Hotty Toddy Homecoming

Creating hospitable promotions inspires customer loyalty

From an early age, Douglas Self knew he had a creative and an analytical mind. Oxford, Miss., nourished both. He earned a degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi and got his start in retail working for Oxford Floral during his college years.

“Oxford Floral was one of the premier gift shops in Mississippi and I learned as much from owners, Bette and Jeff Butler, as I did my general education. Together, it was an incredible base for my career,” says Self, owner of jdouglas, with showrooms in AmericasMart and High Point.

Loving to put collections together and to be in front of customers, Self had long thought of opening a retail store. “Visiting Oxford for SEC game weekends, I realized I had to carry all my tailgating and dinner party supplies with me. There was a void in the market,” he says.

He opened Provision Oxford in October 2014, near the historic downtown square. The lifestyle boutique features his personal blend of home furnishings, tabletop, gifts, personal care items, jewelry, some ladies apparel, and original art. “It’s a gracious, hospitable place to see and buy beautiful things. But it’s more than great lines. We strive to offer an extraordinary experience, to treat customers as if they were visiting our home for a party,” he says.

Building Loyalty
The name says it all. “Provision means to provide things not readily accessible, and I wanted to give back to this university and community,” says Self. The shop helps residents and weekend-condo owners furnish their homes, buy gifts, or entertain with style, but Self also hosts Fridays This Fall events during home football weekends.

“We showcase Southern artisans or designers (preferably someone with a Mississippi or Ole Miss connection) and invite guests to attend a lecture, trunk show, or book signing,” he says. Last year, the store brought jewelry artists Elizabeth Wise Hannon, Gresham Hodges and Taylor Miller; floral expert and author, John Grady Burns; Mississippi born painter, Marilyn Mulherin; Ole Miss alumnus and Editor-in-Chief of Veranda magazine, Clinton R. Smith and author/designer James Farmer to town.

“We support a charity with each event by donating about 10 percent of the proceeds,” he says. In the past Provision Oxford has contributed to Peyton’s House (a youth ministry); Love Packs, Chucky Mullins Fund, Alexa’s Team (childhood cancer) and the St. Jude marathon.

Giving Back
The events help artists and charities, engage customers and increase sales. “People want to know who is coming, and we let them know by social media and e-mail,” he says. “This is a cultural town and people look forward to learning about and meeting talented artists. It gives them another activity to share with guests on football weekends.”
He also hosts special brunches or cocktail parties in the store for local sororities and fraternities during their parent weekends, allowing the group to choose their charity. A recent Derby Days event made more student customers aware of the shop, and they, of course, told their parents. “It’s the extra things you do to cultivate a business and build a brand that makes people want to work with you,” says Self. “You have to create the right environment.”

For additional information about the store, visit www.provisionoxford.com or like the store on Facebook.

To learn how to boost sales surrounding seasonal events and holidays, attend our upcoming Lunch Seminar: Spring Into Sales on Wednesday, March 8, during the Atlanta Spring Gift, Home Furnishings & Holiday Market®. Join flower magazine founder and editor-in-chief Margot Shaw and retail and merchandising experts Kristin Alber of Restylesource, Dina Woodruff of Peridot, and Pacita Wilson of Pineapple Park as they share visual merchandising tips, product picks and seasonal tabletop displays that are sure to inspire and make your sales bloom. Complimentary lunch is included and begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

Images courtesy of Joe Worthem

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.

The World of Rugs in Atlanta

How any retailer or designer can shop and sell rugs
by Alix G. Perachon

Only a few years ago, there was a sharp divide between items that are handmade and those that are machine made. Decorative carpets are generally designated as handknotted and flatwoven rugs, both antique and new, exhibiting classic oriental and European designs. Meanwhile, handtufted and machine made rug patterns were typically more limited.

Today’s buyer has an unparalleled choice of rugs at all price points ranging from traditional to contemporary and from handmade to machine made. Thanks to revolutionary technological advances in construction and materials, machine made area rugs now offer a level of artistry and durability that was a dream a decade ago. Hence the latest color and design trends are no longer reserved for the high-end boutique rug market, but are universal regardless of the carpet’s creation—handknotted, handtufted, flatwoven or machine made.

As the rug is the foundation of the room, what better time to learn the basics and shop at Market? Here are need-to-know decorative area rug facts to guide you as you explore the exciting January Market.

A Kaleidoscope of Color and Design

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Produced in a variety of handmade and machine woven constructions, these are among the most important area rug design types that you will view at Market:

1.Traditional: Patterns are inspired from age-old oriental designs in mainly traditional colors originating from regions including Persia, Turkey, and China including Sultanabad, Tabriz, Serapi and Oushak.

2. Transitional: Transitional rugs have been a leading force in the last five years concurrent with the casual, informal look popular in interior design. Often integrating classic and contemporary elements in the same piece, they are available in a virtually infinite range of styles. These are some of the looks falling under the transitional rug umbrella:

Oriental—Traditional oriental rug patterns—including Sultanabad, Tabriz, Serapi, Oushak, and Central Asian—exhibit a modern twist with a broad range of contemporary colors such as various shades of grey, cream, blue, and aubergine.

Ikat—Inspired from southeast Asian tie-dyed textiles, these boldly patterned rugs come in a variety of colors.

Vintage—These are generally 30-to-60-year-old oriental rugs whose colors are often chemically washed to create a more subdued “shabby chic” effect. There are also reproduction vintage-style rugs.

Over-dyed—These can be vintage pieces or reproductions that have been “over-dyed” in mainly vivid colors—including neon greens, oranges, purples, and electric blues. Patterns are often intentionally partly “erased” to create a distinctive offbeat look.

3. Moroccan: Ranging from the authentic handcrafted nomadic pieces from Morocco to reproductions, Moroccan-style carpets are characterized by ivory, brown, black, and multicolored backgrounds with geometric motifs including squares, oblongs and diamonds.

4. Contemporary: These rugs range from subdued monochromatics to graphic geometrics and florals. Avant-garde designs—including painterly impressionist and cubist patterns have revolutionized the area rug repertoire. The finest pieces are considered modern works of art in their own right—generally handknotted or handwoven in all-natural materials such as wool and silk—but cost a fraction of contemporary paintings. While Nepal has been at the forefront of contemporary rugs, other countries of production are now also involved.

Texture, Texture and More Texture
Texture, rather than pattern, plays a key role in determining the beauty of many contemporary carpets. Traditionally, decorative rugs were mainly either pile (e.g., handknotted, handtufted, and power-loomed) or flatwoven by hand or machine. Now an impressive array of construction techniques, often combined in the same piece, create sophisticated textural effects. For instance, “high low” rugs feature a combined pile and flatweave construction where the design is raised pile and the ground is flatwoven. Subtle textural variations are also obtained with a variety of cut and loop pile techniques.

Tonal rugs’ exquisite subtlety is achieved through techniques including the artful shading of hues, known as abrash, which creates richness and depth. Moreover, natural silk or silk-like materials (e.g., bamboo and banana silks and viscose) often accent specific areas or are blended with other materials, such as wool, to create a more lustrous effect. Additional materials used to produce textural effects include aloe, linen, and jute. Never before has there been a more exciting time to shop for decorative rugs. Now it’s your turn to discover what’s making the area rug market tick.

Vibrant New Home for Rug Temps
During The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring the National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA, buyers have the opportunity to explore collections from a broad spectrum of exhibitors. In addition to the showroom offerings, the temporary exhibits have a new home on Floor 7 of Building 1. Proximity to some of the top home accents, furnishings, linens and textiles companies in the industry creates a unique synergy.

“Locating our area rug temporaries so close to our home temporaries creates a seamless buying experience. Our rug temps have long been a staple of savvy home buyers, and now they can shop and source these exhibitors even more conveniently,” says Kevin Malkiewicz, vice president of leasing for AmericasMart.

Retailers and designers can conveniently source a variety of exceptional rugs from across the globe as they shop other categories. “As the floor is often the first thing the eye notices when you enter a room, decorative rugs are a key element in interior design,” says Alix Perrachon, principal of Alix Unlimited, LLC. “Decorating has never been easier thanks to your ability to select rugs from a dazzling array of styles and price points, all conveniently located in one building at AmericasMart together with the latest in home accents, furnishings, and linens collections.”

The Atlanta International Area Rug Market® featuring the National Oriental Rug Show sponsored by ORIA runs Wednesday, January 11 – Sunday, January 15, 2017. The Temporaries are open in Building 1, Floor 7 from Thursday, January 12 –  Monday, January 16 and select showrooms on Floors 3 – 6 are open through Tuesday, January 17.


Acknowledgment: The author would like to thank Reza Momeni of Momeni, Inc. and Alex Peykar of Nourison for their invaluable information.

Alix G. Perrachon is a writer, speaker, and consultant in the rug industry to the interior design trade. She is the author of The Decorative Carpet—Fine Handmade Rugs in Contemporary Interiors published by The Monacelli Press/Random House, the only book to feature rugs from the decorative standpoint, and of countless articles on oriental and decorative weavings and antiques. An ASID CEU-certified speaker, she has lectured on decorative rugs all over the country. She was an international judge for the Carpet Design Awards in Hanover, Germany and moderated the decorative rug panel at the Architectural Digest Design Show/New York Times Design Series in 2016.

Happy Thanksgiving

AmericasMart Atlanta

Top image: Juliska 1. Jan Barboglio 2. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 3. IMAX Corporation 4. DEMDACO 5. K & K Interiors, Inc. 6. Midwest-CBK 7. Blue Pheasant 8. Moser Crystal 9. DCI – Designs Combined, Inc. 10. Melrose International, LLC 11. Juliska  12. Global Views 13. Bunakara 14. Loloi, Inc. 15. RAZ Imports, Inc. 16. Sea Stones 17. Bloomingville 18. Sertodo Copper 19. Creative Co-Op, Inc. 20. Michael Aram

Shop Holiday & Floral/Home Décor, plus an array of Gift products, during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market,® January 10 – 17, 2017, and select showrooms open year-round.

Sunshine Slowdown

By Chris Gigley

Somewhere on South Florida’s vast and clogged network of roads, routes and highways, Carol Adams is on her way to one of her four interior design and home decor stores. But the owner of Excentricities says her life is a lot easier than it used to be.

For about 28 years, Adams owned and operated another Excentricities location—in Long Island’s gilded Hamptons area. On paper, the Hamptons was a natural fit. The place has lots of vacation homes, disposable income and the kind of irrational high demand for redesign projects that keeps a business like hers flush with work.

Adams herself, however, lacked the one thing her business was known for—balance.

“Our business is spread equally between interior design and retail,” she says. “Our customers can buy anything in our showrooms right off the floor, which often happens. We also try to find one-of-a-kind items to create an interesting mix for our customers.”

Excentricities has been that way since 1986, when Adams opened her first two stores. One was the Hamptons location. The other, in North Palm Beach, is now the flagship store. In 2003, Adams opened a showroom in Delray Beach, Fla. The West Palm Beach location debuted in 2012, and the fifth showroom, in Jupiter, opened its doors two years later. With business booming in South Florida, Adams did the only sane thing this year and closed the Hamptons store. While she still does a lot of running around, at least the distances are commutable by car.

SHOPPING THE RIGHT VIBE

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Adams says she is careful not to streamline the way she buys for each Florida store. Her philosophy is simple. “I just buy whatever I like, frankly,” she says. More specifically, she buys what she likes for each store’s particular customer base, and that makes for a lot of walking when she comes to Atlanta.

“I can’t tell you how many different vendors we have,” she says. “It’s probably anywhere from 500 to 700. I’m not saying that they’re all repeat orders. If it doesn’t sell we don’t buy it again.”

Each store carries several furniture lines with plenty of accessories lines mixed in. Adams says on her most recent trip to The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, she was pleasantly surprised by how much she found.

“The market has changed dramatically,” she says. “I used to go there to buy little gift items, but there is a lot more furniture now. I found a lot of new vendors. It was great, and it was easy.”

CREATING A STORE IDENTITY
Adams deserves as many breaks as she can get, because even with a more concentrated business she still has plenty of challenges. Above all is maintaining each store’s unique identity per its clientele. “In West Palm Beach we get a lot of wealthy people from Palm Beach, while Delray is more of an eclectic, funky town. It’s very charming,” she says. “In North Palm Beach we get a little older crowd, and Jupiter is a mixed bag.”

Her newest location just might become the most lucrative. “The community is a bit older, but a lot of young people are moving in,” she says. “It’s just booming. It’s unbelievable. I’m a native Floridian, and when I was growing up no one would go to Jupiter. Now everyone wants to go.”

A customized buying strategy is just half the secret to maintaining each store’s character. The other is having the right staff. Adams has 14 employees spread among the four stores. She says she’d love to have more, “but we’re always short of staff.” That means Adams is always on the road to one of her locations to work with staff and clientele. Then, it’s off to the next store. Then the next.

“I’m like the energizer bunny,” she jokes. “I’m always on the go.”

The difference now is that she feels more grounded, and Excentricities is better for it.

For more information, visit excentricities.com.
Images: Steve Tutterow Photography

A Welcome Wagon

Texas retailer hitches her fortune to AmericasMart
By Poormina Apte

Sangeeta Gupta, the owner of Modelli Creations, was just starting out and Carley Seale, then a rookie retailer, fell in love with the products. Today Modelli is one of the many wholesalers that anchors Seale’s The Gypsy Wagon, which has two locations in Texas: Dallas and Austin. An additional operation, ROAM Fine Goods, makes up the vibrant retail selection in Crested Butte, Colo.

A STEADY RIDE

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The Gypsy Wagon got its start in 2007 in the middle of the Great Recession. But the economy did not faze Seale who was bitten by the retail bug in high school. Seale left her job as vice president of a sales team for a medical devices company and opened the first Gypsy Wagon in Dallas. Since then, the business has grown, employing 31 people across all three locations.

The stores’ vibe is “very wanderlust and free-spirited,” with just hints of the South. Not having a “lick of retail experience” Seale wanted to create a store that stocked reasonably priced goods for everyone, not realizing how difficult that would be to implement. The name The Gypsy Wagon has given her room to grow and Seale, whose husband Johnny, is operations chief, says every product is selected to incite an emotional response. Starting with home decor and gifts, the stores have added apparel and footwear under the guidance of three full-time buyers including Seale.

Selling a variety of home, gift and apparel items from Paddywax candles to Flying Bird Botanical teas and dresses from Show Me Your Mumu, The Gypsy Wagon has a dedicated customer base and devoted fans on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

ATLANTA, HOTLANTA
An AmericasMart fan, Seale is particularly partial to Handmade and HIGH DESIGN
and believes AmericasMart has the most to offer in one stop. “I shop Atlanta, New York and Dallas but if I had to pick one it would be Atlanta because it has everything—the southern feel, the latest products. It has the most to offer in one location,” Seale says.

Seale’s competitive streak means that she’s always an early bird at Cash and Carry. “If there’s something that’s one of a kind I want to be the one to get it,” she says. Seale doesn’t have a set strategy for shopping at AmericasMart and appreciates the sense of discovery that comes from just taking it all in. “I like it to be a little unstructured because that’s when your mind is open to seeing new things,” Seale says.

That’s how Seale discovers great product finds including Modelli at AmericasMart years ago. “Sangeeta keeps bringing awesome stuff, and it’s neat that you can cultivate that kind of relationship,” Seale says of Modelli’s owner.

“That’s why you have to keep going too, because you don’t know who will be there
for the first time,” Seale advises, “You really don’t want to miss anything.”


Join us for The Atlanta Fall Immediate Delivery Show® – A Cash & Carry Event, November 1 – 3, 2016 at AmericasMart. From jewelry to furniture, and everything in between, restock your inventory instantly with products your customers need for the holidays and beyond.

Carley Seale is the owner of The Gypsy Wagon which has locations in Dallas and Austin, Texas. Husband, Johnny Seale is operations chief. For more information, visit www.the-gypsy-wagon.com. Seale has a third store, ROAM Fine Goods in Crested Butte, Colo.

Images: Scott Light Photography

Staying at Home

Key interior concepts for Fall/Winter 2016

The rise of working freelance or being a consultant is changing the way home interiors are viewed and valued. More people are working out of their homes, and a renewed interest in housewarming and home dining make the home the focal point for many. Design is thoughtful, tactile and reflects humans’ desire to reconnect while keeping personal space. Understanding these shifts in trends is vital to selecting a product mix that will resonate with customers. Trend Specialists at WGSN, a subscription based trend forecasting service, offer a few of their predictions for trends in Fall/Winter 2016 home décor.

ALL NATURAL
WitImage courtesy of WGSNh concerns for the environment progressively influencing major design choices, interiors will take on more natural looks this fall. Organic walls and floors will become more common, with cork, plywood and chipboard appreciated for their natural qualities. Soft to the touch, sound-absorbing, thermally insulating, these materials are also highly renewable, as are bamboo, wicker and rattan, which will be prominent in furniture and decorative accessories.

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

LAYERED TEXTURE
Tactility and warmth add new dimension to interiors this season, with an emphasis on comfort. Combining and mixing surfaces looks fresh in neutral tones to allow surface depth to be the main focal point in the room.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN
1970S GEO
Geos are simplified in thick, bold outlines and blocks of rounded shape. Chevrons and openwork designs reference the 1970s, with key colors including earth tones with splashes of acid orange, espresso brown, and forest green.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

DRAMATIC FLORALS
Black and inky hues are used as core colors to create strong prints and patterns on wallpapers and fabrics. Large florals create dramatic settings with a classic, historical look, while the tropical trend also takes a dark twist, moving away from last summer’s bright interpretations.

 

 

Image courtesy of WGSN

 

 

CAPTURED NATURE
Fragile, poetic floral motifs look dusty and moody on white grounds and overlaid on sheer materials. The whole plant is used for design inspiration; stems and leaves mix with buds in whimsical tonal hues.

 

 


Ali Lind, senior trend consultant for WGSN— the industry-leading content and technology solution for professionals in the style, fashion and design sectors—joins us for Fall Design Week Featuring Gourmet & Gift to present 2017 Trend Forecast: A Tour of Lifestyle, Interiors & Fashion Influences to Know in the Year Ahead on Thursday, September 22. Come enjoy a complimentary lunch at noon and then see how high fashion will inspire and translate into home interiors and accessories in the year ahead. Educational Sponsor: Olliix #AtlMkt

Images courtesy of WGSN. For more information, visit wgsn.com.