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 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
Marta 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.
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.