Retail Meets Design

By Christina O’Flaherty

Retail meets design in the most stylish manner during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®.

With the launch of ANTIQUES in Building 1, Floor 2 and DÉCOR | Light & Lifestyles in Building 1, Floor 8 as well as HIGH DESIGN® in Building 2, Floor 1 and HD Home in Building 1, Floor 1 there are more design-driven resources available in our temporaries than ever before.

This elevated aesthetic highlights the intersection of retail and design, where interior design is influencing retail and merchandising in a major way. The new Retail Meets Design vignettes, curated by the Southeast’s top retailers and interior designers in Building 1, Floor 14, Vignette Gallery, 14-D-9, showcase how easy incorporating these influences can be. Furniture, décor, entertaining, outdoor and other lifestyle categories come together effortlessly with high design pieces and antiques alike.

Curious how you can work antiques into your store? We asked Toma Clark Haines, chief executive diva of The Antiques Diva® & Co., to share some of her top tips for incorporating antiques into a design.

Is there a different process for buying antiques vs. bulk merchandise orders?
Yes, absolutely. If you see it and it’s what you’re looking for, you should buy it. It’s not going to be there forever. The one-of-a-kind element makes it a radically different process. Also, the proportions are not always going to be what you’re looking for. For example, an 18th century chest of drawers was built for the dimensions of that era. You buy antiques because you love the patina, the quality, and the story. You make the room work with the piece, not the piece work for the room.

What is one key sourcing tip you can offer when it comes to antiques?
The antiques dealer is your friend. Get to know him or her. Even if they don’t have the specific item you’re looking for, they may have it in a warehouse or can source it for you. Developing relationships with dealers, particularly ones that match your specific vibe, is important.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

What are your top tips for navigating the new AmericasMart ANTIQUES collection on Floor 2?

  1. Walk the floor in both directions. The reason you do this is because your eyes will be attracted to one set of dealers going one way, and then on the reverse trip you will notice other vendors.
  1. Don’t be afraid to negotiate. Antiques dealers in general expect that negotiations will take place. The best way to get a bargain is to buy more than one thing and to simply say, “Is that your best price?” It’s polite and it pitches the question so that you’re not coming across as being pushy or aggressive.
  1. Ask questions. When you see a piece you want, get to know it. What type of wood is it? Where did you source it? You’re buying the story; this is not mass produced, so the details matter. Also, the more questions you ask, the more interested the vendor thinks you are and will most likely be more willing to work with you.

For answers to frequently asked questions about the new ANTIQUES collection, click here and to learn more about purchasing logistics, click here.

To get more tips from Toma, RSVP to Tyler Jones at to attend one of her guided tours of ANTIQUES in Building 1, Floor 2: Thursday, Friday, or Saturday during Market, starting at 1 p.m. Also, join us on Thursday, July 14 at 10 a.m. for Aged to Perfection: Why Antiques are Essential to Design Today, and How the Industry is Meeting Digital-Age Demand (0.1 CEU) in Building 1, Floor 15, Designer Workspace.

July16_NoPassport_FB July16_AgedPerfection_Facebook

The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, July 12 – July 19
ANTIQUES: Thursday, July 14 – Sunday, July 17, 2016
Temporaries: Thursday, July 14 – Monday, July 18, 2016

Celebrating Excellence


AWH_PHOTO-1914-2When the curtain goes up on ICON HONORS 2016, the most anticipated and important night in the home and gift industry will have a dramatically new look, feel and energy in a spectacular setting unlike any other in the event’s history.

ICON HONORS 2016 moves to Atlanta’s storied Fox Theatre, the opulent 1929 movie palace located on Peachtree Street in midtown. With its spacious Egyptian Ballroom, 80-foot stage, giant screen and stunning Moorish architecture, the Fox is a spectacular setting for the ICON HONORS celebration.

The Fox Theatre – Photo courtesy of ACVB

With a coterie of more than 60 Honorees named over its first six years—from every dimension of the home and gift industry—ICON HONORS 2016 will again recognize the highest levels of achievement from a diverse field of submissions and nominations. Entries are submitted across the categories of Innovation, Contribution, Branding and Achievement and are judged by a distinguished panel of highly qualified experts drawn from the world of design, manufacturing and product development.

Attendees will have the opportunity to network with industry colleagues while enjoying top entertainment in an unprecedented setting – the most exciting night in the industry.

Join us at the Fox Theatre, Thursday, July 14 for ICON HONORS 2016. Tickets are available online at

Meet the Judges

Bonnie Mackay - photo by Braden Summers.

Bonnie Mackay – photo by Braden Summers.

Bonnie Mackay
BMackay Consulting
Bonnie Mackay, principal of BMackay Consulting, is a leading influencer in product development and global sourcing, retail innovation and brand consulting. Her innate sense for design and materials, and keen understanding of financial implications, enable her to create innovative, highly profitable products and business strategies for leading retailers and non-profit organizations. Mackay led merchandising and marketing for 13 years at MoMA, as Director of Creative, Merchandising and Marketing. Previously, she was Operating Vice President, Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s. She has consulted for and collaborated with numerous brands including Friends of the High Line, MUJI, Alessi, Kartell, Vitra, Moleskine, NUNO, Design House Stockholm and the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation. She’s a member of the management team of the innovative, socially responsible retail platform Able Made, and is on the LIM College Advisory Board.

Stan Topol

Stan Topol

Stan Topol
Stan Topol & Associates, Inc.
Raised in the South, interior designer Stan Topol spent the early summers of his career in New York assisting Billy Baldwin, who many consider to have been the dean of American Interior Design. He founded the award-winning design firm of Stan Topol & Associates, Inc. in the mid-1970s. In conjunction with his strong commitment to education, during the early years of his career he also headed the interior design program at the Art Institute of Atlanta and later was in charge of the curriculum for the entire institution. In Topol’s words, “having style does not mean one has to be stylish.”

Janee Ries

Janee Ries

Janee Ries
Janee Ries is an accomplished and multi-faceted merchant/marketer with in-depth experience in retail, specialty store, direct mail and e-commerce business sectors in both prestige and broad-base product categories. She is a skilled tastemaker with proven ability to create and/or build successful brands and sales initiatives while keenly understanding price/value and the bottom line. Ries’ career started at Macy’s before the world famous store had defined its housewares department, The Cellar & Marketplace. She spent the next 18 years working in the Macy’s retail environment across all parts of the Home Store. She went on to become Executive Vice President of Gump’s By Mail, Chief Merchandising Officer of The Museum Company, VP Home Ross Stores and started the Home/Luggage/Beauty business at ideeli, a “Flash Sale” e-Commerce company. Ries is an Ad-Hoc Adjunct Professor at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the Home Products Division.

Patti Carpenter

Patti Carpenter

Patti Carpenter
carpenter + company
Patti Carpenter is an award-winning Creative Director in globally sourced home accents, personal accessories and gifts, with extensive experience in product design and development, merchandising and color & trend forecasting. As a Micro-Enterprise specialist with U.S. presidential recognition for domestic and international expertise in artisan development, small producer and entrepreneur training, and economic development, she has been successful in international sourcing and creating innovative products for her eponymous home textiles brand, carpenter + company, sold internationally. Additionally, Carpenter has designed, sourced and created strong private label collections that add revenue and enhance the image of brands including Bloomingdales, Sferra, Neiman Marcus, Crate & Barrel, The Phillips Collection, ABC Carpet and Home, Donna Karan Urban Zen and Ralph Lauren. She has traveled and worked in fifty-four countries and has spoken and written on Color + Trend and Design around the globe.

Going Global: 7 Tips

What you need to know about working with international vendors
By Jessica Harlan

Crossing the borders and exploring the offerings of manufacturers and distributors from all over the world is sure to give your store a distinctive product mix. But it can be daunting to work with a supplier from another country where the currency, language, customs and standards might be different from yours.

But establishing an international roster of suppliers is worth the extra effort to find unusual products and to incorporate trends into your assortment even before they start catching on in the U.S.

Insider Info
AmericasMart is the perfect place to find international suppliers; you can travel the world while staying on one interconnected campus. We spoke with some of the global exhibitors at The July Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market to get their best tips on how American retailers can best work with suppliers from other countries. Here’s what they have to say:

Image courtesy of Eightmood

Image courtesy of Eightmood

1. “A vendor who has gone through the hurdles of entering the U.S. Market is determined,” says Fredrik Axelsson, sales director for the U.S. for Eightmood, a home furnishings design company based in Sweden. “If you see what you like, start a dialogue, establish a partnership, place an order, and grow together.”

2. During an in-person conversation, be sure to ask questions if you don’t understand, and don’t be afraid to summarize or restate the discussion to make sure everyone is on the same page.

3. Bring a tape measure – basic measurements might be different in other countries. Outside the United States, most countries use metric measurements, so having a tape measure (or downloading a conversion app on your smartphone) will allow you to translate sizes for your market.

4. The way products are designed or constructed might differ too, says John Goumas, sales and marketing vice president for Australian company OneWorld Collection. “In America, lampshades are mounted with harps and finials, and in Australia, our lamps are done the English way, with the shade that attaches to the base of the bulb.” While OneWorld has adapted, redesigning its lamps to reflect the American market, some products just might be different from what’s expected – and that’s part of what makes it unique.

Image courtesy of Evelyne Prélonge

Image courtesy of Evelyne Prélonge

5. Double check details about financial transactions to make sure there are no unexpected costs associated with your orders. “Make sure the price includes transport and duties,” says Marylou Altounian, brand manager for Evelyn Prélonge. She also recommends retailers make sure they can set up payment in U.S. dollars via bank transfer or credit cards.

Image courtesy of Tissage Art de Lys

Image courtesy of Tissage Art de Lys

6. Plan for longer delivery times. One of the challenges to working with an overseas source is that getting goods might take longer. Aureline Maillard, spokesperson for French company Tissage Art de Lys says her company typically proposes DDP delivery (Delivery Duty Paid) and does everything possible to limit the time it takes for orders to be delivered. Altounian also recommends double checking that quoted delivery time includes transport time, since sea freight can be as long as four weeks.

Image courtesy of Moe's Home Collection

Image courtesy of Moe’s Home Collection

7. Take advantage of a vendor’s offerings. At Moe’s Home Collection, a Canadian/American home furnishings company, the company can sell a retailer a whole room package, from the rug to the furniture to the lighting and decorative accessories, and even has available photography for retailers to use in promotions. Inquire about promotional materials and bundled assortments to help give your imported merchandise a boost.

Read more tips for working with international vendors in the July 2016 Market Magazine.

For more information: Eightmood, Inc. –, 561.801.5400; Evelyne Prélonge –, +33 1 85 08 59 55; Moe’s Home Collection –, 800.967.9942; OneWorld Collection –, 630.870.4799; Tissage Art de Lys –, +33 3 20 75 42 10

Design Resource Debut

DÉCOR │ Light & Lifestyles Temporary collection opens in July
By Laura Raines

Building on the success of HIGH DESIGN and HD Home, AmericasMart unveils DÉCOR │ Light & Lifestyles during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®, July 12 – 19, 2016. On Floor 8 of Building 1, the temporary, juried collection gives manufacturers of design-oriented home furnishings and accessories a showcase for fresh lines and ideas. Expect to discover a mix of lighting, furniture and a plentiful variety of fine linens and textiles, which are a fast-growing sector in the home market.

“Quality is the strong-point of this space,” says Marie Knight, vice president of Tradeshows. “We have found that grouping exhibitors in like-minded neighborhoods is a good idea. They often share similar buyers and complement one another.”

Madison Chair by TAILORED Taylor Burke Home

Madison Chair by TAILORED Taylor Burke Home

The new space creates an entirely fresh buying experience. “The collection is an expanded expression of what is new and next in lifestyle and lighting design,” says JoAnn Miller Marshall, AmericasMart executive vice president of Tradeshows. “The spacious booths, hard walls and floor layout give these top manufacturers the ultimate venue to showcase their sophisticated mix of the hottest trends in home furnishings design and décor.”

Exhibitors will be able to showcase their best options in a unique space. “The 8th floor is the perfect opportunity for us to show buyers a new mix of products,” says Julianne Taylor, founder and creative director for Taylor Burke Home. “We will create a beautiful cross-merchandised space to provide a fun shopping experience for our buyers.”

All the elements
French Market Collection has a permanent showroom of furniture, linens and rugs on Floor 14, but Peggy Richardson will show products from her new lighting company, Get Lit, in the new temporary space. Her venture with J.M. Piers took off in HD Home last year. This year, she’ll bring more designs in alabaster, glass and ceramic, a blend of traditional shapes with contemporary shades and colors, in low, medium and high price points. Having just returned from China, she plans to introduce muted colors (celadon, turquoise, pinks) to coordinate with French Market’s textile collections. “White will be back—it was a surprise hit last year,” she says. Designers exploring white’s range of warm to cool tones have made it a hot decorating trend.

Bamboo lamp by Get Lit

Bamboo lamp by Get Li

The new Décor │ Light and Lifestyles section allows Richardson to cross market. The booth floor will display one of her rugs and she’ll show Get Lit lamps in her permanent showroom. “With lighting, we have a new niche and revenue generator. Most homes need at least eight lamps,” she says. “We expect this area to be a must-see for stores and designers looking for something new and exciting.” She knows she’s in good company with quality manufacturers of lighting and soft goods. “Lighting, textiles and linens are growing because they are an economical way to change the entire look of a room,” she says.

Sophisticated mix
The new area is an opportunity for Taylor Burke Home to showcase the company’s new TAILORED by Taylor Burke Home line. “It’s perfect for designers working on a budget,” says Julianne Taylor, founder and creative director. “The styles are classic everyday chic designs and include gorgeous Lacefield and The Blush Label patterns among many other solids as part our standard fabric options. Best of all, the fabric is included.”

Glory by Callisto Home

Glory by Callisto Home

Gerry Nichol, co-owner of Callisto Home, sees the space as an excellent match for his elegant and sophisticated pillows, bed linens and window treatments in pale colors and neutrals, including designs featuring the latest demand accent, subdued gold. “Textiles are always in vogue, because people use them ubiquitously, and styles generally evolve faster than in furniture,” says Nichol. “We are excited to have the opportunity to showcase our work here. Our aim is to display our products beautifully and give our customers a pleasing experience.”

For more information: Callisto Home at or 201.866.0122; French Market Collection at or 985.646.0678; Taylor Burke Home at or 800.860.5821

Shop the new DÉCOR | Light & Lifestyles collection July 14 – 18 on Floor 8 of Building 1.

Classic Revival

Incorporate antique pieces to drive creative sales
By Jessica Harlan

The world of antiques might seem daunting to the uninitiated, but it also offers an unparalleled opportunity for home furnishings and giftware retailers to give their stores a reputation for truly unique and one-of-a-kind merchandise.

If you’re looking to incorporate pieces into your merchandise mix that have a history or the patina of age, you don’t necessarily need to become an expert in period furnishings. You can rely on the knowledge of experienced exhibitors who’ve spent a lifetime learning the business. A sense of what will incorporate well into your store, and an eye for value will serve you well and enable you to dabble in this realm.

Antique horse statue from Acanthus Studio

Antique horse statue from Acanthus Studio

“If you walk into different stores these days, you’ll see the same tables and chairs because everything is mass produced,” says Misty Fowler of M. Fowler Antiques. “They might be beautiful but customers realize they don’t have anything unique that won’t be found in the house down the street. The appeal of buying antiques is that you’re buying something that was handcrafted during a period of time when they took care in handcrafted construction.”

Adds Gayle Baker, co-owner of Acanthus Studios, “Carrying antiques will give a depth and quality to your inventory and will attract new clientele. And when designers can find both new and antique items in the same place, it makes it easy for them to shop.”

If you’re looking to dabble in the wonderful world of antiques, these words of wisdom from antique dealers will help smooth the way.

Don’t attempt to learn it all

Mix antique and modern pieces into design. - Blue Ocean Traders

Mix antique and modern pieces into design. – Blue Ocean Traders

If antique and vintage items are only going to be a small portion of your assortment, don’t even try to become an expert in the industry, says Jason Mulvene, president of Blue Ocean Traders. Just evaluate items on whether they seem like good quality and value for the money, if they’re on trend and sellable. “We’re trained to source it for you, so you don’t have to take too much time to buy vintage,” he says.

Fowler notes that the antiques dealers themselves can be your best resource for information and advice. “Most of us got into this business because we have a passion. [A dealer will] be able to tell you the history, the lineage, what it’s made of. Use them as your resource and when you find an antique dealer whose style you really like, keep in contact with them.”

Start small
Mark Weinstein of Golden Oldies Ltd. suggests that smaller decorative objects that aren’t highly collectible can be affordable options to incorporate into your merchandise mix. Jess Baker of Acanthus Studios agrees. “Smaller items such as lamps or jewelry boxes will blend in with the items you’re currently selling, and they’ll fit into a consumer’s home a lot easier than, say, a large piece of furniture.” As you start learning more about buying antiques, you can then progress into larger pieces or more specific items that make sense for your brand.

Antique lamp from Kenny Ball Antiques

Antique lamp from Kenny Ball Antiques

Mix old and new
Increasingly, designers and home furnishings retailers are finding success with a mix of both old and new to create an inimitable look. “It’s as simple as taking old china and putting it on a new table,” says Fowler. “Mixing eras, mixing materials like brass and Lucite. It’s an extreme mix, nothing matches anymore.”

Adds Mulvene, “Mixing vintage with more contemporary furniture, makes it a lot harder to reproduce what you’re doing.”

And Kenny Ball, owner of Kenny Ball Antiques, says, “Shelter magazines are a good source for getting ideas on how to mix. An antique chest with modern art: incredible!”

Know what will sell
When you start adding antiques or vintage to your mix, choose items that will mesh nicely with what you already have in your store. After all, your regular customers already like your aesthetic and may even have a similar look going on in their own homes. “One of the best lessons I learned early on is, buy what you love,” says Fowler. “If you love it, odds are your clients will love it too.”

Also look for functional, useful pieces. “People want pieces they can use,” says Ball. “Chests of drawers, mirrors and lighting always sell. Pieces that people can collect such as boxes and porcelain sell well too.”

Gayle Baker says that it’s important to get an idea of what might be popular in your market before you start acquiring pieces. “Educate yourself by reading magazines or blogs,” she says. “Know who you’re buying for and know that every market is different.” As an example, Jess Baker points out that a primitive cabinet might not sell in Miami, but it would in the Rocky Mountains. Midcentury modern and industrial pieces, say the Bakers, are particularly in demand right now.

Play Up the Story
If you’re making the effort to carry antiques, it’s crucial to convey their history to your customers, so they’ll easily be able to differentiate your new merchandise from your vintage assortment. Create hang tags and signage with as much information as possible about the piece: where it’s from, what it’s made of, what it was used for, and how old it is. While signage is good, “nothing beats training your salespeople, having them on the floor and engaging with the customer,” says Mulvene.

With these considerations in mind, adding antiques to your store will help you distinguish your brand and will give your customers yet another reason to return.

For More Information: Acanthus Studios – 877.886.8673,; Blue Ocean Traders – 502.637.1840,; Golden Oldies LTD. – 718.445.4400; Kenny Ball Antiques – 434.293.1361,; M. Fowler Antiques – 850.496.6304,

In addition to the one-of-a-kind showrooms, visit the all new ANTIQUES Temporary Collection July 14 – 17, 2016 during The Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market®. ANTIQUES will be located in located in Building 1, Floor 2.

For the Greater Good

It’s Earth Day! Many of the exhibitors at AmericasMart® make recycling, upcycling and other sustainable practices an integral part of their business and product offering. Here’s a sample of what you will find at Market this July, and be sure to browse the Green Products category listings in the Buyer’s Guide and on our website.

Tuft Stuff All Over Market

Sometimes the classic looks in home furnishings are the most relevant. Showrooms across the July 2015 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market Home category prominently feature tufting in a wide array of fabrics and styles.

Englishman's     Taylor Burke Home      Taylor Burke Home 2

Certainly not a new technique, tufting finds renewed emphasis by combining it with creative new accents such as wood and metal. It’s also featured in a broad range of materials from velvet to linen to leather.

Design Legacy     Oly Studio     Cyan

Pieces are contemporary without being stark and others are traditional without reverting back to the same old looks. Added touches such as crystal and metal buttons further emphasize the added texture of the finish.

Classic Home     Taylor Burke Home 2     Pasha


Tufting creates visual interest and adds texture in a wealth of styles and options. Find a wide variety of products at each Market and in between at showrooms Open Daily.