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80 – Atlanta Market Show 4

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!

79 – Atlanta Market Show 3

Nick May continues from The Chaise Lounge live from Atlanta at the International Home Furnishings and Gift Market. With the third installment of our series on the market, you’ll hear from even more market goer’s and design professionals as they share their backgrounds and advice to help you grow your interior design business.

Josue Franco: Polart

“I have a company where we are doing French provincial furniture in very bright colors, a market that narrows down to a very particular niche, for people who are looking for something that stands out.” Josue describes his aesthetic, which includes allowing his customers choose their own colors, finishes or fabrics. “I pretty much believe that everything begins with a shock, I mean people that see it, the first time they see it, it’s a love or hate thing, it creates emotion, even if they love it, they don’t know where they are going to use it!” Josue talks about the types of events that his pieces are often used in, including restaurants and nightclubs all the way to royal weddings and Disney castles. Josue talks about the importance of attending markets, “of you aren’t here, you forget what the customer is wanting.” This is the 4th year Polart has been featured at the Atlanta Market. To learn more about Josue’s work visit www.polartdesigns.com.



Nina and Jared Mathews furniture and design

Nina Nash and Jared Hughes: Mathew’s Furniture and Design

Another pair of designers that are featured in the Vignette Gallery, Nina and Jared talk with Nick about the inspiration for their space in the gallery. “We went a little crazy, and decided to tent our vignette. So basically we are given a 10’ x 10’ space with 6.5’ walls, so it kind of limits you in creating a room, so I had the psycho idea of creating a room with the fabric, so we upholstered the ceiling and draped the sides of it and really created a room with the tent.” Nina talks about the tribal vibe her and Jared have been drawn too lately. Nina says, “We wanted to do something dark, if you get in our tent, you just want to lay down, you want to lounge.” Nina describes their business, and the demographics of their clients. “We work with everyone from designers, to walk-ins, to clients, to repeat business, and generations whose grandparents bought their furniture from Mathew’s.” To learn more about Nina and Jared’s business, visit www.mathewsfurniture.com or check them out on Instagram.

Kerry Howard: KMH Interiors

Kerry has been in business for over 10 years, at this year’s market he gave a talk called “From the Ground Up.” Nick asks Kerry how he approaches the vastness of the market, “First of all, I’m lucky to have this in my backyard, so we come here weekly. I love going to contemporaries, and to find hidden gems, I was excited this market to see the antiques floor, and I hate to say antiques because I’m not really an antiques person, but what people don’t realize within those antiques there are a lot of little rare finds.” Kerry also designed a Buyers lounge and a designer’s lounge for AmericasMart; he was also featured in the Vignette gallery last year. Be sure to check back in with The Chaise Lounge, as we hope to have Kerry back for a full interview soon, in the meantime learn more about Kerry and his business by visiting www.kmhinteriors.net.

Marta Aranha: Bunakara

Bunakara swingboxMarta describes the many facets of design that she and her mother are involved in, including an interior design firm, multiple product lines that is a mix of furniture, fabric, and accessories. “I think if you could find a concept for our whole collection it would be ‘the rich with the poor,’ that’s our whole way of thinking.” Marta talks about testing the market, to see which pieces work, and experimenting. Of the market, Marta says, “We hope for new customers, great deals, and to pass a little bit the brand on, to be known as a good brand in terms of creativity and honesty.” To learn more about the design business visit Bunakara.


Tom Marabiletom mirabile

Nick and Tom talks about the multiple hats Tom wears in the design world. He describes the application of fashion in home goods, using the example of watercolor floral material that was popular in fashion 2 years ago, and how it trickles down into the interior design world. “It’s a constant flow of what’s new, what’s next, and the consumer has become hungry for that.” He also talks about how the home is a form of self-expression, where it might have only been in fashion before. Tom describes the best designers as ‘culture vultures,’ those who can find trends and transform it into something new and exciting. “I’m a fast editor, I’ll walk into a show room and be in one end and out the other in five minutes but I think that after a while your eye just doesn’t see the things that aren’t new.”

Toma the Antiques Diva

“AmericasMart has opened this year their inaugural antiques market, so they wanted to bring in an expert to come in to basically do the grand opening for the show. We have 90 vendors and I have to tell you this is one of the best choreographed collections in the world, and the reason for this is that the market did something really smart. They didn’t say we’re the experts and we’re going to choose who comes here, they contacted three of the best dealers and said ‘what should we do, who should we invite?’” Toma Clark Haines – The Antiques Diva & Co is based on custom antique buying tours where they help the client find, negotiate and ship the perfect antique pieces they’ve found. Toma often speaks on how antiques influences design, “The past always influences the future.” She describes her background, and how she became interested in Antiques. Tune in to hear Toma’s amazing attitude and excitement, and to learn more about her at www.antiquesdiva.com.


78 – Atlanta Market Show 2

AmericasMart show 2

On today’s episode, we have the second installment of our series from the AmericasMart Home Furnishings and Gift Market in Atlanta, Georgia. Nick May will be interviewing a handful of designers and retailers that are featured at the Market. (Note: the episode intro includes an interview with Josue Franco; this interview will actually be a part of the third installment of this series.)

Julia Buckingham: Buckingham Interiors & Design

Nick and Julia open the interview talking about Julia’s role on a Julia Buckinghampanel for marketing and licensing. “I’ve been doing licensing for two years, and it was my very first foray into licensing with a fantastic mega company called Global Views, a world leader in home accessories, they are everywhere!” Julia’s background in design started in Chicago, where she started as an interior designer. “I was originally in fashion and worked for Neiman Marcus on Michigan Avenue, I’ve studied Fashion Merchandising at the University of Arizona before moving back to Chicago. My mother was always an antique-er, and now I’ve turned into that mom as well, and that gathering of antiques has turned into my business.” After retailing these pieces from her collection of antiques, Julia’s career turned toward interior design. Be sure to keep following the Chaise Lounge because we will definitely be having Julia back in the lounge for a more in-depth interview in the future, in the meantime learn more about her firm by visiting www.buckinghamid.com.

John Ishmael & Susan Victor: Nandina Home & Design

Nandina Home at AmericasMartJohn and Susan of Nandina Home & Design is another team of designers that were chosen to create a vignette in the vignette gallery at the Market. “It’s exciting because it’s actually the first time that John and I have gotten to work together on a design project! We were asked to create a vignette about six months ago, our thought process was ‘we both are designers and we do design constantly,’ and one of the things we are asked to do is this room in people’s homes that is the multi-functional room, and it needs to look fantastic, so that’s what we based our vignette around. The pair speaks about their opposing design aesthetics, and how they merged them together to create a cohesive look. Nick asked where they started with the design, and if it was difficult to select items only from the market. “We see so much and we are creators so our creative juices get flowing and we think ‘oh my gosh,’ and we were way outside the box initially and then we brought it down to what we could actually get done!” says Susan. Nick talks with the team about their unique set-up, John and Susan are actually brother and sister, they started with a retail storefront that turned into a full-fledged design business. John says, “Our work in the store is an extension of us, so what we try to create is an environment that will display a feeling.” Susan shares with Nick all of the things she has to do at market, the events and also the shopping, tune in to hear tips from the team on how to approach such a large event with so much merchandise. To learn more about Nandina Home & Design, visit their website at www.nandinahome.com and follow them on Instagram @nandinahome.

Julianne Taylor: Taylor Burke Home

“My background is in interior design, I went to the University of Georgia, I’m formally trained as an interior designer, I also have a background in business, and when I decided to get married my JULIANNE-TAYLOR of Taylor Burke Homehusband and I moved overseas, and I did a lot of work for ex-pats like me!” Julianne shares her background with Nick, and how her business grew by word of mouth during her time spent living in many different countries. She discusses how she had to create custom pieces that reflected western aesthetic where those types of pieces weren’t readily available. This led Julianne to really appreciate the process of creating furniture and eventually led her to Taylor Burke Home. The design studio and customer service is based out of North Carolina, and the majority of her products are manufactured in the southeast United States. Julianne advises on the importance of being a part of markets, whether it’s High Point, AmericasMart or Vegas. “We’re excited to be back here, we want to get back in front of our customers again and show them what’s new and meet them and talk to them about what they are seeing in the marketplace. We can then take that feedback and create things based on what the customers have said.” To learn more about Julianne and her work visit www.taylorburkehome.com and all social media channels!

Michel Boyd: Branding & Licensing

Michel Boyd speaking at AmericasMart on Branding Michel was on a panel at AmericasMart on branding and licensing. Michel speaks with Nick about his product lines and the licensing deals he’s made in the past. Of his background Michel says, “I was a fashion junkie and that brought me to New York,” after a visit to a design center he was immediately intrigued by the interiors world. While originally interested in Architecture, Michel decided to follow a path in fashion, but ultimately decided on interior design, which he describes as the perfect merger between those two worlds, with the hard lines and the soft lines. After his education, Michel went straight into working for himself, which he describes now as arrogant and uninformed, however, he talks about how the mistakes he’s made has made him a stronger designer now. Of the biggest things he had to learn, Michel talks about balancing a budget and professional practice, specifically how to deliver bad news to clients. “The most important thing has become, the right team.” Find Michel on Instagram or visit his website at www.michelsmithboyd.com to learn more!

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 Instagram, Facebook 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!

77 – Atlanta Market Show 1


Day one at the AmericasMart summer Home Furnishings and Gift Market. I have come down to cover the market and share some of what happens with you.  Attending markets is an important part of being an interior designer. It allows you to be aware of the trends, what companies are offering what as well as networking and educational opportunities.  AmericasMart host two markets specifically for retailers and interior designers each year.

Joining me in The Lounge is a handful of successful and beautiful women.  How am I so lucky? My first guest is Sarah Mount the Executive Director of Marketing for AmericasMart.  She shares a little bit about what is new at market this time around and what you should expect.

Honeycutt Creed

Honeycutt Creed Red ChaiseNext in The Lounge is Lori Creed Raney who owns Honeycutt Creed.  Lori actually provided an amazing red chaise lounge for me to interview guests.  We connected through social media after I commented on a beautiful chaise that she and shared.  After a few back and forth emails, despite my disbelief, she offered to make one for me.  We talk about how she went from making curtains to custom furniture.  To learn more about Lori, you can visit her at Honeycuttcreed.com.

Imagine Home

Coming to market is stressful enough, can you imagine setting up a brand new showroom the week before?  Staci  Lantz of Imagine Home and her husband did just that. Staci just launched her new company in January, but she is all in, sourcing materials from several third world countries and supporting small batch artisans that make everything to the fabric to the lights.  After being a successful interior designer for years, Staci wanted to do more and help others.  Imagine Home is social minded furnishings manufacturer with a real story, and in this interview we share that story.

Huff Harrington Home

The final pair in The Lounge with me is Ann Huff and Meg Harrington, the cHuff harrington Homereative force behind Huff Harrington Home and Art.  They are a designing duo that also have a retail shop in Atlanta and operate an online store.  They started with fine art, and grew their offerings to include furniture, decor, and design. On top of all that, they also organize and lead buying trips to Europe.  Count me in!  Meg and Ann were asked to create a vignette at the market to showcase the range that can be accomplished at market, and they created a beautiful European-inspired space.