Saturday, April 26, 2014

Houston Furniture Company to Hold Annual Meet the Builder Day

The Amish Craftsman, a Houston furniture store specializing in custom, hand-made Amish furniture has announce that they will be holding their 4th annual Meet the Builder Day on May 3rd. This year, the event will include five Amish craftsmen who will be visiting from Indiana. The craftsmen are expert builders of dining room, living room, bedroom, and office furniture.

“We are so excited to have our favorite craftsmen and their wives back down to Houston for our 4th Annual Meet the Builder Day,” says Kimberley Murphy. “The builders are excited to meet all of our wonderful customers and it’s a rare opportunity for them to meet the people that enjoy furniture from The Amish Craftsman in their homes. We invite you to stop by the store to visit with them to learn a little more about craftsmanship and furniture design or just to chat!”

The staff at The Amish Craftsman has been working hard to prepare for the event. The showroom has been updated so that all of the craftsmen’s newest designs will be on display. These new designs include dining room tables, hutches and sideboards, entertainment centers, living room seating, bedroom furniture, desks, credenzas, file cabinets, and bookcases.

The event includes food, like ice cream and sweet treats, and other festivities. For every order over $1,000, customers will have the chance to pop a balloon for cash prizes. Every balloon is a winner and prizes go as high as $500.

Additionally, special savings will be offered on the visiting craftsmen’s pieces displayed on the showroom floor. These savings are only available once per year, on Meet the Builder day.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Hooker Furniture Leaders Honored with Spirit of Life awards

The recent Spirit of Life awards dinner honoring two preeminent leaders of the furniture industry– Alan Cole, retired president of Hooker Furniture, and the Baer family of Baer’s Furniture – raised more than $1 million for cancer and diabetes research at City of Hope. The prestigious Spirit of Life award is City of Hope’s highest accolade, presented annually to industry leaders in recognition of their outstanding personal, professional and philanthropic achievements.

As a world-renowned biomedical research and treatment center, City of Hope shortens the times from new research idea to new medical treatment in order to quickly bring cures to patients. Its breakthrough research has led to therapies now used by people worldwide.

“We are thrilled with the overwhelming support the Baer family and Alan Cole have championed for City of Hope,” said Brittany De La Torre, director of corporate philanthropy at City of Hope. “The passion exhibited by both honoree teams has been phenomenal – a truly personal drive to make a difference in the future of medicine.”

The gala, held April 6 at Grandover Resort in Greensboro, N.C., honored this year’s award recipients, but previous honorees as well, treating all to a VIP reception followed by the awards dinner.

Added Alan Cole of Hooker Furniture: “City of Hope’s scientists have had a global impact with research that benefits more than 100 million people. Our family is personally grateful for the advances made in cancer treatment at City of Hope.”

In addition to the awards ceremony, the evening’s highlights included a video of the honorees touring City of Hope, where they made wishes of hope and healing for their loved ones on City of Hope’s Wishing Trees. Dinner guests were invited to complete their own wishing tags, to be displayed on City of Hope’s campus in Los Angeles later this week. The appeal asked participants to make a wish and a donation at the same time, raising an additional $30,000 for cancer research at City of Hope.

Also at the event, Linda Malkas, Ph.D., deputy director of research at City of Hope, explained the mission of City of Hope’s translational research and its ability to directly impact patients through life-saving clinical trials. During the VIP reception, City of Hope surprised Russell Bienenstock, editor of Furniture World, with the Volunteer of the Year award.

Chuck Reilly, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing at AICO, chairs the National Home Furnishings Industry group supporting City of Hope, and Kevin O’Connor, chief executive of Samson Marketing, chairs the organization’s Spirit of Life Award Dinner campaign.

Gorman's Home Furnishings & Interior Design President Receives Award

Bernard (Bernie) Moray, chairman and CEO of Gorman’s Home Furnishings & Interior Design and former president of the National Home Furnishings Association, has been named one of the recipients of Jewish Senior Life (JSL) of Metropolitan Detroit‘s “Eight Over Eighty” award.

This award honors eight extraordinary community individuals over the age of eighty who have practiced Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) throughout their lives. Proceeds will benefit the JSL Kosher Meal Program.
Moray, 92, will be honored at an award luncheon on May 4 at Congregation Adat Shalom Synagogue, 29901 Middle Belt Rd. in Farmington Hills. He has served as the chairman and CEO of Gorman’s since 1965, and is a longtime volunteer in the greater Detroit community.

“I believe you are either born with a feeling of obligation or not,” said Moray. “I have been very fortunate throughout my life, both personally and through my business, and feel it is only humane to help my fellow man.”

Moray has been volunteering all his life but really became involved in giving back after the completion of his military service and when he entered the workforce in the 1950s. Personally, his main focus is on the Friendship Circle, which he has supported since its founding. He also is a supporter of numerous other Jewish organizations and secular groups. Through Gorman’s, he has raised more than $1 million for nonprofits such as Toys for Tots, American Cancer Society and Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

The Franklin, Mich. resident is a past president of the National Home Furnishings Association, which merged with its Western affiliate and the Home Furnishings Independents Association in 2013 to become the North American Home Furnishings Association. Moray  was also named “Master of the Game” by Furniture/Today in December 2013, is a former executive committee member of the Interior Design Society and currently serves on the visitor’s board of Wayne State University Business School.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Philippines CITEM Returns to the ICFF

The International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) announces the return of the Philippines Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), after 13-years. The CITEM contingent, Design Philippines, numbers 15 companies deep, guaranteeing the Philippines a significant presence on the floor of New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center during this year’s global market, May 17-20. Designed with a system of hanging metal frames, the CITEM exhibit will show the impressive wealth of products available from its participants.

Alexandra Cabat, ICFF’s sales director, says, “With its superb craftspeople and up-to-the-minute production facilities, the Philippines are among the world’s great design resources. We’re thrilled to welcome CITEM back to North America’s premier platform for global design after a hiatus. The presence and numbers of the Design Philippines contingent at the 26th annual ICFF signals that the international design world recognizes the ICFF as one of the world’s most powerful markets for international design.”

The Design Philippines participants include Ann Pamintuan, atelier a, Catalina, Contemporaneo, Industria, ITO KISH, KENNETHCOBONPUE, Lightworks, MASAECO, Mayumi, Nature's Legacy, PRIZMIC & BRILL, SCHEMA, TADECO Home, Vito Selma.

The ICFF is produced and managed by GLM.

Registration for Summer Las Vegas Market Opens

Registration for the upcoming Summer Las Vegas Market, running Sunday, July 27, through Thursday, July 31, 2014 is open. Pre-registration ensures attendees will receive their badge in the mail before Market. Hotel reservations also are available, with “early bird” discounts offered at four select partner hotels through April 23rd and June 4th at eight partner properties.

“Las Vegas Market is coming off of the strongest market in the history of Las Vegas Market with overall buyer attendance up 21% over the prior year,” commented Robert Maricich, Chief Executive Officer, International Market Centers. “In addition to attendance growth, we have added more than 1200 new furniture, home décor and gift resources to the market and expanded the depth and breadth of product exponentially.”

Las Vegas Market is continually upgrading its online registration to streamline the process for attendees. Pre-registrants are guaranteed to receive important market updates, including new resources and showrooms, networking events and the latest trends and exclusive offers. The online process allows first-time registrants to upload qualification materials directly online, rather than having to email, fax or mail documentation; and allows returning registrants to review on-file registration information to save time.

Las Vegas Market is the most comprehensive, cross-category market in  the western U.S., presenting 2,000+ furniture, home décor and gift resources in an unrivaled market destination. Las Vegas Market features thousands of furniture, home décor and gift lines, allowing for cross-category commerce among these industries. The Summer 2014 Las Vegas Market runs Sunday, July 27, through Thursday, July 31, 2014, at World Market Center Las Vegas. According to Maricich, “we shifted our opening day to Sunday rather than Monday at the request of buyers who wanted a weekend day to attend market. We began this new schedule at the January 2014 Market, and it was very well received by buyers and exhibitors.”

The Summer Las Vegas Market will feature even more new resources across all furniture, home décor and gift categories, along with thousands of new product introductions, a full week of educational and networking opportunities, and a focus on industry trends for the coming season.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mercury Rising by Currey & Company

Mercury glass is having a bit of a moment right now! It seems to be everywhere. Silvered glass was first patented in 19th century Europe with large productions coming from glassworks in the Bohemian Forest. Originally double-walled glass coated with silver on the interior, mercury glass contains neither silver nor mercury. Instead, a liquid silver nitrate solution is used to create the silver effect. The same solution is used to create everyday household mirror Currey & Company’s Design Team has reinterpreted mercury glass with the introduction of five new chandeliers and lanterns.

The glass on the new lighting fixtures has been manipulated with solvents to partially remove the silvering and has added antique washes to create warm, metallic tones. The Florence Chandelier is a beautiful combination of metal work and mirror that has been finished to have transparency and the in termittent patterns of mercury glass. Mouth-blown glass captured in a square wrought iron cage is used to create the Marmande Lantern.

The blown glass interior is finished in the same way as the Florence Chandelier along with the addition of an antique gold wash.

Student Industrial Tour 2014 Held for furniture Students

The Student Industrial Tour 2014 of the Furniture Company took place in early April, giving 34 Foundation, BA and MA students, of varying ages and drawn from many different colleges and universities, the chance to visit a number of our industry partners.

Organised by The Furniture Makers’ Company as part of the extensive education programme, the tour was led by Liveryman Pauline Purves; Grants and Education Manager Damilola Bamidele; Richard Jones, Programme Leader BA (Hons) Furniture Making at Leeds College of Art; and Doug Morris, previously a lecturer at Rycotewood College.

Burgess Beds showed the students the intricacies of producing handmade and bespoke beds, and talked about how a small family-run business can be grown.

Knightsbridge Furniture Productions, which manufactures hotel, community care and healthcare furniture, gave the group a tour of the factory and they met key design and production personnel. At CD limited, the exclusive distributors of the specialised manmade material CORIAN, the students saw the machinery and tools involved with production, and toured the showroom where the end products are displayed.

Makers of upholstery foams, Vitafoam, gave the group a tour of both of their huge sites, the first where they saw how foam is made, and the other where foam is cut.

Alice Mansell, studying Interior Furniture at Wolverhampton University, said: “This tour has benefited me as a designer in so many ways. Seeing British craftsman, making British products right in front of me definitely brought a tear to my eye. The illusion of ‘we don’t make anything anymore’ I now know to be wrong and I will freely admit to becoming very patriotic as I visited the numerous sites.

“Every single site visit was beneficial and extremely insightful. This experience will stay with me forever and has provided me with the drive to keep our British furniture making industry alive. On behalf of myself and The University of Wolverhampton, thank you for the amazing opportunity.”

Friday, April 11, 2014

Six Suppliers to Expand Showrooms at Las Vegas Market

Las Vegas Market announced that six leading suppliers of gift merchandise will open or expand showrooms for the upcoming Summer Market, July 27 -31, 2014, further increasing the number of major industry suppliers presented in Las Vegas Market’s Building C. Newcomers Colonial Tin Works, Honey & Me, and Thompson’s Candles are opening their first showrooms; tenants Giftcraft and Roman, Inc. are expanding existing showrooms; and Meravic is renewing its commitment.

The 9th floor of Building C will showcase key newcomers for the Summer Market including Colonial Tin Works/CTW Home Collection, a supplier of lighting, country and primitive motifs, decorative accessories, gifts and garden décor, opening its first West Coast showroom at Las Vegas Market, in a 1,610-square-foot space; Honey & Me, a resource for country and primitive looks, plush items, gifts and seasonal décor, opening a 1,077-square-foot showroom ; and Thompson’s Candles, a supplier of candles, gifts, country looks and primitive motifs, opening 1,610-square-foot showroom .  Meravic, a resource for seasonal, floral, personal accessories, jewelry and gifts, is renewing its lease on a 5,560-square-foot showroom.

Leading vendors planning showroom expansions for Summer Market include Giftcraft, a supplier of gifts, plush, juvenile, baby, kids, fashion, decorative accessories and home décor, which is expanding its showroom to 3,446-square-feet on floor C6; and Roman, Inc., a producer of seasonal, floral, personal accessories, jewelry, gifts and decorative accessories, which is expanding by more than 30% to a 6,052-square-foot space on floor C9.

Las Vegas Market’s Building C has experienced dramatic growth in the gift and home décor product categories since 2013, with 550,000 square feet of expanded showrooms as well as the addition of new resources and categories, such as specialty tabletop, lifestyle merchandise, fashion accessories and artisanal crafts.  Notable brands among the 900 new suppliers added in the last year in Building C are: Abbiamo Tutto, Alessi, Andrew Martin/Cisco Brothers, Ann Gish, Anne McGilvray, Archipelago, Bramble Company, Child’s Studio, Design Legacy, Enesco, Fine Lines, Giftcraft, Just Got 2 Have It!, Jonathan Adler, Karen Robertson Collection, Lenox, Luna Bella, Michael Aram, MATCH, Moe’s Home Collection, Oly Studio, Roost, Skyros/Bodrum, The Gerson Companies, Toyology, Vagabond House, VIETRI, Waterford Wedgwood and many more.

Displays & Exhibits Debuts Fold Flat Furniture Line: umlot

Displays & Exhibits, Inc. (D&E), a division of Absolute Exhibits, a major force in the trade show exhibit building industry, is bringing a new line of flexible furniture named ümlot, to the trade show floor. These products are the very essence of simplicity. These furniture pieces which include chairs, podiums, bar height tables, pedestals, and bar stools, are craftily cut from one piece of flexible, sustainable and weatherproof polypropylene and require no tools for assembly. The products have incredible style and flair and a uniquely colorful, fun style that personalizes any environment. They may be used indoors or out, they come in a variety of colors and they can be customized with graphics printed on them for exceptional business-to-business marketing opportunities.

Originated in Holland by two young Dutch designers for the furniture industry, the original chair garnered major design awards and legions of fans following its introduction. The chair looks like a giant envelope and transforms into a true designer chair. It features rounded edges and is available in eight lively colors. One look by Peter Holman, the D&E director of sales, and he was hooked, “Their chair was the best item I have seen at Global Shop in years, a real stand-out for the trade show industry. Their products will add unbelievable style to any exhibit, giving it a great finishing touch. The product line has everything I look for in my online offerings – lightweight but sturdy, it’s chic, and let me tell you, that chair is comfortable!”

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The American Society of Furniture Designers Announces the 2014 ASFD Merit Scholarship Winner

The American Society of Furniture Designers announces Ian O’Hare as the winner of the 2014 ASFD touching lives by design Merit Scholarship. The scholarship, which rewards academic excellence in the major of furniture design, continues the mission of the association to support, motivate and inspire the designers of tomorrow.

O’Hare, a junior majoring in furniture design at Appalachian State University, located in Boone, North Carolina, was selected for the outstanding academic success he has achieved in his major and for excelling in activities related to the major of furniture design.

“ASFD is pleased to award this scholarship to such a qualified candidate. The caliber of Ian’s resume set him apart, making him the clear recipient of this year’s scholarship” notes ASFD President, Richard Schroeder.

The ASFD touching lives by design Merit Scholarship is awarded at the association’s annual Spring Dinner held during the April High Point Market.

Hubbardton Forge Announced Winner of Design Photo Contest

Hubbardton Forge announced the winner of a $10,000 prize in the company’s 2013 Design Photo Contest, at an awards ceremony held during the BD West trade show in San Diego.

Bill Rooney Studio was chosen as the contest winner for photography of a 16-foot custom lighting sculpture, designed by Rooney with production assistance from Rob Veluz, and manufactured by Hubbardton Forge. The lighting piece is a focal point at the new Marriott Residence Inn property located at 1717 Broadway in New York City.

Designer Bill Rooney describes his inspiration for the custom lighting piece: “The sculptural lighting feature draws reference from Central Park as well as the urban chic nature of the space it is in. The resulting organic form is transformed into a modern theatrical experience in hand forged aluminum. Harmony is created by utilizing the familiar juxtaposed with the new and the feeling of the moment is nourished with elements from the past used throughout the Residence Inn lobby.”

Hubbardton Forge created the Design Photo Contest last year and partnered with Boutique Design magazine on the project. The contest was designed to award hospitality project photography that used Hubbardton Forge fixtures to best define the space in which the lighting was placed. The contest garnered many entries from hotel, restaurant, assisted living, and other commercial spaces across the United States.

“It’s always fascinating to see our products used in so many different settings and applications, particularly as our design aesthetic has expanded so much in the past few years. As a designer it’s both educational and fun for me to see how others visualize and create the space where our products can either accent it or help define it,” said David Kitts, Director of Design for Hubbardton Forge.

Hubbardton Forge offers a special thank you to all design and architecture firms who entered, and to Boutique Design magazine for sponsoring the 2013 Design Photo Contest. “We’re excited to have partnered with Hubbardton Forge on this innovative competition that showcases product design creativity in a hospitality setting,” said Michelle Finn, President of Hospitality Media Group, LLC, owner of Boutique Design magazine.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

AHFA and NAHFA to Oppose FR Label Bill

A bill proposing to dictate point-of-purchase signage in California home furnishings stores will be opposed by both the American Home Furnishings Alliance (AHFA) and the North American Home Furnishings Association (NAHFA) at a Senate committee hearing here this week.

Senator Mark Leno proposed the measure (SB 1019) last week in an effort to provide California consumers with easily accessible information on whether upholstered furniture contains flame retardant chemicals.

Last year California adopted a new fire safety standard – Technical Bulletin 117-2013. The new standard requires upholstered furniture to pass a smolder test to ensure that it is resistant to ignition from a burning cigarette – the number one cause of household fires involving upholstered furniture.

The smolder test replaces an open flame test that California required for more than 35 years. The state's new standard does not prohibit flame retardant chemicals, but the smolder test can be passed without them.

Sen. Leno's legislation proposes a lengthy addition to the law label that is currently required on all upholstered furniture offered for sale in California. After stating that the product meets California's furniture fire safety standard, manufacturers would have to indicate whether the product "contains added flame retardant chemicals" or "contains NO added flame retardant chemicals." This would be done by checking a box next to the appropriate statement.

Leno also proposes that the law label include the following statements:
"The Bureau of Electronic and Appliance Repair, Home Furnishings and Thermal Insulation found that flame retardant chemicals in furniture do not provide a meaningful fire safety benefit. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), such flame retardant chemicals can migrate into air and house dust where people can be exposed to them."
In addition to lengthening the law label with this required "flame retardant chemical statement," Leno proposes that manufacturers of upholstered furniture be required to provide point-of-sale signage with this same statement for each product shipped to California retailers.

Stores would be required to display the sign "next to the price or description of the covered product." Furthermore, Leno wants the sign to be "sized and placed so as to remain clear and conspicuous to consumers."

Catalog retailers would have to place the message on each page containing a description of an upholstered product and Internet retailers would need to place the message "in close proximity to the price" on each web page that contains a description of an upholstered product.

The joint statement, which was submitted on behalf of AHFA, NAHFA and the Polyurethane Foam Association, further asserts that the point-of-sale requirement puts the burden of compliance on retailers, who have little control over what individual products contain.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Surya Launches a New Customer Loyalty Program

Surya has launched an enhanced version of its Surya Rewards customer loyalty program. The expanded program builds upon the company’s existing rewards program, which provides customers with free Surya samples and displays, product discounts and other benefits as they reach key sales milestones.

With the new program – the first of its kind in the industry – customers will have a choice in how they wish to be rewarded. They can choose to earn “Surya Points,” which can be redeemed for Surya products, or to accrue miles or points for their preferred frequent flier or hotel program. Alternately, they can opt to earn Gift Card Points™, which can be redeemed for a wide variety of popular retailer gift cards.

Well-received benefits of the current program, including an entry to win a trip to Surya’s factory in India and donation of a Surya rug to a charitable event on the customer’s behalf, will be carried over into the new program. Surya has also preserved the program’s humanitarian aspect by enabling participants to donate Surya Points to feed children in India through Akshaya Patra, the world’s largest NGO-run mid-day meal program.

“We are excited to provide Surya’s customers with the opportunity to earn miles or points towards many of the programs that they already use on a regular basis,” said Graham Farrell, president of Lift & Shift, the company who will administer the new multi-currency rewards program for Surya. “Surya is known as an innovator in the rug and home accessories industry and this unique program will provide the brand’s loyal customers with an even wider range of benefits, along with a more convenient way to access those benefits.”

Through an interface very similar to those found on popular consumer rewards websites, Surya’s customers will be able to visit the Surya Rewards website and check their rewards account balance 24/7. They also can earn bonus points by taking advantage of special offers that will be listed on the site or sent to them in special Surya Rewards communications.

“Our customers had been telling us that they were looking for more flexibility and convenience in a rewards program and we listened,” said Satya Tiwari, president, Surya. “We always strive to provide our customers with the best service possible and are pleased to be able to recognize their growth and loyalty with broader reward options that better address their needs.”