Recently, I had the chance to “talk story” with Marilyn Canas, HomeWorld Senior Merchandising Assistant about her recent visit to the April 2014 High Point Furniture Market in North Carolina. With 27 years of merchandising experience, Marilyn started her career as an Office Clerk and has seen furniture trends come and go. A dedicated mom of three, her effervescent personality makes her a joy to work with.
Taryn: Was this your first furniture market?
Marilyn: No. I also attended a furniture market in January 1994 in San Francisco. That market has since closed with the opening of the Las Vegas furniture market.
Taryn: Can you describe the differences between the San Francisco and High Point furniture markets?
Marilyn: Compared to the San Franciso Furniture Market, the High Point showrooms are much larger, they displayed nicer vignettes, and their lobbies were like grand hotels! High Point seems to be the furniture show where vendors and buyers put their best foot forward. The larger showrooms also allow for a grander production to showcase products.
Taryn: What trend did you see at market?
Marilyn: Industrial was definitely a trend and buzz word. The majority of showrooms had a large emphasis on industrial and if they didn’t, there was some presence of it through accent pieces or accessories. I also overheard other furniture buyers discussing the Industrial trend at market.
Taryn: Were there any noticeable differences in the layout of the San Francisco and High Point furniture markets?
Marilyn: There is definitely a lot more buildings at the High Point market compared to San Francisco. More buildings meant a lot more walking. And as I walked through market at High Point, I realized that it was much larger than the San Francisco furniture market. I also noticed there was candy in every showroom!
Taryn: What did you enjoy the most about High Point?
Marilyn: Everything! Just being able to take in all the trends and colors. At this market I noticed a lot of blue, teal, purple, and orange. There was a big emphasis on small scaled furniture. Stationary upholstery tended to be smaller in scale with thinner silhouettes. Motion furniture was still plush but you could see that there has been a demand for comfort with a more updated look. At HomeWorld, I work with a lot of bedroom, dining, and office vendors which are a part of the casegoods category of furniture. I took a special interest in the finishes on different casegood collections. Rustic and reclaimed pieces were being mixed with a lot of grey tones. Natural wood finishes with heavy wood grains were being accented with distressing. I found this very interesting when compared to the San Francisco market which had an emphasis of dark browns and heavy finishes.
Taryn: What was your take away from this experience?
Marilyn: It was a great experience and I enjoyed interacting with different buyers. We attended dinners with vendors and at one particular dinner, I was able to interact with other companies and their buying groups. It was a wonderful opportunity. I feel privileged and lucky to have experienced all of it.
About Taryn Kabei
When not working as the Digital Media Specialist for HomeWorld, Taryn, an avid foodie is always cooking and trying new recipes. Taryn lives with her husband, Kevin, and their cat, Keiko in Honolulu.
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