Hot Stuff

Oven-to-table inspires culinary sales
By Jessica Harlan

It’s just as beautiful on the dinner table as it is adept at baking casseroles, roasting vegetables, braising chicken, or baking a dessert. Oven-to-table pieces are growing in popularity as home cooks seek versatile, multifunctional pieces for convenience and aesthetics.

Le Creuset

Le Creuset

With oven-to-table pieces, “you can take a cooking vessel straight from the oven to the table for serving,” says Sara Whitaker, brand manager – stoneware for Le Creuset. To serve a meal, she adds, there’s no need to transfer the food from the cooking vessel into a serving bowl or platter – just set down a trivet, and it’s ready to serve.

“We describe our oven to table ware as the fait tout, which means, in French, ‘does everything,’” says Tara Steffen, marketing manager of Emile Henry USA. And indeed it does. “We offer unsurpassed cooking qualities and our designs are so attractive that they can be placed on the most casual or most formal dining table.”

Materials Matter
Oven-to-table collections are made of materials that are specifically developed to withstand high cooking temperatures. In the case of Emile Henry, burgundy clay, known for its superb heat diffusion and retention, has been used to make its products for more than 150 years. Emile Henry’s high resistance ceramic is oven-safe for up to 518˚F. Le Creuset’s nonporous stoneware is designed to be durable, easy to clean, and resistant to stains and odor absorption.

Pillivuyt

Pillivuyt

Another popular oven-to-table manufacturer exhibiting at AmericasMart is Pillivuyt, which is made of durable, chip-resistant porcelain. “Pillivuyt porcelain is fired at 2,400˚F, so putting it in a 550-degree oven is no problem,” says Alice Title, president of Pillivuyt USA. “You can even use it on the grill or under the broiler.” The company even has a new line, called Ulysses, that can be used on direct flame such as a stovetop or on an induction burner. Meanwhile, Revol porcelain is also fired at a high temperature—1320˚F for 8 hours. “That process allows the pieces to be resistant to thermal shock, and oven safe up to 572˚F,” says Tenaya Da Silva, vice president of sales and marketing for Revol.

Convenience Counts

TVS-America

TVS-America

Sometimes metal cookware is pretty enough to qualify as oven-to-table. Case in point is the nonstick aluminum cookware from TVS-America, which is designed to be used as serving vessels. The cookware is oven safe up to 350˚ or 450˚F, depending on the piece, and includes collections designed by Karim Rashid, Angelo di Porto and Alberto Meda. “These pieces are designed to save time,” says Diane O’Donnel, national sales manager – North America for TVS-America. “Serving dinner from the oven eliminates having to wash extra serving dishes.” Many of the company’s designs are dishwasher safe and have a nonstick finish so they’re easy to clean by hand as well. In fact, most oven-to-table pieces are just as easy to maintain, a boon for busy cooks. Most are dishwasher safe, and are coated with a durable glaze that won’t scratch when scrubbed.

Aesthetics Work

Revol

Revol

The sky’s the limit with regard to what home chefs can cook in their oven-to-table pieces. Beef stew, braised vegetables, a cheesy casserole… in many cases dishes can be prepared ahead, refrigerated or even frozen, and then cooked when needed. And, of course, basic pieces or specialty pieces can also be used for sweets and other baked goods: brownies, cobblers, breads and more. For retailers who have a kitchen, nothing beats a live demonstration on the qualities of the pieces. Says Da Silva of Revol, “We have a chicken roaster that is perfect for demos.” A whole chicken, some vegetables, and garlic baked in the roaster, for instance, makes an easy demonstration that will showcase how easy the pieces are to use.

Manufacturers are responding to the customer interest in oven-to-table by increasing their assortment. Colors to suit all tastes and decorating schemes, multifunctional pieces, and specialized shapes, are among the many offerings that have grown this category. Le Creuset, for instance, has a new rectangular dish with a lid which doubles as a platter, and can also be used on its own as a baking dish. And Pillivuyt already has nearly 2,000 items in production, but is gaining traction in some of its unusual pieces such as its brioche mold and other specialty baking shapes.

Selling Oven-to-Table
These tips and talking points can help retailers promote their oven-to-table offerings.

Emile Henry

Emile Henry

• Play up fun details about the company. For instance, Emile Henry potters wear a bracelet with which they stamp their initials onto the pieces they create.

• Create a rainbow. Many companies, such as Le Creuset, offer their products in a wide array of colors. By showcasing the entire spectrum, you add color and visual interest to your display, and give customers the option to pick one that perfectly suits their décor.

• Show off the versatility. Include pieces in tablescape vignettes with other cookware and with gourmet foods to show how these pieces are workhorses but also complement beautiful dinnerware patterns and table linens.

• Take advantage of manufacturer’s point-of-sale materials. Pillivuyt offers brochures and shelf talkers. “These help explain the quality and justify the price,” says Title. The company’s “Pillivuyt University” also rewards salespeople who educate themselves about the product. “Nothing sells Pillivuyt better than a store worker who knows, understands, and loves the product,” she says.


For more information: Emile Henry – 302.326.4800, emilehenryusa.com; Le Creuset – 877.418.5547, lecreuset.com; Pillivuyt – 952.474.4016, pillivuytus.com; Revol – 678.456.8671, revol1768.com; and TVS-America – 716.863.5200, tvs-spa.it/en.

Images courtesy of Emile Henry, Le Crueset, Pillivuyt, Revol and TVS-America

Rise Up!

 

feb17_gameday_r2-011. Regina Andrew Design, Inc. 2. Bonnie & Neil/Karen Alweil Studio 3. CODARUS 4. Mr. Brown 5. Picnic Time, Inc. 6. Pom Pom at Home/CODARUS  7. Catstudio 8. Midwest-CBK 9. Entryways 10. SARO 11. Zuo Modern 12. Picnic Time, Inc.

Shop an array of Gift and Home products at the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®, March 8 – 10, 2017, and The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® July 11 – 18, 2017. Select showrooms are open year-round.

Our Atlanta: Dinner and Drinks

Blake and Alexis Rayon
Owners, UnCommon Fashion, Building 3, Floor 9, 9-S119

Blake and Alexis Rayon Uncommon Fashion

Blake and Alexis Rayon
Uncommon Fashion

Blake and Alexis Rayon arrived in Atlanta five years ago on the cusp of the city’s culinary and cultural renaissance. Coming from Miami, their standards for food and fun were high. “It’s a big part of our culture,” says Blake. “We like to have a good time.” They dove into the Atlanta food scene and the rest is history. We asked them about their favorite after-market spots.

Alexis’ Mood: Afraid of Commitment

ponce-city-market-courtesy-of-acvb

Ponce City Market Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

Ponce City Market is such a great option if you’re unsure of what you want to eat or where you want to go. Every price point, every type of food, more casual, more fine dining – it’s all there. Get a pop-tini from King of Pops or a craft beer from The Tap on Ponce. Then you can do burgers from H&F Burger or chicken from next door at Hop’s if you want super casual. Or for a mid-century throwback, head upstairs to The Mercury for swanky cocktails and a sit-down dinner.”

Blake’s Mood: Ready to Party

the Sound Table Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

the Sound Table
Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

“Grab dinner at Krog Street Market in Inman Park. From there, head to Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping Pong Emporium and keep an eye out for celebrities. If you love hip hop or you love EDM, go across the street to the Sound Table. If you’re feeling hip and you want to party, go down the road to Mother. And if you really want to see Atlanta’s Dirty South go to Harold’s Chicken & Ice Bar. Right next door to that is Noni’s, which is a really fun late night spot.”

Alexis’ Mood: Chillaxing with Out-of-Towners

Piedmont Park Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

Piedmont Park
Photo: James Duckworth, Courtesy of ACVB

“We always take people to Park Tavern. It has the nicest views of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Skyline. Take a stroll around the park or check out the stunning Atlanta Botanical Garden. Then head to nearby Hobnob for drinks. Across the street, Varuni Napoli has pizza that is to die for and a shady little patio perfect for a spring day.”

Blake’s Mood: Uptown Attitude
“Head to Umi for sushi and start with drinks at the bar. These bartenders are top notch and masters of their trade. If you like highball cocktails and want to step out of your norm, ask for them to make you a Mezcal Old Fashioned. Get ready for smoky and sweet delight to roll down your tongue. Or, for something more casual, hit up Shake Shack and try the ‘Shroom Burger. It will change your life.”

Dining In
All tuckered out from Market? Blake has you covered. “What’s great about Atlanta is that you have Zifty, Postmates, Uber Eats, Amazon Restaurants. So even if you don’t want to go out, you can get amazing food from to city’s top restaurants delivered right to your hotel.” Check them out online or on the app store.


See this story, plus view a sampling of the hottest lines available at Market, in the premiere issue of Atlanta Apparel 2017. View this book in the Atlanta Apparel Book Lounge during Market or look at it online.

22_feb17_vw_booklounge-01

Purchasing with a Purpose

AmericasMart buyers can take good work to heart
By Mandy Roth

Today’s consumers expect more from the companies they buy from and the products they use in their homes. They desire attributes beyond function and beauty; they want to make the world a better place by purchasing products with a purpose. Many AmericasMart exhibitors include philanthropy as a major tenet of their businesses, offering end consumers an opportunity to contribute to a greater good.

Half United; Full Commitment
Half United founders Carmin Black and her brother Christian didn’t set out to better the world through their professional lives. Yet that is exactly the path they now navigate. Each purchase of one of their company’s apparel items or accessories provides food to hungry children. To date, their customers have made possible more than 200,000 meals for children in the United States and around the world.

“Everything we’ve been through in life led us to this point,” says Carmin, a former television reporter, who later worked as a public speaker for TOMS—the company that set new standards in corporate philanthropy by donating a pair of shoes to needy kids for each pair purchased.

All elements of her past coalesced during an enthusiastic speaking appearance. She recalled memories growing up as a pastor’s daughter in a family where every male member was in the clergy, as well as her mother’s endeavors in the fashion industry. She remembered the mission trips in which she and her brother participated. She was reminded of her service as her sorority’s philanthropic chairperson. The energy created by the combination of charity, business and brand passion fused for her in front of that audience. It was one of those moments that changed everything that happened next.

She placed a call to Christian, who was in L.A. trying to launch an apparel business, suggesting that they join forces to create a company with a charitable focus. They borrowed $200 from their mother and the venture has grown in the years since. They now sell a variety of goods, including jewelry and T-shirts. Some of their most popular items feature recycled bullet casings, turning a symbol of harm into a sign of hope, representing their fight against hunger.

TOMS, Carmin believes, cracked the code that unites business and philanthropy by communicating the impact each consumer has on the world by buying one of their products. For Half United, that unique formula means that each time a product is purchased, seven children receive meals. “Hunger is something every human can relate to,” says Carmin.

The founders closely vet the charities they work with around the world. On a trip to Haiti, for instance, they examined the operations of Papillion Enterprise, an organization that employs local artisans to make some of the jewelry Half United sells, providing a source of income so impoverished parents can feed their children.

Carmin insisted on accompanying one of the workers home, a journey down dirt roads and over a ravine filled with trash and goats. They eventually entered a shantytown, navigating four-foot wide alleys through the shacks. When they arrived at the worker’s home, the mother shifted a plywood door to the side, proudly showing off her kitchen, featuring charcoal on a dirt floor. “Where do you sleep?” queried the entrepreneur. The woman revealed a second room where her children slept on packing materials—the same ones used by the charitable organization to ship jewelry to Half United. “My heart hurt for them,” says Carmin, who purchased proper mattresses for the family before leaving the country.

While Carmin and her brother are literally in the trenches at times, she points out that the retailers who sell Half United’s products—and the consumers who buy them—are the ones making the difference. “You have no idea how much your purchase matters in the lives of people around the world. Ultimately, you are the ones feeding people; we just facilitate that transaction.”

Sari Bari: Rescue From the Red Light
When secondhand saris gain new life as accessories and home goods, the women in India who make these products secure access to freedom from lives in the sex trade. The extraordinary goods available through Sari Bari offer employment opportunities for women who want to escape the red light district of Kolkata, India, as well as young women in outlying villages, who are vulnerable to being trafficked.

Each blanket, handbag, accessory or baby item is sewn using the traditional Kantha stitch, unique to the creator’s personal style. No two pieces are identical. Living in India, Sari Bari founder Sarah Lance established the company a decade ago when she personally witnessed the plight of these women and determined she would do something to make a difference in their lives. Goods are sold in the U.S. through a non-profit organization.

Today’s consumers are interested in one-of-a-kind products and want to know the stories behind the things they purchase, explains Merilee Rowe, the company’s sales and operations manager. Sari Bari deepens that connection because the 120 women the company employs stitch their names inside the items they create. During their first year of training, they are known generically as “Mukti.” After the first year, each graduates to using her own name. Their “freedom birthday” is celebrated annually, and employees are given opportunities to rise into management, providing further opportunities for a better life.

“Sari Bari products are special because retailers and consumers know the products are directly tied to impacting a women on the other side of the world,” says Merilee. “That artisan is creating something beautiful, and you are empowering her to do that by purchasing her product.”

Imagine Home: Third World Artisans; First World Designs
When interior designer Staci Lantz toured South Africa with the founder of TOMS Shoes in 2007, she was inspired by his company’s commitment to social responsibility. She returned with a new plan for her life, an idea to add a greater sense of purpose to her profession and an approach to American consumerism that would contribute to the betterment of others.

She’s spent her time since touring the world, meeting artisans in communities where she could source creations conceived by her, along with her design partners. The result is Imagine Home, a collaborative effort between third-world artisans and first-world designers.

The company takes first world product designs and commissions impoverished people in artisan communities around the world to handcraft the items. “By using our industry experience in design, we create a product that is desirable to consumers; by commissioning people in need, we create an income-generating opportunity for them,” according to Imagine Home’s website. The 2016 collection includes lighting, rugs, tabletop, upholstery and bedding from Haiti, Peru, Africa and India. Many items feature 100 percent organic and recycled materials. Also in the line-up: hand-knitted baby alpaca bedding and handsome horn and bone products.

“Staci has spent time in each of the communities we work with, as well as with each artisan, developing the product with them,” says Katie Gable, Imagine Home’s showroom manager at AmericasMart. “Instead of purchasing a product that is mass produced, each item we offer is individually created by someone’s hand. The buyer may never meet the artisan, but there is a connection back to them and you are contributing to the economy in their communities across the world.”

Stephen Joseph: A Connection with Kids
When Rick Taylor, president of Stephen Joseph, returns home each evening, he has a wonderful reminder of the good things his company is doing in the world. His daughter was adopted from a Russian orphanage that his business supports through its philanthropic efforts.

Giving back is something this company takes seriously. Established 30 years ago as a sorority products specialist, it grew and diversified over time into a variety of businesses. Stephen Joseph is the parent company, as well as the name of its successful kids lifestyle brand. In 2013, executives decided to bolster the business’ charitable endeavors, and sought to support organizations that focused on kids. One recent initiative raised $250,000 from the sale of certain products, with donations contributed to No Kid Hungry, Children’s Scholarship Fund and Little Kids Rock.

Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph

Karma, the company’s lifestyle brand, which features popular handbags, accessories, home and travel products, gives five percent of its gross sales to numerous charities, including the Russian orphanage. Other endeavors include providing filtered water in Nepal; paying teacher’s salaries a school in a poverty stricken area of Cambodia; and supporting Food Backpacks for Kids, which provides weekend food to kids in need. In addition to special projects, the company makes ongoing donations to organizations such as the American Diabetes Association.

“Given the choice between two similar products, if one has a ‘give back’ component, it affects the end-consumer’s buying habits,” says Rick. “It’s a selling point for buyers to communicate information about where a portion of consumers’ money is going.” While the executive is enthusiastic about all the charities his company supports, the ones that tug at his heartstrings are focused on children. “We love kids,” he says. “They don’t have the ability to help themselves, so we are passionate about helping them.”


For more information: Imagine Home; Half United – halfunited.com; Sari Bari – saribari.com; and Stephen Joseph – stephenjosephgifts.com

Images courtesy of Stephen Joseph, Sari Bari and Half United

Pearl Glam

A fresh perspective on a classic accessory
By Poormina Apte

Accessory Drawer

Accessory Drawer

You can credit Chanel or Jason Wu. Or Downton Abbey. Whatever the reason, pearls are enjoying a renewed interest and dominating lookbooks and fashion runways. But these aren’t your grandmother’s staid single strands. Mixed with a variety of other jewels and worked onto unexpected canvases such as leather and metals, pearls are being reimagined for the contemporary woman.

While this is good news for fashionistas everywhere, the expansive variety of pearls means retailers need to know what to look for and how to tell real from faux, with both having favor. We dive into the basics.

The Basics
Naturally occurring pearls are increasingly rare. Most of those on the market are cultured pearls, derived when farmers artificially introduce irritants into oysters and mollusks. Cultured pearls are further subdivided by the types of waters in which they sourced: saltwater or the more common freshwater. Pearls also are classified by the regions in which they are cultured. Examples include Akoya pearls from Japan; South Sea grown in large saltwater tropical oysters; and Tahitian pearls.

Then there are glass beads that are polished and coated to look like pearls. This thin coating eventually wears off so retailers are advised to source their pearls from reputable vendors. The Cultured Pearl Association of America recommends sliding the strand across your mouth as a test, fake pearls glide while the real ones are gritty from the nacre or the irritant around which the pearl forms.

The Criteria

Kinzig Design Home

Kinzig Design Home

Traditionally, best pearls are perfectly round, have a high lustre and are free of imperfections. Of various factors used to evaluate pearls, lustre is the most important according to Susie Kinzig of Kinzig Design who has ventured into creating jewelry.

Other criteria include surface, shape, size and color. While freshwater pearls often come in irregular forms, they are creatively worked into creative designs and offer a fresh spin, says Kinzig, who works pearls into industrial romantic kinds of designs for an updated contemporary touch.

The Updates
Celebrity stylist and jewelry expert Michael O’Connor, cites an interest in past eras (Mad Men, anybody?) as driving pearl demand, which in turn translates into vintage inspirations on the runways an in top fashion houses. But today’s look is more “in-your-face” he says.

Girl With A Pearl

Girl With A Pearl

Girl With A Pearl’s Bohemian line work pearls into leather and suede for looks that can be dressed up or down. Pearl blogger India Rows says chainmail styles with pearls are another look retailers should look for when searching for new products.

For example, Deniz Zizzi of Accessory Drawer sees designers such as Beth Greenberg mixing pearls with sterling silver chains.

“We think the pearl is the perfect touch to our handmade jewelry, taking something vintage and turning it into something new and fresh,” says Laurel George of The Vintage Pearl.

These fresh perspectives make pearls more attractive to women who used to dismiss them strictly as old-fashioned jewelry. And while pearls can be expensive, pieces with single pearls or freshwater options worked into leather lariats or sterling silver can be surprisingly affordable as well as fashionable.

“Women wear pearls with T-shirts, flowy blouses and cocktail dresses from brunch and work to an evening event,” Zizzi says, “Nowadays pearls are an everyday basic that fit effortlessly in the jewelry closet.”


For more information: Accessory Drawer – accessorydrawer.com, 888.209.8432; Girl With a Pearl – girlwithapearl.com, 615.767.1972; India Rows – 706.850.5296; Kinzig Design – kinzigdesign.com, 650.952.6006; Michael O’Connor – styleandsubstance.com; The Vintage Pearl – 918.935.3254; thevintagepearl.com

Images courtesy of Accessory Drawer, Girl With A Pearl, Kinzig Desig and The Vintage Pearl

Emerging Designer Spotlight: Tepuy Activewear

Tepuy ActivewearEach February and August, Atlanta Apparel welcomes a fresh crop of designers ready to take the next step into the wholesale marketplace. The Emerging Designer Showcase on Floor 2 is a hotspot of talent where you can be the first to discover the newest apparel and accessory lines poised to make their mark on the world.

Three years ago, designer Elena Carné started Tepuy Activewear in Miami, working in her garage. “I sensed there were deficiencies of fashionable fitness and athleisure wear,” said Carné. “I also saw a lack of American made, designed and produced activewear and I wanted to fill that void.” With previous experience working with Spandex in bathing suits, she understood the textiles and materials needed for her designs. Since then, Carné moved her family and her business to Americus, Ga., where her line is produced in a large manufacturing facility.

Tepuy Activewear“My business partner and I visited AmericasMart on a couple of occasions,” said Carné. “When we discovered the Emerging Designer program, we knew that was where we needed to begin.”

Debuting at August 2016 Market, Tepuy Activewear was voted the favorite Emerging Designer. During Market they met with prospective customers from Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Kentucky and more. “It was a great opportunity to connect with other new designers and encourage and support one another,” said Carné.

 

 

Q & A with Emerging Designer Elena Carné

Elena Carné, Tepuy Activewear A graduate of the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, Carné draws from her South American roots to create vibrant, colorful patterns constructed with high-quality, durable fabrics. The line includes leggings, sports bras, shorts and tanks, all produced in Americus, Ga.

What’s the best piece of business or design advice that you’ve received?
Keep blocking and tackling! One of my business advisors suggested I hold true to my vision even when others try to sway me, because I feel it is the correct path. Sometimes it is not easy because you have to make difficult decisions. As a designer and woman entrepreneur I have a vision and I will keep focusing on improving and growing my business by always getting the “small things right”…in other words blocking and tackling.

What’s next for you?
We plan to find experienced sales representatives to help us promote and sell our brand. We will continue to meet people, make contacts and network. I firmly believe that you must always be consistent with what you are doing and find the joy in it. Be proud of yourself and your work. Through determination, setting goals, God-given talents and personal faith you can fulfill your dreams.


Register today to join us for February Atlanta Apparel. Start the year with your look at top collections featuring Summer, Fashion Accessories, Spring 2, Resort 2, European Fall and Immediates. Temporary categories include Premiere, Ready, NOW, JFA, Impulse, Shoes, Premiere LUXE, Emerging Designer, Resort, Children’s and more.

NEW DATE PATTERN
Showrooms and temporaries will open on Wednesday, February 1, 2017. Temporaries will close on Saturday, February 4 at 3 p.m. and showrooms will close at 3 p.m. on Sunday, February 5.

VOTE & WIN
You could win one complimentary night at a downtown hotel during your next Apparel Market just by voting for your favorite Emerging Designer. Check out the collection on Floor 2 and vote today at AmericasMart.com/EmergingDesigner. Share your favorite designer on social media using #EmergingDesignerATL.

Pillow Talk: Tips for Success from National Small Business Award Winner Eric and Christopher

By Adam Wisniewski

In 2012 when artists Eric Fausnacht and Christopher Kline began making canvas pillows by hand in Doylestown, PA, (about 40 miles outside Philadelphia) their basements housed the design, production and sales departments.

baby-goat_medium-pillowDuring their first six months together, Eric created the pillows’ monochromatic animal designs, while Christopher handled printing duties. After selling 1,000 pillows at regional craft fairs, the pair realized their business could scale nationally, but not from their basements.

As their eponymous company grew in sales and size, it moved production into a 7,000-square-foot facility; added tote bags, wall art and custom printing jobs to its product line; and wholesaled to customers like the L.L. Bean flagship store in Maine, The Plaza Hotel in New York City, Pine Cone Hill and the White House Historical Association. All while still making products by hand in Bucks County, PA.

The duo capped off four years of tremendous growth with the 2016 Outstanding Encore Entrepreneur Award from the national SCORE Foundation, a nonprofit network of business experts who volunteer free time and expertise to mentor small business owners.

Learning to handle that growth was one of the most important lessons Eric and Christopher took from their SCORE mentors.

“We experienced explosive growth as the business took off – 50 percent and 70 percent year-over-year,” says Christopher. “We needed to take control of it because things could have spiraled out of hand, but we learned not to be fixated on the numbers, slow down and reevaluate our positions.”

“Our mentors helped us recognize the point to invest more in equipment and people and management,” says Eric. “Christopher and I were doing everything. At some point, we had to stop doing that.”

Erpaco_chihuahua-toteic and Christopher never envisioned wholesaling would be an evolutionary force for their product line. When they first displayed at shows like The Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market®, some buyers were reluctant to pull the trigger on a large order because they didn’t know if the company could fulfill that type of volume at its current size. But returning in following years and reconnecting allowed those relationships to bear fruit.

“Now our vendors ask us to expand our line,” says Eric, who describes new offerings like aprons, tea towels and other textiles. “And up to 30 percent of our business now is custom jobs. I didn’t foresee that. We are actually being approached to print yardage, and because we manufacture here in Pennsylvania, we may not be cheaper than their overseas manufacturers, but we can do smaller runs with quick turnaround to get them to market faster.”

What advice would the duo give their past selves about attending Market?

“We spend so much time and effort on the product that market often sneaks up on us,” says Christopher. “We need to set aside more time to prepare and really dig into the retail sales cycle.”

On a more practical level, Eric recalls driving his truck down from Pennsylvania stuffed to the brim to stock his first AmericasMart® booth. “I didn’t know about direct shipping or that AmericasMart could store our booth. We should have done that from the start and put extra effort into making our booth presentation more professional and clean.

“We love our products and respond to what our customers love about them,” says Eric. “People like the cleanliness, the simple images and the quality of construction. Cute, but not kitschy. Sophisticated – that is us.”


Congratulate Eric and Christopher in the newly integrated Home Accents, Home Furnishings, Fine Linens & Home Textiles and Rug collections in Building 1, Floor 7. ANTIQUES in Building 1, Floor 2 closes at 6 p.m. on Sunday, January 15. Temporaries in Buildings 1, 2 and 3, including Temps for The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring The National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA are open through 2 p.m. on Monday, January 16.