BeeLine Home, Four Hands Take Top Showroom Display Awards

BeeLine Home by Bunny Williams won the Best of Market Award in the High Point Market Authority’s Showroom Design and Merchandising Ideas Competition. Winner of the contest’s People’s Choice Award was Four Hands. Miles Talbott was named First Runner Up for Best of Market, and American Leather was Second Runner Up.

Launched at the Fall 2007 High Point Market, the Showroom Design Competition celebrates the extraordinary creativity and inventiveness of High Point Market exhibitors.

The Best of Market Award recognizes the showroom that best exemplifies design excellence and is voted on by a panel of judges. The judges for this year’s competition were Michael Boodro, editor in chief of Elle Decor; Pamela Graves, former editorial director of HomeFashion; and interior designer Tobi Fairley, a popular blogger who has been featured in numerous consumer publications.

Read more on the website.

Pent-Up Demand for Custom and Ready-Made Picture Frames

New Unity Marketing report on the picture framing market finds customers have between 6 and 7 items waiting to be framed -- the makings of a framing boom!

Stevens, PA  October 20, 2010 --  Although the art market has been hit hard by the one-two punch of the recession and a product category that has become increasingly irrelevant to consumers, there is one bright spot on the horizon:  Consumers love to frame photos and personal mementos, and they have a number of items waiting in the wings for just the right frame.

"The increase in demand for framing, both custom and ready-made, is being driven by a boom in digital photography," says Pam Danziger, president of Unity Marketing and lead researcher on the latest Art, Wall Decor, Custom Framing, and Picture Frame Report.  A new survey among 1,300+ category buyers showed that nearly everyone has a digital camera, and almost two-thirds of them printed and framed a photo in the past year, likely to go on a photo wall or in-home gallery.

"Digital photos are prime examples of the types of items consumers want to frame -- items that have a significant emotional value, as well as perhaps a monetary value.  In our recent survey, we found that consumers are collecting items to frame faster than they can frame them, creating a backlog of pent-up demand."

For example, the survey found that people had an average of 6.3 items waiting to be framed.  This number was even higher for those who had purchased framing in the past.  Those who had purchased ready-made picture frames in the past reported an average of 6.6 items waiting to be framed, while those who purchased custom framing in the past had 6.9 items in the queue.

"This backlog of items waiting to be framed is a golden opportunity for makers and marketers of ready-made frames and custom framing services," says Danziger.  "Marketers can entice consumers to frame some of these items waiting for attention by offering sales and specials on ready-made frames, perhaps giving a buy-two-get-one special on purchases of frames in a certain style.  This will play in nicely to the trend of consumers having an in-house gallery or photo wall displaying their prized memories."

"Custom framers can do likewise, but our survey also found that these marketers have an opportunity to attract customers by creating an atmosphere of respect for a customer's cherished item.  Simply keeping the store neat and clean and taking great care in handling the item are ways of reassuring the consumer that they can trust their treasure with the framer.  Whether it is a vintage baseball card worth thousands of dollars or a son's Little League photo, these are irreplaceable items.  The framer who treats them as such will get the business.

Oilily Back as Lifestyle Brand

from a press release

October 20, 2010/PRNewswire/ -- The colorful Dutch clothing label which has been brightening up the world since 1963, has made a full comeback. A year after being bought back by its founders, Oilily has launched its first childrenswear collection. It is also working hard on a womenswear collection, accessories and a variety of lifestyle products.

After the previous management filed for bankruptcy in 2009, it seemed as if Oilily would disappear. Its founders, the Olsthoorn family, were unable to bear this thought. They bought back the brand, determined to turn the Oilily brand back once again into a global brand.

This season the new childrenswear collection, which is the mainstay of Oilily, is available in shops in 40 countries including China, Japan, Korea, and the United States. The 'Gipsy Tales of Freedom' collection was inspired by gypsies and other free spirits and mixes classic and modern influences from different cultures. Most striking are the special details, the handmade traditional folk-style embroidery and the high quality. This is Oilily as you all know it.

Oilily is particularly known for its children's and women's clothing. However, the refreshing nature of the brand also fits lifestyle products very well. Over the coming years Oilily will concentrate on designing a unique lifestyle alongside its high-end clothing collection. The key word for Oilily is renewal. This new strategy is highlighted by a brand new philosophy: make
new things happen.

Oilily has for some time also operated, aimed at the European market, where clothing, bags, accessories, cosmetics, shoes and everything that Oilily designs is available. The first new womenswear collection is also available exclusively on the site. Due to the high demand
for Oilily products in the United States, an online shop for the American market will be launched in 2011.

Antler-themed home decor

A jewelry holder and a table game from imm Living Inc. will be arriving in stores this fall.

Buck Stacking Game by designer Andrea Kezdi

Adorn jewelry holder by designer Andrea Kezdi

Register for New Orleans conference

Monday, October 25 is the last date to get the special room rate at the Ritz Carlton hotel for the Gift and Home Trade Association conference in New Orleans. The conference runs Nov. 18 to 20. See the program and registration details here.

Earlier this month, Gift for Life, the gift, stationery and home decor industries’ leading charitable organization, announced it will be a beneficiary of the charity golf tournament to be held at English Turn in New Orleans on Thursday, November 18, during the 8th annual Gift and Home Trade Association conference.

This year’s GHTA conference, Jazz Up Your Business in the Big Easy, will be held from November 18-20 at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans and will feature several keynote speeches, breakout sessions, workshops, and a special presentation by NFL legend Archie Manning. 

“We invite everyone to enjoy golf in the Big Easy while helping our industry’s leading charity,” said Diane Carnevale Jones, executive director.  “We encourage everyone—no matter what skill level—to come out and have fun for a great cause.”  Proceeds from the GHTA Golf Outing will be split equally between Gift For Life and GHTA.

“We are honored to work with GHTA and to be the beneficiary from this event,” said Jenny Hammons, chair of the Gift For Life board.  “GHTA’s continuing commitment to the industry and supporting social causes are deeply appreciated.”  

The Gift and Home Trade Association is the gift and home industry’s only non-profit professional trade association formed to help vendors, sales agencies, industry affiliates and retailers work together to improve the industry.  GHTA's mission is to lead and transform the gift and home industry to ensure its long-term health and viability. GHTA hosts an annual conference and distributes monthly newsletters to inform and educate its members.

The primary mission of Gift for Life and DIFFA is to eradicate the AIDS pandemic in the U.S.  The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports an increased incidence of HIV infections in the United States in 2008.  Working together, Gift for Life and DIFFA will continue to raise funds for HIV/AIDS service and education programs.  

Massage chair controlled by iPhone app

Human Touch has introduced the AcuTouch 9500 featuring HT-Connect massage chair. The AcuTouch 9500 is designed to deliver a fully personalized wellness experience via any iPhone, iPad or iPod touch. By downloading the HT-Connect, a free app available via Apple iTunes, chair owners can connect to a multitude of massage programs, customized options and wellness tips.
For more information, see

Find a participating retailer at the Dealer locator page at

Call for entries in retail display contest

Press release 

Midwest-CBK, leading designer and manufacturer renowned for its design, style and sparkle in home d├ęcor, gifts, holiday and candles, announces a call for entries in its fourth annual “Design Style Sparkle” in-store retail holiday display contest for independent retailers.

      Independent retailers are invited to submit up to two photos of their holiday displays, a 150-word description and if possible, impact in terms of increased traffic, sales and customer feedback. Criteria for judging include creativity and impact. Prizes include Midwest-CBK product credits and award plaques, and will be presented for first, second and third places.

      “Now in our fourth year of hosting this popular retail awards program, Midwest-CBK is sponsoring the 2010 ‘Design Style Sparkle’ contest to celebrate, recognize and share the creative display ideas that are helping to drive traffic and sales for independent retail business,” says Frederic Contino, president of Midwest-CBK.

      The deadline for contest entries is December 13, 2010. All digital photo entries and descriptions should be emailed to your local Midwest-CBK account manager, or directly to To find your local Midwest-CBK account manager, please call 800-394-4225.

      Winners will be announced on Saturday, January 15, 2011, during Midwest-CBK’s “Design Style Sparkle” party in the company’s Atlanta showroom located in Building 1, Suite 16A7. Photos of the award winners will be on display in major Midwest-CBK showrooms during the winter markets.

Phillips Collection moves to new office

Press release

HIGH POINT, NC, October 15, 2010 -- Phillips Collection (, a leading manufacturer of high-end contemporary furnishings, is proud to announce the expansion of its headquarters in High Point, NC to the former Rose Furniture Building on I-85 Business. The expansion of our award-winning Origins Collection and the need for more hybrid showroom & warehouse space necessitated a move to the new 166,000 square foot facility.

"This is logical and exciting for us," commented Mark Phillips, CEO of Phillips Collection. "We have been admiring the former Rose Furniture building ever since moving to High Point from New York back in 2001. What a dream it is to have purchased this facility. We plan to be fully moved in and operational by the end of October. The new office and warehouse underscores our commitment to High Point and our intention to expand in our industry"

This grand new facility allows Phillips Collection to dramatically expand its existing operations and still have abundant space and resources available for complementary partners. Phillips Collection has been in touch with local, national and international colleges and universities who are excited at the prospect of having a footprint in a flagship facility, in such a design-centric community.

This new home for Phillips Collection was selected because of its location and its warehouse size, which will translate into improved logistics and ease of access for customers and associates.

Formerly located on E. Kivett Drive, Phillips Collection has been exhibiting in High Point for more than 25 years. The new headquarters will be located at 916 Finch Avenue, High Point NC, 27263.

A blog you should be reading

The Buzz Blog, written by Diane James Home, is inspiring.  It mixes home decor with fashion. Take a look.