High Point Market provides designers with a place to see new product, hang out with friends from across the globe, and catch up on some educational programming in between. In my opinion, the educational programming has continued to get better each Market with more relevant and entertaining content.
However, being on your feet all day from 6am to midnight is rough! I hope everyone has had some time to recover from another successful High Point Market. I loved talking to designers about cleanses that we did prior to Market and then the post-Market recovery rituals as well. We had a really amazing trip from beginning to end.
Our trip started by hitting a new restaurant, Fixins' American Craft Eatery, recommended by the lovely designers of MadCap Cottage, Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke. It was centrally located only a few minutes from downtown High Point, which made the drive easy from our Airbnb. The combinations were interesting and the food was tasty so this new-comer is coming into their own.
Passion Sucks! It's All About the Money
Saturday we set aside for panel discussions, educational tracks, and of course, parties. We started it off with a panel hosted by our good friend Nick May called Passion Sucks! It's All About the Money at Universal. On the panel, were designers and Design Manager users, David Charette, Robin Baron, and Barry Livingstone. I don't think I have to sell you on star power here! They were raw and honest about how they run their businesses. It was refreshing to see their emotions come to the forefront of the discussion. They provided insight into many different topics such as, employees, time management, procedures, numbers, and more.
Designer's Lounge by Steelyard
We always love to hang out at the Designer's Lounge by Steelyard at Universal and see our good friends, Sandy, Shawn, Michael and crew. They are very welcoming and it is a great place to catch up on emails and texts, review the day’s agenda, rehydrate, and relax.
Top Tips for Social Media Success
Next up was the fully packed social media session hosted by Adam Japko of Esteem Media. Adam brought some powerhouse talent to the stage to provide the do's and don'ts of the current social media landscape. Shayla Copas, Natalie Reddell, Lori Paranjape, and Erinn Valencich made up the all female panel. Go ladies!
Navigating the Turmoil of Industry Consolidation
Keeping with our schedule, we sat in on the panel discussion: Navigating the Turmoil of Industry Consolidation. Disruption has been on everyone's minds in the design industry for quite some time now, so Nick May decided to tackle the issues head on with some special guests: Shawn Hughes from @steelyardaccess, Neil McKenzie from @universalfurn, Rebecca Ginna from @perigold, Laura Thurman from @thurmandesign and Cheryl Kees Clendenon from @indetailsays. The discussion was well-rounded and represented all sides of the equation: clients, vendors, manufacturers, technology companies, etc. The landscape is changing and it's important designers have their voices heard so this was an excellent place to start.
Kelli Ellis Party at Sunpan
Sunpan revealed The Kelli Ellis Collection x Sunpan, a new furniture collection designed by Kelli Ellis. Hundreds of designers came out to celebrate the collection, network, and listen to some fabulous live music. We had some fun at the photo booth.
We had to squeeze in a dinner at our favorite High Point restaurant before we went to our next party. If you have never been to 98 Asian Bistro, it is a must-go the next time you are at Market. Excellent food and service, it will not disappoint!
After dinner, it was time to party at the Proximity Hotel because it wouldn't be High Point Market without staying, eating, or partying at the Proximity. The Proximity Hotel is where the action is at High Point because of its' lush accommodations and delicious dining. Here we were able to let our hair down at The Mine's after-party with one of our favs, Alexa Hampton.
Nick May's Morning Show
Back at it bright and early Sunday Morning, I was honored to join some ladybosses on Nick May's Morning Show. Led by Dixie Willard and Rachel Moriarty of the Design+Style Podcast, we discussed the coming and goings of High Point Market and what we have been up to recently at Design Manager. You can watch the morning show here.
Home Accents Today Guest Spot
After the morning show, I ran down to the Home Accents Today news desk in Center Point on Hamilton. There I was able to chat with my friend, Thomas Lester, about how Design Manager has been the backbone of the design industry for over 30 years. Last Market I beat Thomas in shuffleboard, but unfortunately that did not make the video. You can watch our video here.
Late Sunday morning, it was time to start in on a marketing project I had been envisioning for a couple months. I have been wanting to bring great stories to our audience about the designers who use Design Manager. We hear so many positive stories about how Design Manager helps designers run successful businesses that we wanted to start showcasing these stories on our website. So we tapped our favorite videographers, Image Revolver, and designers and got to work.
First up, was David Charette of Britto Charette in Miami, Fl. He was generous with his words and as he spoke he created a wonderful sense of comfort through his tone. We couldn't have asked for a better first video testimonial. David took us all on his journey of why he uses Design Manager, focusing on the transparency the software brings to his team and clients alike.
A special thank you to Brad and Taylor at Curate Home, for opening up their showroom for David's video and then also for our chat with Kishia De La Espriella from DKOR Interiors of Miami, Fl. During Kishia's video, she told her story of having her daughter and how Design Manager has allowed her to be able to work when and where she wants.
Now we were on a roll and made it through the afternoon by channeling Robin Baron's endless energetic spirit. This woman is a total pro, but also a total blast to be around. She was made for the camera, making our jobs really easy. We absolutely loved the way Robin and Yudi, her Vice President, showcased her collections.
Sloshing our way over to the Vanguard in the heavy rainstorm, we setup and prepped for our video testimonial with Thom Filicia. We have all been fans of Thom since Queer Eye, so working with him and seeing him in his element was an absolute treat. Thom was able to riff on the benefits of Design Manager without hesitation, while mixing in stories of his early days starting up his design firm. It was a relaxing and fun way to (almost) end our day.
After we hung with Thom and his crew for happy hour, we hit a restaurant we hadn't tried before, Lucky 32- Southern Kitchen. If you are looking for classic southern comfort food with an innovative twist, we highly recommend this place. I will definitely be heading back there next Market to try more of their seasonal, locally-sourced offerings.
Monday morning we met up with Bria Hammel to talk about how Design Manager has played an important role in her being able to grow her business quickly and efficiently. Bria was picked to be a Style Spotter so she was extra busy this Market. Bria runs an excellent business, has exceptional branding, and her designs are heavenly. If you need any proof, just check out Bria's Blog.
Our last video testimonial was with the one and only, Libby Langdon. Interior and product designer, author and makeover television personality, Libby Langdon is a creative force. At Market, she was showcasing her new rug collection with Kas Rugs. She is genuine, smart, and has a great sense of humor. Lucky for us, she was a former actress and model, so she was a natural in front of the camera.
Product! Product! Product!
Monday afternoon we were finally able to spend some time in the showrooms. Our favorite was the Consort Design booth where they launched their brand new, parisian inspired, 44 piece collection. It was modern, cheeky, and beautiful.
Our eyes were first drawn to the accent tables which were absolutely stunning, but we also enjoyed the gorgeous and comfortable leather chairs.
It was a whirlwind schedule, with mostly no downtime, but one of the best parts of Market is talking with designers and others in the industry. Nick May and I call it leaving room for magic (haha!) because we like to leave some time in the schedule for just talking with people. It is so nice to learn from people in all different angles of the industry because it gives you a fresh perspective. I learned so much from this Market and am bringing that back to share with our development team so we can continue to bring designers the best tools and services in the world.
Every High Point Market out does the last one, and this was no exception. I am already looking forward to Fall Market, but for now, I will leave my feet up and rested in anticipation. Cheers!
Please share your Spring Market experiences below, or let us know if you are attending Fall Market so we can meet up!