Thursday, November 29, 2012

Storis Introduces New Vision 9.1 Enhancements

STORIS, a supplier of software solutions and services to the home furnishings retail industry is distributing enhancements of its current product suite Vision9.1.

The manner in which companies engage customers and manage a database of customer-related information can vary greatly. Vision9.1 has expanded the features of its existing User-Definable Field options, which can be accessed from within the Customer’s Account file. With this updated capability the user can enter information that is specific to that retailer’s method of customer management.  Salespeople, designers, service personnel, or receivables/collections teams can access customized fields for entry of information that would otherwise be handwritten or provided by another business application. Because there is no limit to how many customized entry fields are indicated, the retailer can scale their business model to maximize the benefits of the Vision9.1 platform.

David Berger, Director of Product Management at STORIS indicated, “We want improvements that are easy for existing clients to quickly embrace. Offering customizable data entry is an ideal way for clients to maximize the scalability of their system for the purpose of tracking various tangents of customer information.”

Monday, November 26, 2012

High Point Market authority Design Award for Surya

Surya is pleased to announce its recent recognition at the Fifth Annual Showroom Design Awards, held at the recent High Point Market Press Breakfast. Sponsored by the Market Authority, these awards single out exhibitors for excellence in display design. Surya was presented a crystal trophy for the event’s first ever Fashion Focus Award for a window display featuring a mannequin draped in a gown crafted out of the brand’s popular flat-weave rugs.

“Our team is very excited to receive this recognition from the High Point Market Authority. We strive to create showroom environments that not only inform, but also hopefully inspire our retailer partners with unexpected approaches to home accessory display,” said Surya President, Satya Tiwari. Winners were determined by a distinguished panel of industry judges including Newell Turner, editorial director of Hearst Publications; Mark McMenamin, senior editor at Interior Design; and Tobi Fairley of Tobi Fairley Design. Other nods in showroom design went to innovative furniture brands Bernhardt and Four Hands.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Alexa Hampton Named 2013 Design Icon at Winter Las Vegas Market

Alexa Hampton will be honored as the 2013 Design Icon during Winter Las Vegas Market, Jan. 28-Feb. 1, 2013. Hampton, known around the globe for her classic, traditional and electric work, is a first time recipient of this prestigious award, which celebrates modern day design legends and their significant contributions to the industry.

“Las Vegas is expanding and enriching as a valuable destination for designers, with the introduction of many leading brands and showrooms joining the market in 2013. As we elevate our offerings at Las Vegas Market and position our year round business, Las Vegas Design Center, as the region’s largest and premier furnishings and design resource—we are delighted to deliver events that serve our A&D community, both on and off market,” said Paul Watson, Vice President of Design for International Market Centers, parent company of Las Vegas Market. “Design Icon is the centerpiece of our designer programming for the upcoming Winter Market, and as such, we are pleased to present Alexa Hampton as the recipient of our 2013 Design Icon award. Her industry tenure, accomplishments and influence make her a natural fit for this award and we are most fortunate to have her present market attendees with highlights and influences of her illustrious career.”

Hampton’s involvement in design goes far beyond serving as president and featured designer of Mark Hampton LLC, one of the country’s most prestigious and respected interior design firms. A perennial member of Architectural Digest and House Beautiful’s top designers’ list and Elle Décor’s A-List, Hampton has received countless recognition from other premier outlets, from The New York Times to Cosmopolitan to Cottages and Gardens, as well as from international publications. She is a trustee for the board of the New York School of Interior Design, a published author, a contributing columnist to the Wall Street Journal and was one of three interior designers who launched Gilt Group’s Home Design Boutique. Additionally, she has designed a number of successful eponymous collections of furniture, fabrics, trimming, lighting, rugs, and mantels.

Hampton joins the ranks of the industry’s leading designers who have been recognized as past Design Icons including Vladimir Kagan, Juan Montoya, Vicente Wolf, Christopher Guy, Larry Laslo, Roger Thomas and Jaime Drake.

“Design has always been my passion, and I simply can’t imagine working in any other industry,” said Hampton. “I am flattered to join such a talented group of industry professionals and former Design Icon recipients, and I look forward to attending one of the most talked about markets of the year.”  

The 2013 award presentation takes place on Wed., Jan. 30 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Building C - Seminar Room C-176. The event includes a presentation and remarks from Hampton, followed by a book signing and trunk show featuring Alexa’s newest fabric & trim collection with decorative fabric & furnishings manufacturer Kravet. The event is open to all Las Vegas Market attendees.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paul Toms Jr. Honored With Service Award

Paul B. Toms, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Hooker Furniture, has been honored with the 2012 Distinguished Service Award from the American Home Furnishings Alliance. The award was presented Friday, November 9, during the organization's 2012 Annual Meeting at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami, Fla.

Toms, grandson of Hooker Furniture founder Clyde Hooker Sr., pursued a career in business and finance before stepping in as the third generation to lead the venerable Martinsville, Va.-based furniture manufacturing company begun in 1924. Toms joined the company in 1987 as vice president of sales, then added marketing to his responsibilities in 1993. In 2000, Toms was named to his current post when Clyde Hooker Jr. officially passed the torch of leadership to him. Under his guidance, Hooker Furniture has remained true to serving dealers large and small with a growing spectrum of quality products in its core casegoods line, as well as in its acquisitions of Bradington-Young, Sam Moore and Opus Designs.

"A man's life is a mosaic of many endeavors and opportunities – family, church, country, community, industry and service to others," Vaughan-Bassett Chairman John D. Bassett III stated in presenting the award. "While some excel in just a few of these areas, few excel in all of them. The exception is honored here."

The award recognizes Toms for the successful leadership of his company, valuable contributions to improving the quality of life and education in his hometown region, and making a significant impact in the home furnishings industry. He served as chairman of AHFA in 2007 and was chairman of the High Point Market Authority from 2003 to 2006. He has also previously served on the Board of Trustees for High Point University and as a director for the Harvest Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to addressing challenges in health, education and community vitality in Martinsville and Henry County, Va.

"Perhaps what sets this man significantly apart is his unwavering fortitude as a leader – of his company, his industry association and its multiple pursuits. He has stepped up when called upon to take charge during challenging circumstances and changing times," Bassett said, noting that Toms keeps a "No surprises" sign on his desk that originally sat on his uncle Clyde Hooker Jr.'s desk for decades prior to his retirement.

AHFA's Distinguished Service Award has been presented annually for the past 46 years. Recipients are noted for their contributions to the industry, to the AHFA and to their local communities.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

AHFA Appoints New CEO

Wyatt Bassett, president/CEO of Vaughan-Bassett, Galax, Va., was elected 2013 chairman of the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) Board of Directors during the group's 2012 Annual Meeting today.

George Revington, CEO of Home Meridian International, High Point, N.C. has moved to first vice chairman and Kevin Sauder, President and CEO of Sauder Woodworking, Archbold, Ohio, was elected second vice chairman.

Ralph Scozzafava, chairman and CEO of Furniture Brands International, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., will move to immediate past-chairman of the Board of Directors. All of the new officers will assume their posts on January 1, 2013.

Executives newly elected to three-year terms on the Board of Directors include: Roger Bland, Southern Motion, Pontotoc, Miss.; Andy Bray, Vanguard Furniture, Conover, N.C.; Gat Caperton, Gat Creek, Berkeley Springs, W.V.; Doug Collier, La-Z-Boy Inc., Monroe, Mich.; Jeff Cook, A.R.T. Furniture, Ontario, Calif.; Allan Palecek, Palecek, Richmond, Calif.; Glenn Prillaman, Stanley Furniture, High Point, N.C.; Henry Vanderminden IV, Telescope Casual, Granville, N.Y.; and Todd Wanek, Ashley Furniture, Arcadia, Wisc.

The Annual Meeting is underway at The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove in Miami.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

New Version of Furniture Sustainability Standard Adds Point for Lower Formaldehyde Emissions

The ANSI/BIFMA e3-2012 Furniture Sustainability Standard now includes an additional point for furniture products that meet a new, lower formaldehyde emissions limit. The e3 Standard represents a structured methodology to holistically evaluate the environmental and social attributes of furniture products and constitutes the technical criteria of the level® product certification program.

“This new revision further strengthens the health basis of e3 by incorporating the most stringent formaldehyde emissions limit established by the State of California Department of Public Health,” said Randy Carter, Manager, Global Codes & Approvals at Steelcase and Chair of the BIFMA Furniture Emissions Sub-Committee.

Modeled after the LEED rating system, the e3 standard includes six prerequisites and numerous optional credit criteria.  As a product is determined to conform to the various optional criteria, points are accumulated toward an ultimate score and corresponding conformance tier.  A minimum of 32 points (of the 91 total now available) must be achieved in order to reach the first conformance threshold. The updated standard is the result of an extraordinary amount of collaboration on the part of numerous stakeholders representing a broad cross section of disciplines, backgrounds, and perspectives.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Brad Pitt Turns A Furniture Designer In Partnership With Pollaro

Brad Pitt joins a familiar ensemble cast. This time Pitt’s costars are Émile-Jacques Ruhlmann, Pierre Chareau, and Paul Dupré-Lafon. In his debut as a furniture designer, the actor is presenting about a dozen pieces—tables, chairs, and one rather fantastic bed—alongside 45 or so works by his collaborator, Frank Pollaro, whose New Jersey firm is noted for its impeccable reproductions of Art Deco furnishings.

The unveiling, which will take place November 13 through 15 in New York, has been years in the making. “I’ve been doodling ideas for buildings and furniture since the early 1990s, when I first discovered [Charles Rennie] Mackintosh and Frank Lloyd Wright,” says Pitt. “Actually, I found Wright in college, when looking for a lazy two-point credit to get out of French. It forever changed my life.”

Pitt’s passion for architecture and design is well established, evidenced by his Make It Right foundation, which enlists prominent architects to create quality affordable housing in post-Katrina New Orleans, as well as by his high-profile collecting of modernist and contemporary furniture. When Pollaro paid Pitt a visit to install a reproduction Ruhlmann desk the actor had commissioned a few years ago, he spotted Pitt’s sketchbook, filled with drawings of furniture designs.

They started with the bed—an Art Deco ocean liner of a bed, featuring a lustrous tropical-hardwood frame that extends from its gently curved headboard, along the floor, to a graceful arc that ends in a cantilevered bench capable of seating, one imagines, the entire Jolie-Pitt clan. Refinements include exposed nickel trusses to support the king-size mattress, integrated shagreen foot pads, and nickel side tables with silk-under-glass tops that seem more suited for cocktails than alarm clocks. It took Pollaro and his team more than two years to make the piece, in part because of “difficult physics and engineering issues related to the simplicity of the design,” he says. Once it was completed, he and Pitt agreed it should be exhibited. But not just the bed—a whole collection of Pitt’s creations. And their partnership was born.

In addition to the bed—only nine will be made, each in different materials—the Pitt pieces include a dining table, a cocktail table, several side tables, a few club chairs, even a bathtub for two in Statuario Venato marble. That line can be geometric, as in the case of a 17-foot-long wood dining table whose jagged base dramatically zigzags at unexpected angles. Or it can be sinuous, as with a glass-top side table that features a wispy spiraling metal base finished in 24K gold.

All of the initial designs, customizable in a variety of materials and finishes, will be made in numbered editions or limited production and signed by Pitt and Pollaro.

Source: Architectural Digest

Thursday, November 08, 2012

New Officers at BIFMA

C. Young has joined BIFMA International as its Chief Marketing Officer. In this newly created role at the contract furniture industry’s trade association, Young will direct all branding, marketing, education, and advocacy related activities.

“Development of a strong brand presence is critical to success in today’s marketplace,” said Executive Director Tom Reardon. “Lisa’s experience and talents in this area will be essential to BIFMA’s continued growth and industry leadership.”

Young currently serves as the president of the American Marketing Association of West Michigan and is a board member of the Grand Rapids Civic Theatre. Prior to joining BIFMA, she was the marketing director of a regional law firm and spent time as a public relations consultant for multiple clients, including office furniture manufacturers. She has served in various volunteer roles with the American Heart Association, March of Dimes, LOOP afterschool programs, Managing Partners Diversity Collaborative, and the Women’s Resource Center, among others. She is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, the Center for Community Leadership’s Rising Women Leaders program, and the Woodrick Diversity Learning Center’s Institute for Healing Racism program.

Friday, November 02, 2012

High Point Market Appoints New Chairman and Board Members

At its annual board meeting today at the High Point Market, the High Point Market Authority recognized the long service of outgoing board Chairman Kevin O’Connor of Samson Marketing, as well as board members who have completed their terms, including High Point Mayor Rebecca Smothers, Center Point’s Lynn Underwood, and Polo Ralph Lauren’s George Clopton, who represented the High Point Chamber of Commerce. O’Connor will remain a part of the board’s Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chair.

At the meeting, the board also formally recognized its new Chairman Doug Bassett of Vaughan-Bassett, who most recently served as Vice Chairman. “Kevin O’Connor has given many years of service to the High Point Market Authority, and has been an amazing catalyst for the High Point Market and the industry,” says Bassett. “Under his leadership, the Market Authority has strengthened its role as an independent entity that represents all of the constituents that have a stake in the High Point Market.”

The Market Authority also named new board members today, including Scott Eckman, CMO of International Market Centers; industry veteran Joe Mussallem; Mark Phillips, CEO Phillips Collection; and Tim Schelfe, Director of Interior Design, JDavis Architects.

“We are happy to welcome our newest board members,” says Tom Conley, president and CEO of the High Point Market Authority. “Each of the new members gives us a strong representation for the many groups that have a stake in the High Point Market. We now have a board that better represents each constituent, from building owners and exhibitors, to retailers and designers, to city and county government.”

The new members join the current board, including John Bray of Vanguard, Tom Mitchell of IMC, Tom Dayvault of High Point Chamber of Commerce, John Gunter of Home Comfort Furniture & Mattress Center, Jena Hall of Jena Hall Designs, Mike Huber of Belfort Furniture, Heinz Kattenfeld of 220 Elm, Tim Mabe of the High Point Convention and Visitors Bureau, Strib Boynton of City of High Point, Britt Moore and Foster Douglas of High Point City Council, Bruce Davis of Guilford County Commissioners, Steve DeHaan of the National Home Furnishings Association, Rick Gillispie of the International Home Furnishings Representatives Association, Kevin Archer of High Point Plaza Hotel, and Loren Hill of High Point Economic Development Corporation.

Patios Plus To Have Its Sales Team Complete ICFA Training Program

Patios Plus, an outdoor furnishings retailer in Rancho Mirage, Calif., is the first retail member of the International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) to have its entire sales team complete the ICFA Sales Training Certificate Program.

ICFA's Sales Training Certificate Program was developed in cooperation with Greg Welsh, Welsh Sales Group. The California-based training company has developed retail sales and management training programs for retail chains, manufacturers and buying groups. Welsh has personally trained over 15,000 sales professionals over the past 19 years in 48 states and in more than 12 countries.

"With the current state of our economy and our wide range of clients, it has become much more important for us to adapt our selling styles to meet their needs," explains Jim Schultz. "With the completion of the ICFA training videos, we learned much more about reading our clients' needs – and not being afraid to ask for the sale when we have met them. Overall, it was a great way to refresh our sales team with new ideas and positive ways to look at every sale situation. In turn, we have seen a positive shift in our closing ratio, keeping us on the upswing for our new season."
The three-tier ICFA sales training program is DVD-based and includes companion workbooks, tests at each level and a certificate upon completion. Each sales associate who successfully completes the program also receives a lapel pin.

"As a three-time Apollo Award winner, it is no mistake that Jim and Kristine recognize the value of training their entire team to a very high level," says ICFA Chairman Eric Parsons, Gloster Furniture.

Source: AHFA