Thursday, October 31, 2013

High Energy at High Point Market

A special report from Giftware News’ columnist Marilyn Nason

From pillows and poufs to framed/unframed prints; hammered silver/gold wall designs; eye-catching figurines and spectacular colored and/or stained tabletop, glassware and wood pieces, home decor was clearly a strong motivator for buyers attending the recent more than a century-old High Point (NC) Market.

For retailers and decorators, this expanding emphasis on what completes a room or outdoor living area, once case goods, flooring and textiles have been determined, showed retailers how to achieve repeat better-best business as consumers continue their serious focus on their homes, no matter what size.

As these decorative accessories, home furnishings and home decor items assume growing importance in the inventory mix of savvy furniture retailers,it also opens the door to the total giftware industry for both self-use and as gift purchases.

Proving that poufs have achieved status as a significant, flexible element in the home, dozens of poufs were an important part of the furnishings in the High Point Media Center this time.

LaurelHouse Designs

As upholstery, window treatments and other types of textiles become important in completing the look of a room via poufs, the same designs, patterns, colorways, textures and embellishments were also influencing the literally thousands of pillow introductions, allowing decorators and individual consumers alike to coordinate window treatments, bed coverings, throws and rugs to create the total look a homeowner wants.

Lamps, too, joined in this look potential both in base colorways and finishes, as well as in shades, some exhibitors achieving this textile-styling in cotton, flax and burlap shades, especially for bedside and occasional table lighting functions.

As oversized wall clocks take on strong eye-appeal, frames and edging also featured matching and coordinating colors and textures similar to lamp shades and pillows.

Oopsy Daisy

Thanks to the limitless flexibility of ceramics and quality acrylics, lamp bases, wall clock faces and decorative sculpted pieces offered coordinated looks for every trend styling from rustic and natural to traditional and sleek looks and shapes. Several cleverly combined elements of crystal, silver, gold and metal in rivet and swirls accents.

Abigails Elena Collection
Several home furnishings buyers indicated the expanding styling choices and emphasis on home furnishings and accessories is creating a positive, challenging approach to incorporating more and more of these carefully-selected items in both traditional massive furniture designer showrooms and home decor boutiques, as they appeal to an ever- widening variety of customers.

Several voiced a familiar industry theme, noting "I can only sell a customer one mid-to-high-ticket dining room or bedroom set at a time but with these decor items coordinating with their style preferences in case goods, they're coming back into the store for these items as gifts and to augment their own homes."

On this point several furniture retailers acknowledged, "Guess I'm finally sliding into the better-best home decor gift industry.

New introduction from the Surya Outdoor Pouf Collection

Fine Arts Lamps

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tabletop Oct 2013: Lavish and Opulent, Dramatic and Edgy

As was evident at the recent New York Tabletop Market, tabletop is really back in full force. Traffic was very high, , showrooms packed, some spilled out into the corridors and there were long waits for the elevators.

This year is not conservative, nor cautious in design. Extensions were wide, even to frivolous accessory and add ons. Colors were bold, bright and there were many introductions. Even the most conservative companies had electric orange and bright turquoise..Turquoise in all shades was the stand out star and represented in more than 75 percent of the showrooms.

There was contrasting textures: Textile and straw mats, glass and metals on serving pieces, bamboo bowls with enamel coatings. Texture, relief and reverse relief are very strong.

Another strong trend is metallics. Everything was present, bronze, gold, platinum and silver. And sometimes there was more than one on a product.
Then there was Vintage, 50s and 60s-influenced pieces like something out of a movie set -- turquoise, avocado, or mint greens, peach to orange with graphics that many will remember.

Another trend is geometics. Tabletop patterns resemble men's classic suit materials, herringbone, chevron, tweeds. In textiles,and then used in relief on china or replicated in graphic designs on plates. And bold geometrics--Gray, black, rich browns, then off set with pinks!

And then there was tabletop with designs and patterns that brought to mind visions of Marrakesh. Metal lanterns and chandlers, rich deep vibrant purples, reds, oranges, and stylized gold art work could all be seen on table settings.

Giftware News was there as well and here’s a sample of what we saw.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Buyers Market Will Return to Philadelphia in 2014 With New January Dates

Buyers Market, the nation's largest wholesale trade show of American-made products, announces it will return to Philadelphia, January 18 to January 21, 2014. The show will be jam-packed with retail seminars, workshops, and exhibits, located in new halls at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Since its inception, the Buyers Market's mission is to bring together top American-made artisans and retailers from U.S. and Canada under one roof, featuring fine crafts at every price point.

Early bird registration for the Buyers Market is now open with an early bird special of 40% off admission if attendees register by October 21, 2013. The Buyers Market showcases a large collection of product categories that range from apparel and accessories, to eco-friendly fine crafts and metal works. With a vast range of production artwork and one-of-a-kind works, the show brings together more than 800 artists and 4,500 buyers from across the country.

The Buyers Market will also host a variety of seminars with all new speakers from SnapRetail, beginning Friday, January 17 through Monday, January 20. The six information-packed seminars are included in the registration and will cover topics around harnessing the power of Pinterest for businesses, event marketing, creating brand advocates, to name a few.

"The Buyers Market is a vital component of our buying strategy," said Woody of Woodruff of Twisted Root & Loonland."Buyers Market is what puts our business ahead of much of our competition," said Jeri of J. Jeffrey Taylor Jewelry Fine Art. "As our customers become more aware of 'American Made,' they appreciate our efforts to support this movement."

To register for this event visit, or for more information,

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Largest Wholesale Trade Show of American-Made Products Moves to Nation’s Capitol

The American Made Show, formerly known as The Buyers Market of American Craft, is relocating indefinitely in 2015 to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The trade show, presented by The Buyers Market, will take place Friday, January 16– Monday, January 19, 2015.

The nation’s capital provides the perfect backdrop to spotlight and celebrate American-made products by artisans from around the country. The move will not only heighten the pride of domestically produced goods, it will benefit both exhibitors and buyers. Exhibitors will save on lower booth fees and exhibiting costs and will also be able to reach a wider audience. With the new centralized location, many buyers who were unable to attend in past years, will be able to take part. Additionally, attendees will have access to, affordable public transit, exciting dining and nightlife, and the all-new Marriott Marquis directly connected to the Convention Center.

The show will feature the same quality American-made products and artists, but will also introduce additional new product lines from hundred of new artists. Buyers can find products ranging anywhere from home and garden, to jewelry and fashion, to metals and glass, and even gourmet cooking. The show's new home and name will be more inclusive and welcoming to those buyers seeking American-made merchandise to accommodate the growing consumer interest in Made-in-the-USA.

“This is more like a homecoming than a move, in our mind,” said Show Director Rebecca Rosen Mercado. “The convention center will be transformed into a bustling marketplace filled with the finest American-made crafts just blocks from national monuments and museums that house some of the most exquisite American-made products produced centuries ago.”

For more than 30 years, artists and retailers have looked to the Buyers Market of American Crafts as their definitive source for authentic American-made merchandise.

For more information, visit

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Ty Warner, Beanie Babies Creator, Pleads Guilty To Tax Evasion

The billionaire who created Beanie Babies has pleaded guilty to a tax evasion charge.

H. Ty Warner broke down crying in court and apologized for hiding millions of dollars in a Swiss bank account. He removed his glasses and sought to regain his composure before a federal judge in Chicago. 

He added, "There's no excuse for my actions." 

Judge Charles Kocoras stopped Warner and told him "there will be time for you to bare your soul" at his Jan. 15 sentencing. 

In court, Warner acknowledged that he told no one of his foreign bank accounts, not even his accountants. Warner even concealed his name from one account by registering it as "Molani Foundation," a "sham company," prosecutors said in court. 

His lawyer said he'll also pay $53.5 million in civil penalties for not disclosing the existence of a foreign bank account.

The 69-year-old also admitted he failed to pay around $5 million in taxes due over 11 years. Tax evasion carries a maximum five-year prison term.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The New York Tabletop Market Opens Oct. 15 at Forty One Madison

At Forty One Madison, several showrooms have expanded and been added In anticipation of the Fall Market. Homer Laughlin, which is home to Fiesta, will have a larger presence on the 16th floor to house its hospitality and hotelware division. Three brands will occupy this redesigned space: Homer Laughlin China and Hall China, both made in the U.S.A., and RAK Ceramics, a modern, light-weight durable porcelain that Homer Laughlin exclusively distributes in this country. In taking on an adjacent space, the company has more than doubled its footprint.

On the 17th floor, Prouna (a/k/a Kiyasa Corp.) has experienced a growth spurt requiring it to double its space. Only four years since the founding of this often bejeweled and always glamorous dinnerware brand, the company is now broadening its offering as the exclusive North American distributor for several prestigious, high-end brands produced in Europe. Added to its portfolio and represented in the showroom are: Val Saint Lambert Crystal, Jacques Pergay porcelain, Lehmann Glass, Villari porcelain and candles, and Claudia Barbari Linens.

A newcomer to Forty One Madison and the U.S. marketplace is Guy Degrenne Group, the French manufacturer distinguished for its premier quality cutlery. The company has moved into a showroom on the 15th floor where it is displaying its collections for retail as well as for hospitality.

Two other new showrooms can be found, both on the 19th floor. Lee’s Group International, best known for trend in melamine, acrylic and other materials, now has a space. In addition to custom products, Lee’s will feature Laurie Gates licensed products in mixed materials. Kavalier Glass also is opening on this floor. This 176-year-old Czech factory is known globally for its borosilicate glass products. Additionally, Kavalier now owns Walther-Glas and Bohemia Crystal, and these renowned brands also will be showcased.

“The global representation at Forty One Madison continues to grow, and buyers should be especially excited to see such a robust range of products from these European-based factories,” said Burns.

LUXE Interiors + Design magazine is stepping up to the plate and producing the inspirational tablesettings that will line the Lobby and help to trumpet that it’s Market Week. Editor-in-Chief Pamela Jaccarino has tapped acclaimed New York interior designer Scott Sanders to fashion the vignettes that will be themed “The American Home.”
“Visitors will feel as if they’re stepping into a home, with first stop the foyer, then the dining room, with breakfast room next, and finally the patio,” said Sanders, whose signature is “fresh American style” and who will be working with numerous brands whose showrooms are based at Forty One.

Additionally, on Thursday of Tabletop Market, October 17th, Jaccarino and Sanders will headline Interior Designer Day, co-hosting with Forty One Madison a welcome breakfast for design professionals that will include an informal dialogue on current tabletop trends. Following this 9:30-10:30 a.m. presentation, guests will be able to visit and explore the 30+ showrooms that participate in this program. Additionally, Editor-At-Large will film throughout the morning, tracking designers and interviewing them for the popular online website,

The Café on Level A will be open for business, dispensing complimentary bites and beverages to help refresh attendees. Bridal Guide and are hosting with a Viva las Tapas theme offering Spanish influenced cuisine. Café hours are Tuesday andWednesday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; and, Thursday 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
For more information on Forty One Madison and the New York Tabletop Show, visit