For the fourth and final installment of the Atlanta International Home Furnishings and Gifts Market series, your Host, Nick May, brings you another set of fantastic designers, retailers and manufacturers to help you learn how to grow your interior design business. We’d like to thank all of the attendees of the market who took the time to sit down with The Chaise Lounge to share their expertise!

Dale Carithers

Nick met Dale at this year’s market, she is actually a student studying Interior Designer right now, and an intern with the Atlanta Market this year. Interior Design is an encore career for Dale, “I’ve always loved Interior Design but I’ve always been scared of my talent. I knew I was good, but I was scared of it. My husband and I had a foreclosure business, and when the economy started getting better I had to find something to do, so I started pedaling around with software on my own, and when I finally saw what I could do on paper, it just amazed me the creativity that was there.” Nick and Dale discuss why she felt it was necessary to get an education in design. Dale describes all of the activities she participates in to network, volunteer and make connections, “I’m trying to get to the point where when you see me, I don’t have to introduce myself.” Tune in to hear Dale’s advice to students or those who are just starting out.

Cody Ables: Codarus

Nick asks, what is Codarus? “We are a sales management organization, so we manage a group of brands across the country. we have Sales Reps, Territory Managers that are on the road selling the brands that we represent to retailers and interior designers.” Nick and Cody discuss the broad range of items that they carry,” says Cody. Nick asks Cody how their company interacts with their customers on a day to day basis. “Our brands are pretty well known, and that’s a good thing for us, because we get a lot of people that are calling us, wanting to see us.” Cody speaks about the benefits of attending markets like this one in Atlanta. Be sure to check out a new line that Codarus will be debuting at the High Point Market next year, as well as a new showroom in Dallas and Las Vegas. To learn more about Codarus visit their website at www.codarus.com.

Steve McKenzie: McKenzie Interior Design

Another of the selected designers of the Vignette Gallery, Steve of McKenzie Interior Design joins Nick to talk about his work in the gallery. “The Mart looked for businesses in the Southeast that did both design and retail, and we happen to be one of those. I was thrilled to be asked to do the Vignette!” Steve describes his appreciation of being made to select all of the materials and furniture for his Vignette from the Mart, as it opened his eyes to new brands that he otherwise may not have discovered. Listen in to hear how Steve actually took one of his textile designs and turned it into a wallpaper that he used in his space, which is an idea that’s been on his back burner for a while. Nick and Steve talk about how Steve spends his time at the market, tune in to hear more and to see some of Steve’s work firsthand visit www.mckenzieinteriordesign.com.

Steve Lowsky: Castelle

“Castelle is a 40-year old family business, we make luxury outdoor furnishings, we are a custom made shop, we are highly designer oriented.” This is the very first year that Castelle has been featured at the Atlanta Market, “We’re in AmericasMart because it’s the right venue for our product line and we have historically shown in many markets around the country but this is a new market for us.” Castelle works with a variety of sales channels, but the Castelle brand is made exclusively for the design trade, due to the fact that it is highly customizable with a fast turnaround. Castelle carries more than 25 collections, with 20 different frame finishes and between 80-90 fabric choices. Steve talks about their new modern lines that are represented in over 10 of their current collections. Listen in to hear what else Castelle has coming up!

Patricia McLean: Patricia McLean Interiors

Patricia starts of talking about how excited she is with the new antiques floor at this year’s Mart, “I include antiques all the time in my design!” Patricia and Nick talk about what amazing items she’s found at the Market this year. Patricia has been in business since 1985, of her background she states, “I grew up in a family that designed and built houses and had beautiful furnishings all the time, I grew up in part in High Point, North Carolina, which is a good background for design.” Patricia talks about her education in design, and the business aspects she learned there as well. Of her firm today, “I’m very blessed, as my business grew, people came to me for my look, using antiques and beautiful textiles.” Patricia describes her work in show houses, and how she grew professionally through that process and her growing business and team with Nick. Patricia has recently started an organization that connects alumni’s and students at her alma matter. Her advice for students, “The basis is hard work, and you have to have your dreams and you have to have your drive, and you have to set goals for yourself. And then also listen to your mentors, it’s very important to give back for me.” To learn more about Patricia and her work visit her website at www.mcleaninteriors.com.

Christopher Thorpe: Eleanor Rigby Leather

“We are a boutique leather upholstery company based in San Diego, and we have a custom 35,000 square foot factory. We founded the company with the idea that we would like to try to address the niche of the better end retail market and interior designers, the whole idea behind the company was to try to do some different things with leather, do some artisanal work, other than just the standard run of the mill leather looks,” Christopher says of the company. A very customizable product, Nick and Christopher talk about the importance of custom pieces in designer’s work and how he works with the designer when they ask for a very specific shape and size and texture of the piece.  Connect with Christopher over at eleanorrigbyleather.com

If you would like to hear more episodes, please visit us on iTunes or on our website at TheChaiseLoungePodcast.com.  Lastly, find The Chaise Lounge on InstagramFacebook and Twitter or post a review on iTunes, you may even hear your review read live on our next podcast. With that said keep dreaming big, and keep designing a great design business.  See ya!

About the Author
Here in The Lounge, Becca is in charge of 'all things podcast' from management, marketing, branding, graphic design, social media, event planning all the way to managing our interns. Her background is in art and design but that didn't stop her from diving headfirst into the unfamiliar worlds of business, marketing, interiors, and podcasting. Growing up in a small, coastal, New England town, Becca has now been in Denver for five years and doesn't plan to leave the mountains and sunshine anytime soon! On the weekends you can catch Becca hiking, skiing, dreaming about the beach or enjoying the local food, art, and shopping. If you have any questions about the show, Becca is your girl.

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