Contempoary-style accent tables in brushed aluminum

Koba 2 cocktail table
Nova will introduce a collection of new accent table designs at the  High Point Market, April 2 to 7. The Lucky 7 Pedestals and the Koba Collection will be on display in the company’s showroom in IHFC Commerce Building showroom C403 alongside many new lighting and wall designs. The Koba 2 Cocktail table (left) has a brushed aluminum base and a root beer finished table top with  beveled glass top. It measures 15 inches tall by 37 inches wide by 37 inches deep. 

The Kova end table (below) is a squared wood design featuring a brushed aluminum base and a 24-inch by 24-inch beveled glass top. It is 24 inches tall.

Kova end table
Lucky 7 Pedestals (below) are made of  brushed aluminum and come in three sizes:  small (30 inches by 14 inches by 8 inches), medium (36 by 14 by 8) and large (42 by 14 by 8).

Dallas Market Honors 2 Retailers For Giving Back

Dallas Market Center named two winners for The Next Big Give, a national search for specialty retailers who give back in their communities: Brown, Houston, and Tea & Magnolias, Tulsa, Okla. The winners were selected from more than 50 retailers that are involved in a variety of ways through volunteering, raising funds or donating goods. 

Both retailers offer significant support to worthy organizations and communities. We thank them for their good work and hope their stories will inspire other retailers to do the same,”said Bill Winsor, president and CEO, Dallas Market Center. 

Brown, located in Houston, is owned by Jill Brown. The home furnishings retailer put its entire 2010 advertising budget towards two events benefiting uniquely different organizations: Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Yellowstone Academy, a Houston-area college preparatory school. Jill Brown felt that it was more important to put funds towards the needs she saw in her community rather than towards promoting her business through advertising. 

Spurred by a belief in American ingenuity and hard work, Brown hosted FM 2490 in October 2010, which raised awareness for the FFA. Brown’s party Chandeliers and Champagne, benefiting Yellowstone Academy, included a live auction that raised close to $30,000 for the school. Yellowstone received 100 percent of the proceeds. 

Tea & Magnolias is a gift and accessories retailer located in Tulsa, Okla. Owned by Susan Ponville, the store extends its generosity far beyond its immediate community to the Amazon jungles of Peru. Inspired by her past work as a missionary in Peru, Ponville sells jewelry and purses in the store made by Peruvian women with all of the proceeds going back to help the women support their families.
Also, in order to help the Tulsa community, each Christmas Tea & Magnolias hosts a Christmas Home Tour, giving all the proceeds to Pathways Adult Learning Center, a local school for special needs adults. The store also sells crosses that are handmade by a group of special needs adults in order to fund the group’s activities. 

After receiving more than 50 applications, the entries were narrowed down to 10 finalists and then two winners by a panel of industry experts and Dallas Market Center representatives. The winners will receive a complimentary trip to the March 24-27, 2011 Market in Dallas including round-trip airfare and three nights hotel stay. While at Market, The Next Big Give winners will be recognized on Thursday, March 24 during The Inspired Event, a cocktail party including raffles benefiting charitable causes. 

For additional information on the contest visit

Saturday special: social media

"Tweeting Your Way To Business Success" is the title of a blog post at Jola Interactive. The author writes: "social media marketing is well worth the investment because, when executed properly, your organization will excel."

Read the entire article here.

Colorful aprons, kitchen towels, pot holders

Peking Handicraft Inc. (PHI) introduced a new line of kitchen textiles by licensee Ellen Crimi Trent. Trent's designs for Peking Handicraft are done in five colorful designs. All the styles boast a whimsical look, using bright, bold colors and a fanciful duck adorned in a chef's hat.

The classic statements "Sugar and Spice," "Kiss the Cook," "Bon Appetit," "What's Cookin'?" and "Never Trust a Skinny Cook," enhance the look of all aprons and kitchen towels found in each style.

All of the designs are offered in four coordinating pieces: standard apron, half apron, kitchen towel, and pot holder.

Cupcake liners put style in the kitchen

Sutton Gourmet Paper offers eight designs of its cupcake baking liners. Each set of 50 baking cups is packaged in a round, clear plastic container. The container protects the shape of the liners so they bake perfectly. The company also sells in bulk to bakeries and professionals, as well as provides wholesale tubs to culinary retailers. It is a new exhibitor at next month's Housewares Show in Chicago.

Company founder Kellie Sutton says cupcake baking liners need to be "colorful, grease-free and look beautiful using only one liner. Our whites stay white, the colors are vibrant and the designs are crisp."

A new marketing tool for indepdendent retailers

press release

February 21, 2011, Pittsburgh, PA -- SnapRetail, a company that makes it easy for independent retailers to use email, Facebook and Twitter to market products and increase sales, has unveiled new enhancements to its TrafficBuilder product. SnapRetail’sTrafficBuilder is a virtually automatic marketing system that gives independent retailers all of the materials needed to create compelling marketing communications in minutes, with branded content from leading vendors including Vera Bradley, Mud Pie, Yankee Candle, Midwest-CBK, Evergreen and more.

“We listen carefully to our customers,” said SnapRetail CEO Ted Teele. “The enhancements we have announced today came directly from our retailers’ suggestions and continue to help us shape TrafficBuilder into a product that will most help them in marketing their stores.” TrafficBuilder was launched in November of 2010.

“It’s the little things in SnapRetail’s TrafficBuilder that make the product so great,” said Kym Priest, owner of St. John’s Gift Shop in Springfield, Mo. “I love the ability it gives me to post every single campaign to Facebook with just a click of the mouse or the ease of finding vendor images within my content library. And, what's even better is that the features keep rolling out. Every time I log into TrafficBuilder there's something new that's making marketing my store easier and faster.”

Major Addition: Customizable Photo Albums

One of the most exciting new enhancements to the system is the release of customizable photo albums. Retailers love the vendor-created photo albums that are a popular feature of TrafficBuilder, but many asked for the ability to create their own albums. This new feature allows retailers to drag-and-drop product images into an album, create custom captions, and send to their customers via email, Facebook, and Twitter.

“The online albums are a great way to let customers see what new products the retailer is stocking in their store. And, it even gives customers the ability to reserve a product right from within the album. This means retailers will be able to create buzz, track demand for products, and let their customers reserve products all online – without the cost or time of maintaining a full commerce website,” explained Teele.

Additional updates to the system include the addition of new seasonal templates, expanded reporting capabilities, and an enhanced text editor to help retailers create more attractive marketing messages. Retailers can take a 30 day test drive of the software to quickly build great marketing to their customers and to experience the new features by clicking here.

About SnapRetail

SnapRetail makes it easy for independent retailers to market products, increase sales and compete with larger retailers. The Pittsburgh-based company provides the industry’s only digital marketing & content aggregation system designed to improve the unique marketing and selling needs of independent retailers. The company created TrafficBuilder, a virtually automatic marketing system that gives independent retailers all of the materials needed to create compelling marketing materials in minutes. More information is available on and SnapRetail’s Facebook Fan Page:

Fireplace screen for lodges and wooded cabins

"Deer on the Loose" decorative fireplace screen

Meyda Custom Lighting's Deer On The Loose Fireplace Screen (model #50971) is a folding screen that can be used with a working fireplace. The screen features does and bucks scampering through the woods. Hand finished in black, the fireplace screen was custom-crafted by artisans in Yorkville, N.Y., located at the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. The screen can be used in homes, lodges, cabins, restaurants, inns, hotels and commercial spaces. It measures 62 inches wide and 40 inches tall.

Hanger organizes scarves, hoisery

The Hosiery Hanger is an organizing hanger designed to keep hosiery and scarves organized and free of wrinkles and snags. It will be launched in the United States by BAM Marketing next month at the 2011 International Home + Housewares Show in Chicago. The slim design is said to save closet space while keeping accessories neat and organized. It is designed with eight separate sections of soft elastic so hose and scarves wonʼt wrinkle or snag.

Leather and upholstered furniture

Chaise style 498  in St. Thomas Cinnamon red
Upholstered furniture manufacturer Massoud showed its latest fabrics and frames at the Las Vegas Market earlier this winter. Massoud has a growing collection of sofas, chairs, ottomans and benches in traditional to transitional styles.

The Savvy Amaretto base cloth fabric is shown on the curved sofa (below). The furniture maker also works with premium quality, pure aniline, full‐top‐grain domestic and Italian hides. Customers can mix and match textures and colors, combine leather and fabric, and choose from countless details like nail heads and other trims, to create the look they seek.

Round-back sofa with Savvy Amaretto fabric
Nottinghill Platinum leather on loose pillow back sofa
Wing chair with Monte Cristo Cigar
cover and animal print

Colorful kitchen scale

The Arti kitchen scale from Escali is meant to be kept out on the countertop, not hidden in a drawer. It is available in nine colors,, including Retro Red, Poppin’ Pink and Deep Purple. It can weigh liquids and solids up to 15 pounds or 7,000 grams. The anti-bacteria, integrated glass platform operates with just a touch of a finger. It measures 6.5 inches by 9 inches.

The kitchen scale comes in nine colors.

The Velo is a luggage scale (below) that weighs up to 110 pounds. It is available in Black, White, Plum, Warm Red or Royal Blue. The scale is powered by a removable Lithium battery (included). The 12-inch nylon strap has a stainless steel clasp.
The Velo luggage scale by Escali.

Touchless paper towel dispenser

The CLEANCut touchless paper towel dispenser from Clean Cut International has LED technology and a self-sharpening blade. Users can seamlessly dispense and cut any length and brand of paper towel, while saving resources and avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen, laundry room and elsewhere around the house.

The product is available in black, white or stainless steel finish. Designed for under -counter mounting, installation instructions are included. See it at the 2011 Housewares show.

Custom headboards with mirrors

At the Las Vegas furniture market, Howard Elliott Collection featured a new headboard concept in low and in tall profiles. It combines a mirror, headboard and CTC Pixels. (CTC is a sister company.) Pixels are upholstered panels that come in a variety of colors and textures and used to create soft and elegant surroundings.

The Low profile measures 47.5 inches tall, 70.25 inches wide and 2.5 inches deep. It fits two rows of four CTC Pixels. The Tall profile is 63.5 inches tall and fits three rows of four pixels. The headboards are available with 20 different colors of CTC Pixels™.

Award-winning baby and child products

The first “Best New Product Awards” at Baby & Child, one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair, were presented this month. A panel of 10 editors from trade media and kid-centric blogs and websites selected winners from 111 products. The winners and finalists are:

Maple Landmark, Inc. (Middlebury, Vt.) for Rocker-Feller Rocking Horse. A carefully-designed and crafted rocking horse featuring laser-engraved details, made from responsibly harvested solid pine with a non-toxic naturoil finish. Made in the USA.

Winner: Tegu (Rowayton, Conn.) for Magnetic blocks. Wooden blocks that defy gravity with safely embedded magnets inside. Blocks are made from eco-friendly hardwoods, making them both sustainable and durable.

Finalist: Maple Landmark, Inc. (Middlebury, Vt.) for Rocker-Feller Rocking Horse.

Finalist: Geared For Imagination (Fairlawn, Ohio) for Topozoo.

Winner: Oopsy daisy, Fine Art For Kids (San Diego) for A to Z Animal Prints. Canvas wall art reproductions featuring colorful and exotic animals, printed in the giclée method and stretched by hand over a wooden frame with a decorative edge, eliminating the need for framing. Made in the USA.

Finalist: Zutano Inc. (Cabot, Vt.) for Owls 4-piece crib set.

Finalist: manny and simon (Del Mar, Calif.) for Duck wooden step stool.

Winner: MadPax (Phoenix) for The Spiketus Rex. Over-the-top creature feature backpacks for kids of all ages that allow children to store books, gear and more, while expressing one-of-a-kind style.

Finalist: Buggyguard (North Palm Beach, FL) for Stroller lock.

Finalist: Innobaby LLC (Hoffman Estates, IL) for Keepin’ Fresh Kids Stainless.


Winner: Loralin Design (New York) for Handmade Sweater Basket. A 100 percent cotton sweater and matching shoes, packaged in a tiny gift basket to create the perfect new baby gift.

Loralin Design
Finalist: Magnificent Baby (New York) for Elephants On Parade Take Me Home Set

Finalist: 3 Sprouts (Toronto) for 3 Sprouts Eco-Friendly Art Smock.

The Best New Product Award judges were: Melody Udell, Baby & Kids; Nanci Gregg, Baby & Children’s Product News; Leesa Valentino,; Lynda Johnson,; Jenny Heinzen-York, Kids Today; Elina Furman, (formerly Mamaista); Liz Gumbinner,; Nicole Feliciano,; Joanna Dreifus,; Caroline Kennedy and Meredith Schwartz, Playthings.

Award-winning bath and body products

Six companies were presented with Best New Product Awards at this month's Ex•Tracts show in New York. Tatine received “Best of Show” honors for its Foundry collection of scented candles. Ex•Tracts is one of 10 divisions of the New York International Gift Fair held twice a year at New York City’s Jacob K. Javits Convention Center. The winter 2011 winners and finalists, selected from nearly 100 entries, are:

Tatine (Chicago) for Foundry, a collection of candles in five unique fragrances with packaging reminiscent of vintage-modern found objects from a motorcycle foundry. The handmade soy and bee wax blends in recycled glass and paper create an allure of industrial tones mixed with the romance of candle light.

Illume's ginger and sea salt lotion candle
Winner: ILLUME (Minneapolis) for Ginger & Sea Salt Lotion Candle. A luxurious blend of shea butter, olive oil and soy, the lighted candle provides ambiance and creates a rich lotion as it melts.
Finalist: Caswell-Massey (Edison, N.J.) for ONYX Natural Bath Soap
Finalist: FarmHouse Fresh, Inc. (Frisco, Texas) for Hello! Yellow body cream

Winner: Ecoya (Botany Bay, Australia) for Body Nourisher Vanilla Bean, a luxe, rich, hypo-allergenic body moisturizer, free from parabens, sulfates, propylene glycol, silicone and artificial colors.
Finalist: Baudelaire (Swanzey, N.H.) for Baudelaire Sponge Boxes
Finalist: UNII Cosmetics (Arcadia, Calif.) for UNII Cosmetics Coal palette

Royal Apothic
Winner: Royal Apothic (Los Angeles) for its Society of Scents, a collection of eight distinctive fragrances inspired by the social clubs of England’s Victorian Age.
Finalist: Sonoma Lavender (Santa Rosa, Calif.) for Ocean Air Sachet-By-The-Yard

Jao Ltd.

Finalist: Jao Ltd. (Hatfield, Pa.) for OUTSCENT perfume with insect repellant

Lotus Love Beauty
Winner: Lotus Love Beauty (San Diego) for Soy Wax Travel Tin Candle, all natural, hand-blended and hand-poured soy wax candles featuring a hand-braided wick and packaged in a recyclable tin.
Finalist: Ton Savon (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) for Pure Provence Moroccan Organic Soap
Finalist: Bare Kiss Skincare (Santa Fe, N.M.) for Deep Sea Soap

Xela Aroma
Winner: Simpatico-Home (St. Louis) Hobnail Glass Candle, noted for the textured glass that creates its unique knobbed design, the candles are available in a rich variety of jewel tones and include a wax seal from an antique letterpress machine.
Finalist: Xela Aroma (Dallas) for Celebrate LOVE Candles
Finalist: AQUIESSE (Simi Valley, Calif.) for Trump Collection

Award judges were: Mary Bemis, Organic Spa; Leah Genuario, Beauty Store Business; Patricia Norins, Gift Shop; and Meredith Schwartz, Gifts & Decorative Accessories.

Eco-friendly kitchen gadget promotes water savings

The Dish Squeegee from the AM Conservation Group is said to make doing the dishes simple, fast and eco-friendly (because it eliminates pre-rinsing dishes prior to loading them into a dish washer.
Use the squeegee to push leftovers into a garbage pail or disposal (or better yet, compost nonmeat waste). The three-side shape of the product makes it usable for all sizes of pots, pans, dishes, cups and jars. The 100% silicone scraper won't scratch dishes.
See the company's other eco-friendly products, including the refrigerator-freezer thermometer, in the Clean and Contain section of the International Home and Housewares show, March 6 to 8 in Chicago.

Award-winning textile products

Five companies were presented with Home Textiles Market Week Best New Product Awards, with Viceroy Collections receiving the “Best of Market” award for Kajaal Home Couture. The winners and finalists exhibited in the "At Home featuring Home Textiles" section of the New York International Gift Fair, which concluded last week.

The winter 2011 winners and finalists, selected from more than 100 products, are:

Kajaal Home Couture
Viceroy Collections (New York) for Kajaal Home Couture, a collection of 100 percent cashmere blankets and pillows of the highest quality, manufactured in Italy.

Kimberly House's Owl Wrap baby blanket
Winner: Kimberly House Ltd. (Brewster, NY) for Owl Wrap, a cotton blanket featuring a whimsical hand-appliquéd owl, perfect for wrapping baby.
Finalist: Pine Cone Hill (Pittsfield, MA) for Honfluer Linen.
Finalist: DwellStudio (New York, NY) for Ikat Dot bedding.

Altinbasak Tekstil Deluxe towel and bathrobe
Winner: Altinbasak Tekstil (Denizli, Turkey) for its DeLuxe Towels & Bathrobes, inspired by historical patterns and featuring a sheared loop to create a dramatic design.
Finalist: Peacock Alley Inc. (Dallas, TX) for its Montauk towel.
Finalist: SFERRA (Edison, NJ) for its Bellow towels.

Winner: Allem Studio (Marietta, GA) for its Aqua Fish placemat, a playful, 100 percent cotton canvas placemat featuring a traditional Polish peasant motif in a contemporary and coastal way.
Finalist: Blissliving Home (Rockville, MD) for its Victoria half apron.
Finalist: Scents and Feel (Miami, FL) for its Fouta jacquard weave guest towel.

Happy Blanket

Winner: Happy Blanket LLC (Fairfield, CT) for its Sky Blue cashmere blanket, a digitally printed 100 percent cashmere blanket offering both luxury and comfort.
Finalist: Better Living (New York, NY) for its African Butterfly decorative pillow.
Finalist: Alicia Adams Alpaca (Stanfordville, NY) for its Pacatote alpaca tote.

Winners and finalists are selected by a panel: of trade and consumer editors based upon innovation in design, creative use of materials/construction and new fiber, material or technology. Judges were: Wanda Jankowski, editor-in-chief, LDB; David Gill, senior editor, HFN; Jenny Heinzen York, editor-in-chief, Home Accents Today; Melody Udell, associate editor, Home Fashion & Hospitality; Julia Noran, managing partner, Editor at Large; Eugenia Santiesteban, senior style editor, Veranda; and Laura van Zeyl, publisher, Home Fashion Forecast.

Accent on Design winners from NY gift show

The New York International Gift Fair presented awards for design creativity and innovation to six exhibitors in the Accent on Design section. The gift show concluded last week.

Excellence in Product Design
Stelton (New York). Pure Black Pure White knives forged from a single piece of stainless steel and coated in black matte titanium, and held on a single, white magnetic strip. A reinterpretation of the classic form, the judges liked its sleek, minimalistic high design.

Black + Blum Hot Pot BBQ
Excellence in Product Design
Black + Blum (London). Hot Pot BBQ, a humorous take on the everyday barbecue grill. Made from stainless steel with a heat-insulating ceramic coating, the Hot Pot BBQ serves as a terracotta pot for growing herbs while concealing an actual grill underneath.

Brendan Ravenhill's Bare Light
Excellence in Product Design
American Design Club (Los Angeles). Brendan Ravenhill’s Bare Light utilizes the natural electrical insulating properties of glass to create a light socket allowing the electrical components to be seen, yet safely protected. Judges appreciated the reinvention of the iconic object with its surprising use of materials.

Excellence in Product Design 
Hongjie Yang Design (Chengdu, China). Veer, a soap dispenser that fuses function and style. Inspired by the shape of bamboo, the ultra modernistic form in stainless steel is a sleek alternative to the mundane.

K Studio soft goods
Best Collection
K Studio (Grand Rapids, Mich.). Pillows, pouches and wall décor, which are charming, artistic interpretations with a nod towards eco-friendly design. The hand-stitched collection uses hemp, organic cotton and flax – a warm contrast to the strong, industrial designs found in Accent on Design.

Overall Excellence
Creative Danes representing Menu (Copenhagen, Denmark). For innovation in outdoor, dining and living products, presentation and technology. Menu’s Scandinavian design originals boast clean lines with unexpected functionality to surprise and delight the user. Creative Danes’ use of QR codes allows the user – via free iPhone and Android apps – to immediately access product information and video on YouTube.

Judging criteria included innovation, function, originality and design. The Accent on Design selection committee for winter 2011 includes: Miguel Calvo of Design & Research, Ilene Shaw of Shaw + Co! Productions, Kathy Thornton-Bias of The Museum of Modern Art, Wilma Wabnitz of Wabnitz Editions; and Noel Wiggins of Areaware.