunity that I was obviously honored to have, but what I didn't realize was just how educational the tour would be. Not only would I see emerging trends first hand at market, but because I was privy to private tours at thirteen showrooms I received much more information than a typical walk through market. These tours included seeing new products and trends, but it also included background stories on the companies and often insight to how products are made. I was also delighted to hear many heartwarming stories about how some of these companies are operated. Today, I'm going to give you the highlights of some of the tour and introduce you to the companies we visited and pull out some of the trends that I observed.
Let's Talk About Trends
As we walked through market a theme struck me... useful pieces turned into sculptural works of art. Here are just a few.
A Few Heartwarming Background Stories Heard at Highpoint Market
At Norwalk, we met President, Caroline Hipple. Caroline told us about the over hundred year history of Norwalk, based in Norwalk, Ohio. In August of this year, Norwalk notified employees that the company was being sold ... to them. They employees are now the owners of the company through the Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP). Norwalk now has. 444,000 sf factory and employs over 225 craftspeople. I'll be talking more about the gorgeous products at Norwalk in further posts.
To get to Cisco Home we took a shuttle bus a little further away from the central market to a spot in High Point where the company has rescued an enormous abandoned mill which was right in the middle of a neighborhood where the mills employees lived. The space, when they bought it, had dirt floors and broken windows. It is now a 100,000 square foot showroom space with a factory and storage facilities. Cisco considers it an experiential home space and it includes a kitchen space where Cisco himself shows off his cooking skills for clients.
Jaipur was special to me because they help their employees in India thrive. Jaipur distributes over 40,000 looms to artisans in villages across five states of India where they can work from home with their children on their time. 85% of the weavers are women. These women are empowered with financial freedom and "liberated from the shackles of their society". In addition, Jaipur gives the weavers the leftover materials to create one of a kind pieces of their own desire. You can read more about the artisans here.
At Shifman, I'll be the first to admit that I was curious as to why we were touring a mattress showroom. But, wow, was I pleasantly surprised. It was wonderful to hear the owner talk about the family history and the commitment to quality of the New Jersey company. These luxury mattresses are still hand tied today as they were in 1893. The company has been owned for 35 years by the Hammer family. Quality and tradition are a recipe for a beautiful company and product.
In my next post about High Point, I'll be talking more about more trends I saw including natural materials, color and florals. For now, I hope you'll visit the websites of all of the showrooms we visited as well as my colleagues who walked market with me.
The bloggers on this tour include:
- Bari Ackerman, http://www.barijdesigns.com/blogs/bloomwild
- Matt French, http://www.frenchandfrenchinteriors.com/blog
- Jewel Marlowe, http://www.jeweledinteriors.com/blog
- Samantha Regan,www.shiningondesign.com
- Karen Wolf,http://www.kbwinteriors.com/blog
· Elizabeth Elliott, francandeli.com
- Dee Frazier, https://DKORHOME.com
- Rydhima Brar, R/terior Studio
- Veronica Solomon, Casa Vilora Interiors
- Joy Williams, Joyful Designs Studio
The Sponsors participating on the tour include:
AREA by Edwards Fields, www.edwardfields.com
Cisco Home, ciscohome.net
Crypton Home Fabric, www.crypton.com
Hooker Furniture, www.hookerfurniture.com
Hubbardton Forge, www.hubbardtonforge.com
Innovation Living, www.innovationliving.com
Jaipur Living, www.jaipurliving.com
Lloyd Flanders, www.lloydflanders.com
Rowe Furniture, www.rowefurniture.com
Sherrill Furniture, www.sherrillfurniture.com
Shifman Mattress, shifmanmattresses.com
Universal Furniture, www.universalfurniture.com