Sunday, October 13, 2013

High Point Market–Why It’s More Than Furniture:

Did you know interior designers are big readers and supporters of other designers’ blogs?  Contrary to what one might think, in a world where it’s assumed there is a lot of competition, we often turn to one another for great feedback and support.  I’ve definitely been blessed to share time with some of the top designers across the country – and even the world! 

Jennifer Brouwer, a Canadian designer, recently popped back onto her blog with a great post about renovations.  She cuts to the core beyond the “pretty” and shares some great expectations regarding the process.  It’s well worth the read.  Ten Things to Know and Understand Before Beginning a Renovation.

I hope I’ll be able to catch a quick moment to say “hello” and to give this lovely lady a hug.  My market trip will seem like a whirlwind but I’m planning on attending an event for interior designers at the Lexington Furniture showroom.  Jennifer is co-hosting this with another lovely design friend, Elaine Williamson.

While Elaine lives in Texas, she’s only a phone call away when something is percolating and I know she’ll share a listening ear.  And I hope she knows the support flows in her direction, too.  Super fun and super focused on creating amazing spaces for her clients!

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(Here is just one of Elaine’s stunning rooms.  The epitome of elegance.)

I’ll have to make it an early bird “flight” from home to the event, but I want to be there for friends, like Elaine.  From the first time I hopped on a trolley with her, I knew we shared a passion for design and a spiritual approach to life.  (I also love her fabulous shoes.  I admire her ability to maneuver the market miles in them!)

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I also hope to see the ladies of Kandrac & Kole.  Both Kelly and Joann have created a tour-de-force of a firm in the Atlanta area. 

They’re an inspiration for designers being able to partner on projects.  Kelly and Joann have a refreshing sense of sharing and I’ve been so appreciative of the time they've taken out of their busy schedules to engage in a chat or two. 

I remember when we first spotted one another on the streets of High Point, after following each other online.  Squeals and hugs ensued.  Social media is a great connector but there’s nothing like real life hugs.  I’m so proud of their recent feature in Southern Lady Magazine

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(This ‘after’ shot, featured in the article, showcases the resourceful transformations Kelly and Joann bring to their clients’ spaces.)

Stretching across time zones and the country, Faith Sheridan is an early friend from social media and then became a “real lifer” from market events.  Faith’s Seattle-area projects showcase a beautiful blend of function and form.  Many of her clients arrive from the tech world and she understands what their lifestyles predicate. 

I’m so excited when I see her fabulous projects being featured in her Facebook feed.  She has a full life with family and travel and still manages to pull off some exquisite work.  It only takes a few minutes to reach out with a comment and an “attagirl” and I need to do that more often because Faith is a designer who really innovates.  Her posts are always ahead-of-the-curve and she brings a seasoned experience which comes from practicing for over twenty years.

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(Notice how Faith’s design complements but doesn’t eclipse this skyline view?)

So, now you see there is often more of a camaraderie among  interior designers than maybe ever before.  We learn from one another and we buoy spirits when perhaps a project challenge has sidelined us.  We cheer one another on when a project has been featured in a publication or just when we’ve made the life of a client that much better.  Social Media may have brought us together but the High Point Furniture Market has taken it to a deeper level.  As a consumer, you reap some pretty awesome benefits because of it.  As potential vendors, we can be your best advocates for your products.  (Recognize!)

(Just as an aside:  I’m not one of those designers who features another one for the sake of expected reciprocity.  I know this does occur and I’m not sure it’s the best thing for our profession.  I may admire a designer’s style or talents, but if there isn’t a connection or an admiration or mutual respect and what they represent . . . well, then it becomes less than genuine and the motives would be questionable.) 

There are many other amazing designers not mentioned, just for the sake of time and reading.  I hope you know who you are and what you’ve meant to me!

Today, Jennifer also posted this:

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I like the way this designer thinks!  A great inspiration for another post on another day!

All my best! ~ Wanda

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