March 25 , 2009

High Point Market

Here's something I am very excited about — I am going to High Point Spring Market in April. This is the trade show for the home furnishings business. It's where manufacturers represent their wares and new products are shown. It happens twice a year and for many years now, I have wanted to make it, but something has always got in the way. This year I decided by hook or by crook I was going to head to N.C. for Spring Market.

Most manufacturers are repped here in Boston, but there are some lines that are not represented here so I am excited to broaden my scope of product offerings to my customers. And to start going direct for other product lines. This could save my customers some money. It's a way to offer the same high quality products I sell at reduced offerings.

One of my designer pals has gone to N.C. for years and has developed relationships with many sales reps. I called her to ask for a primer on "Market" as it is called in the biz. She mentioned she might want to go again, so I told her I'd book a room with 2 double beds in case she decided last minute to come. How happy am I that she will be my partner in crime?! I have traveled alone in the past, but business travel can be a bit sad — all those dinners alone. Not so fun…. I am so happy my friend is coming with me.

We decided to divide and conquer during the day, but have breakfast and lunch together.

It's nice to have something to look forward to, to continue to learn and broaden what you know. Stay tuned for reports once I am back.

Posted at , 6:45 pm in Products to Love Permalink | 8 Comments Tags:

8 thoughts on “High Point Market”

  1. I was born and raised in High Point. The Furniture Market is one of the natural rhythms of my life, though most High Pointers have never been in a showroom.
    I’m sure it’s still a tradition for folks to rent rooms in their homes during the markets. My mom did after the kids were out of the house. Sometimes the relationships lasted 20 years or more. For my mom it was always the same person.
    Another High Point thing is that every mom I knew had some sort of “in” to surplus furniture or fabric. It was fabric in particular for my mom. Surplus from the market was highly prized. The quality of the showroom stuff was better than you could buy.
    Two places to eat – where locals eat – where I grew up eating. Both are on on North Main; both involve meat if that makes a difference. “The Dog House” used to close for the market. Too bad for you if they are closed this time. They serve hot dogs and burgers on paper. Lunch only. Always my first stop upon visiting home. Then Kepley’s Bar-B-Que. We always bring some home in cooler. I was weaned on this BBQ.
    Both are pictured here:
    Have a big time and tell us all about it.

  2. Thanks Terry for the photos. Now I know what you look like. Nice house!!! PS I love hot dogs so a guy who takes pix of hot dogs is my kind of guy. I will definitely check out the places you suggest. Love bbq too. I am hoping the hot dog place is open during market.
    Craig, I am glad you enjoy the posts…I am on Twitter –well I have an account anyway. But I am not sure how to make use it. I don’t want to bug people with what I am doing….Any advice? I am not so witty as to come up w/1 liners. FB makes me stressed in that way…. plus my Blackberry does not have a camera. (For shame I know.) I guess I have a month to figure out how to post on Twitter with photos. Maybe I can just bring my lap top and do it from the hotel? Ideas are welcome!

  3. I work today out of NYC as a brand and social media strategist with a focus on lifestyle retailing. Having been to High Point, over 20 times, I wonder how fresh the market will appear this spring..It really became saturated…with so much bad product, poorly designed. The home furnishings industry has been very slow to online adoptions…from the beginning..I am convinced that social media is of paramount importance for the higher end marketers where consumers will continue to demand far greater personalization, and will make decisions based on their association and the testimonials of others, where the interests are shared…Nice blog..first time here…Lets meet again on twitter.

  4. Interesting Lou. Thanks for writing.
    I have seen quality fall some (especially in imports from China) but in the high end market many products are truly well built with excellent quality. These are the brands/vendors I stick with. High end IS all about custom so I am not really clear what you mean about personalization. That’s what we designers do… the vast number of my clients do not use social media. Some are just starting on FB but I think as time increases and the younger people are of the age where they can afford interior design services and quality of product we offer that things will change. I am not seeing social media have an impact on my business YET. The blog yes….but other social media? Most people I know don’t quite understand it yet (myself included)
    Would love your thoughts. Gotta get Twitter going before market.

  5. For those that can’t make it to High Point, the Residential Design & Construction conference is going on today and tomorrow at the Seaport World Trade Center in Boston.
    Both days will have free one-on-one sit-down consultations with interior designers (as well as architects)during the public hours. There is also a networking event tonight from 5-7 p.m. to build business connections and for potential job seekers. In addition, there is also a new section of the exhibit hall reserved for local New England artisans whose handcrafted, innovative materials and products for the residential market will be on display. Walk-in registration costs $15.

  6. I’ve been attending the markets in High Point and Las Vegas for a few years and I can assure you that you will have a great time. We like to stay in Winston-Salem; we have found good lodging options and a few decent restaurants there. We will definitely try out “The Dog House” and Kepley’s. There are usually plenty of free snacks at the market, but the amount of showrooms providing these went down at the February Las Vegas Market and the quality of those still serving was down quite a bit. April weather can be tricky, bring layers and rain gear; it might be the most beautiful spring weather imaginable or the coldest April on record. The showrooms are not all in one location so be prepared to do a lot of outdoor walking and make use of the free shuttles that abound. It’s a great time, enjoy!

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