This spring will mark my fifth trip to High Point, and on each of those previous trips I always made time in my schedule to visit the Antique and Design Center. I have a deep passion for antique furniture, fashion, linens and books, and I truly enjoy learning about the history of each item. Whereas some have a voracious literary hunger for books ranging from the Hunger Games to 50 Shades of Gray, I on the other hand devour antiques books, encyclopedias and auction catalogs. So a visit to the Antique and Design Center is quite the treat for me. What I’ve also learned from my various visits is that I’m clearly not alone in my desire to have something with a rich history included in the design mix of my home’s interior.
Interior designers and furnishings retailers in the know, know that the Antiques and Design Center is a must visit destination while attending the High Point furniture and design market. With nearly 60 dealers of vintage and antique furniture, designers and shop owners know that they can find unique and beautiful furniture, décor and art for their design projects and stores. Each piece with a history as interesting and unique as the piece itself. But before those beautiful and history rich pieces make it to the exhibition floor at the Antique and Design Center to be sold to designers and retailers, antiques and vintage dealers need to go through a very selective hands-on selection process spearheaded by co-owner and founder Karen Luisana. Karen and her business partner Amanda Kinney recently shared with us some fantastic advice for dealers interested in exhibiting at the Antique and Design Center.
Exhibitor Selection and Approval Process
Karen, who prior to founding the Antique and Design Center of High Point in 2009 owned her own antiques business Luisana Designs and Antiques, shares that, “We hand pick our dealers by traveling around the country and looking for the most savvy exhibitors who are passionate about what they do. Those who have a strong visual display, exciting product, the right price points, and the right positive and professional attitudes get our attention. “ She also adds that, “A good barometer for dealers to know if they will succeed with us is if they find themselves selling to Interior Designers at every standard show they participate in.” For those dealers interested in exhibiting at the Antique and Design Center who haven’t met in person with either Karen or Amanda, she recommends that they, “ send us photographs of their displays at other shows, then let us know where they can be found so that we can possibly see them in action.” Karen also advices that those interested in exhibiting for the first time at High Point should, if possible, “ Visit the Antique and Design Show during a Market before they become a participant. This way, they can speak with other dealers, do a lot of “snoopervizing” about price points, types of things that seem to be selling, general traffic flow,etc. This way, they have a better grasp on how the whole thing works and they will have a better idea if what they bring to the table will be a good ‘fit’ at the Antique and Design Center.”
Left to right: The Antique and Design Center’s Karen Luisana, Amanda Lane Kinney and Chandra Young.
Exhibiting for the First Time
Once an antiques or vintage furniture dealer has gained approval from Karen and Amanda to exhibit at the Antique and Design Center, they are given an application to complete for exhibiting their wares at the next High Point market. Karen explains that new exhibitors are required to provide a $700 deposit to request a spot on the exhibition floor, “ and it takes about one month or so to sort out where our current exhibitors will fill our floor-plan before we know how many spaces, if any, might be available for new dealers. At that time-we place the new ones, and then half of the total payment is due. Currently, the total payment is due fully a month and a half before set up for the next show. As far as the registration for market goes, all this can be done through the High Point Market Authority on line, and we can help them through that process.”
Nancy Price’s Booth at the Antique & Design Center
Sage Advice for First-Time Exhibitors
Karen’s extensive experience as an antiques dealer working in the home furnishings industry and in the High Point environment has given her invaluable insight, “I think the most important thing to know about this show is that it’s unlike any other antiques show in the country. I’ve been an antiques dealer and set designer for 30+ years and I’ve participated in or attended hundreds of shows in that time period. Ours is unique in that it is especially geared towards the Home Furnishings Industry and we are targeting Interior designers, architects and home furnishing store owners who are the professional buyers in this industry. The flow of our Market is different from other antique shows, and this is an important point for dealers to know. We usually don’t have thousands of people swarming through the center. There are moments when it seems slow compared to a standard show, but staying upbeat and ready for that customer is the most important thing to be prepared for. There are no tire kickers here. No baby strollers or people just out for something to do on a weekend. Everyone walking through the door is a potentially huge customer, and everyone is a professional buyer. They have paid for a hotel room, and bought a plane ticket. They are coming to buy. When they walk into your showroom space, it’s important to make eye contact, introduce yourself, welcome them in, and then get out of their way so that they can make their decisions without interruption. “
New exhibitors, who may be unfamiliar with the frenzied and physically taxing activity associated with attending the High Point market, will benefit from the wise advice, High Point veteran, Karen offers , “Buying in High Point is an exhausting process. There are so many showrooms to visit, so many important appointments to make, new products to research and everyone is moving very quickly to cover as much ground as they possibly can. So, don’t give them a long provenance on a piece unless they ask you for it. Do offer them food and/or beverage – this helps them to linger longer. Don’t jump in to ‘add value’, If the buyers are in a discussion among a group, unless they ask you in. This only makes it harder for them to make their decision and you could talk them out of buying. The buyers have to stay focused on their projects, what is needed, and at what price points. Do be attentive when they are making their purchases and get all the pertinent information to complete the transaction. And, most importantly get their payment. In the Antique and Design Center people do not place orders and then pay later, this is cash and carry. Try not to hold anything for anyone unless it’s for a very short time, for instance to send a photo to a customer for approval. Chances are that this will be the time when another buyer will come by with cash in-hand and is dying to buy the piece!”
Deloach Designs at the Antiques & Design Center of High Point
Setting Up Your Exhibition Space
In addition to being open for the two scheduled High Point markets in the fall and spring, the Antique and Design Center is also open year round by appointment. This schedule flexibility makes it convenient for buyers to visit dealers during non-show dates, and it also offers the dealers the opportunity to set up their exhibition booth space at a time of their choosing. Exhibitors can also take advantage of the in-house design and construction talent to build out their spaces. According to Karen, “We have our wonderful Peanut and his crew to help in space construction and remodeling at a very reasonable rate. And, all three of us, Amanda, Chandra and I, have design backgrounds and we are more than willing to help with the design and display of these booths. “ And if exhibitors prefer to use external design resources, the Antique and Design Center has a “list of local design helpers available for hire in the area with backgrounds in set design.”
Promoting the Exhibitors and Drawing Crowds to the Antiques and Design Center
Amanda manages the promotion and marketing of the Antique and Design Center through traditional and new media platforms. She writes the blog which profiles many of the dealers and also shares their stories via the Antique & Design Center’s social media channels (Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest). Amanda’s diverse background as an antiques expert, interior designer and professional photographer with a degree in Psychology has served her well as she truly understands the exhibitor’s perspective and then crafts compelling messages to promote the Antique and Design Center and its exhibitors. The Antique and Design Center’s embrace of new media and marketing technology has enabled them to allow online visitors to “take a virtual tour of the Center and also go to any of our dealers directly in their spaces” – using Google Office Views. The virtual tour will be available starting on Saturday, April 5th, 2014.
The Lecture Series: Bringing Visibility & Knowledge
The Antiques and Design Center also offers a four day lecture series headlined by the best names in the design and antiques world. The presentations are sponsored by dealers and, “thus elevates their visibility.” The lecture series presentations and panels illustrates the industry talent that will be on show at the Center this spring and are shown below.
Saturday, April 5th, 9-10:30AM: “Kitchen Renovation Reality – One Kitchen At A Time, with Kitchen Design Network”
What’s the “Real World of Kitchen Renovation” all about? Join Kitchen Design Network Founders, Lori Gilder and Rebecca Reynolds for “coffee talk” while they share invaluable tips from their one-day Kitchen Renovation Workshop which begins right here at Market on Friday April 4th. So strap on your boots and come prepared to learn. The kitchen designers will pave the way for decorators and designers at any stage of their career looking to develop another revenue stream or to create a niche within kitchen design and renovation. “Where To Begin, How To Prepare and What To Expect” is adapted from their one-day workshop, which will be traveling to exclusive Miele Centers around the country. Light breakfast will be served. Sponsored by Kitchen Design Network.
Saturday, April 5th, 1:30-2:45PM: “Design Tech Summit – Building a bridge between design & technology by bringing the hottest tech tools for design professionals under one roof.”
Our four part panel discussion could change the way you look at your design and retail business….. forever! Four panelists with over 30+ years of design and technology experience join us on stage to deliver a “State of the Industry” address: where are we as an industry? where are we heading? and why it’s critical for you to take advantage of the right tools, technology and information to be able to thrive in our new, ever-changing normal!” See you at the summit. With Special Guest Celebrity Moderators Jennifer Flanders (HGTV Real Designing Women), Lori Dennis (Design Camp and HGTV Real Designing Women), and Shay Geyer (High Point Market Style Spotter, Good Morning Texas Television, IBB Designs Dallas TX). Sponsored by Connexionsoft, Inc. Gelato & Coffee will be served.
Part One: “The World of Design: Where is Tech Taking Us?” – Michael Garrett, VP Connexionsoft / Inside Information Inc. SAP Technology Consultant to Fortune 500 Companies Worldwide, Technological Landscape and Reporting Authority, Speaker, Author, Coach.
Part Two: ”The Retail Power Shift: Who’s really driving the bus?” – Ross Barlett, ViewIT Technologies, 30+ years technology & design, author, educator, trend educator, developer.
Part Three: “360 degrees of Feedback: The Unforgiving Landscape of Social Capital” - Dana Helms, Micro D Customer Success Advocate , VP Social media WithIT, trend expert, educator and coach.
Part Four: “Design & Tech . . .What’s the Answer?!” – Deb Barrett, Speaker, Trend Strategist, Consultant and Coach, Design Confidential Blogger, Digital Designer
Sunday, April 6th, 9:30-10:30AM: “Understanding Your Value as a Designer: Bigger Fees and Better Clients” .1 CEU, with Terri Taylor, ASID, IDS
It is more important than ever for designers to charge higher fees for their design services in order to be financially successful. This presentation will help designers focus on bringing their creative genius into their jobs, rather than simply selling and marking up product. Learn 30 ways to bring your value into your jobs, along with what clients need to hear to value your services. Discover how to develop confidence, enthusiasm, connection and emotion when talking about money, and get paid what you are worth. A light breakfast will be served. Sponsored by IDS Interior Design Society.
Sunday, April 6th, 1:30-2:30PM: “Boomer Design is Big Business – How to help Boomers blend their past and future furniture needs.”
Mitzi Beach (ASID, CAPS) is an award-winning Interior Designer, Author and Baby Boomer Marketing & Lifestyle Specialist. Mitzi, armed with 30+ years’ experience and a masters degree in interior design—along with key industry certifications—is ready to do battle with the elephant in the room: the “Silver Tsunami” ready to hit the United States of America, as the enormous Baby Boomer generation has new needs due to aging. Afterward Mitzi will be signing her book “Boomer Smarts Boomer Power”. Gelato & Coffee will be served, Sponsored by Wesley Hall.
Monday, April 7th, 9:30 – 10:30AM: “It’s Never Too Late… For Wallpaper Historic Wallpaper Takes on a New Life with Don & Judi Larkin and Thibaut”
Explore the colorful history of wallpaper from the early 1900s through the eyes of Don Larkin, a professional wallpaper installer for over 25 years. With information from the Thibaut and Pennypacker archives, Don explores historic hanging and manufacturing techniques, some of which are still used today. Judi Larkin, design decorating coach will show wallpaper from Thibaut’s Historic book collection. What is old is new again as many patterns are repurposed for new designs. Don’s interest in wallpaper has led him to find new and creative uses for it. He is known in the design industry for his problem solving ability and one-of-a-kind wallpapered floor cloths and wallpapered furniture. There will be a short demo of his techniques. Be inspired by Don’s creations… how will you use wallpaper in your next project? It’s never too late for wallpaper! “Never Too Late” book signing to follow. Light breakfast will be served, Co-sponsored by Thibaut wallpaper, fabric & fine furniture.
Monday, April 7th, 1:30-2:30PM: “Home Décor Trends – The Year Ahead with Bill Indursky of Design Life Network”
Bill Indursky is an architect, trend expert, and digital entrepreneur. He is the former founder of V&M (Vintage & Modern (2006-2013)) and the current founder of Design Life Network (DLN). DLN is a MAGAZINE + DESIGN AGENCY + MARKETPLACE + TV CHANNEL promoting inspiring design of all eras online and on TV. DLN is home of the Design Obsessed (DO). An afternoon pick-me-up of Gelato & Coffee will be served. Sponsored by Design Life Network
Monday, April 7th, 2:45-3:45PM: “The Secrets to Building Your Brand through Social Media with Lisa Mende & Traci Zeller”
Lisa and Traci, both renowned Interior Designers, Bloggers and two time High Point Market StyleSpotters, share their secrets for leveraging social media into better projects, better press coverage and a vibrant brand presence both online and in real life. Springtime Cupcakes and Lemonade will be served, Sponsored by Lisa Mende Design & Traci Zeller Designs.
Monday, April 7th, 4-5PM: “Designing with a Deadline – Design Secrets for A Timeline Sensitive Project with Denise McGaha”
Denise McGaha, Interior Designer and Blogger and 2014 High Point Style Spotter will share her secrets to Designing with a Deadline using Vintage and Antique Finds. Denise McGaha delivers fashionable, diverse, and adventurous designs for clients who live on the fast-track; specializing in turn-key, concierge-level service delivered in 90 days or less. When experiencing a Denise McGaha interior you may never know how exciting the ride was that brought about that room. Sponsored by Denise McGaha Interiors and followed by Happy Hour.
Monday, April 7th, 6-8PM: WithIt Competitive Inteligence
WithIt (Women in the Home Industries Today) presents its Competitive Intelligence Panel, featuring industry strategist and author Caroline Hipple, chief energy officer of HB2 Resources, along with Dixon Bartlett, Anita Pugh and Chris Matthies co-authors of A Pathway to Profit, the new business book from Friesen Press. As part of this special event, the authors and long-time business partners will share their unique formula for both personal and organizational success, designed to help both individuals and organizations navigate difficult times. A book signing will follow.
Tuesday, April 8th, 10:30-11:30AM: “Designing with Antiques: Making Antiques Accessible for Any Client’s Budget with Nancy Price & Douglas Scott”
Interior Designer, International Antiques Dealer, and Blogger Nancy Price joins forces with Douglas Scott, founder of The HighBoy, a new, curated marketplace for antiques and fine art, to explore how the most beautiful and personal interiors can be created by incorporating antiques regardless of a client’s budget. A delicious Brunch by Maria’s will be served. Sponsored by Nancy Price Home & The Highboy.
Tuesday, April 8th, 1:30-2:30PM: “Great Design Begins with a Great Story – Gary Inman Principal, Director of Hotel and Home Design, Glave and Holmes Architecture.”
This topic grows from the contextual approach that Gary Inman, and his team, used in developing designs for fine homes and luxury hotels. Every home owner has a personal journey that can be captured and shared in the design of their home. Similarly, every great hotel, particularly historic hotels, has a fascinating story that can be interpreted in the art and design elements to create a memorable visit. Every life is worth celebrating and design is one of the most powerful ways to achieve this goal. An afternoon pick-me-up of Gelato & Coffee will be served. Sponsored by Glave and Holmes.
Tuesday, April 8th, 2:45-3:45PM: “An Introduction to Wood Identification with David Lindquist of Whitehall Antiques”
David Lindquist, owner of Whitehall Antiques & noted antiques authenticator, appraiser, educator & author will share a short insightful method for wood identification. No tools required–only your eyes and your brain! ASID CEU Credits Awarded. Sponsored by Whitehall Antiques.
Tuesday, April 8th, 4-5PM: “Antiques Diva(R) Style Guide with Toma Clark Haines”
Toma Clark Haines, owner of Europe’s largest antiques touring and buying service company, takes you on a virtual tour of the major antique periods and styles to identify their key characteristics utilizing modern day metaphors and featuring inventory found at the Antique and Design Center in High Point. No passport required. Focusing on the antique trends in Europe- The Antiques Diva(R) is taking antiques out of the past and bringing them into the future of design. Followed by a Champagne Happy Hour Tour of the Antique and Design Center of High Point highlighting Topics covered in the talk. Sponsored by The Antiques Diva & Co.
Editor’s Note: I’d like to share with you something very special that Amanda of the Antique & Design Center has committed herself to – she is training to run the 2014 Nike Women’s Half Marathon in honor of her father who she lost to MDS (a blood cancer) in 2012. Last year, Amanda trained and ran the same race and raised over $8000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. In Amanda’s words – why she runs and why she needs our help:
[March 17, 2014] I ran 8 miles yesterday and I have a little under a month to meet my goal of raising $2000 for LLS. Please consider making a small (or large) donation to this great cause. :) I will run for you and for your friends and family and for all those that still have a chance to beat cancer! I will run because my Dad can’t! He fought long and hard to live and I can do this small thing for him.
Please consider helping Amanda meet her goal of raising $2000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
Resources: The Antique and Design Center.
Disclosure: All opinions expressed in this post are all my own. The Antique and Design Center at High Point Market is a sponsor of The Decorating Diva, LLC.