World-Class Speakers Begin Taking Stage Saturday Morning!
Have you heard about the special seminar series taking place here at the High Point Market in the Antique & Design Center at Market Square? Each of the world-class speakers is considered a rock star in his or her chosen field and you can expect each session is a learning experience par excellence!
All seminars take place in the Mezzanine Level Seminar Space in the Antique & Design Center in historic Market Square. No reservations are necessary, and thanks to the sponsorship of VandM.com, the entire series is free to all attending Market!
The series kicks off Saturday morning, October 22 at 10 a.m. with social media practitioner Leslie Carothers and a special breakfast presentation called “Breakfast in Bed with Leslie: Waking Up to the Power of Social Media.” Billed as a rousing wake-up call on social media metrics, the presentation is sponsored by Pandora de Balthazar, the premier worldwide collector and purveyor of classic antique textiles, who is exhibiting at the Antique & Design Center for the first time this Market.
Carothers will tackle the one topic on the minds of designers, retailers and manufacturers everywhere. Namely, how do you measure the return on investment (ROI) of social media? Does it really work to get new sales? Secure new clients? Attract media attention? If you’d like to get your social media strategy on track and jump-start your Market faster than a double-shot of espresso, plan to start your Opening Day with us at the Antique & Design Center.
Next up on Saturday at 2 p.m. is Chicago Interior Designer Julia Buckingham Edelmann, principal of Buckingham Interiors & Design LLC, who presents “Modern-ique: Integrating Antiques and Artifacts with Modern Design for Today’s Lifestyles.” With a reputation for mixing styles and eras to create surprising, whimsical and unique environments, and an educated eye for only the best and most unique pieces, Edelmann sees aged objects as modern art.
Regular readers of the AD&C blog know both Pandora de Balthazar and Julia Buckingham Edelmann have been the subjects of recent blog profiles here. We’re looking forward to finally meeting these talented and inspiring women in person.
Sunday, October 23, 2 p.m. features an encore performance by Bill Indursky, co-founder of VandM.com. If you caught his talk at Spring Market earlier this year, you know his provocative trend presentation simply blew everyone away. If you haven’t heard him, this is your big chance. Bill is returning for Yearbook 2011/2012: Trend Forecast for the Antique and Home Décor Industries. It’s a not-to-be-missed, in-depth and up-to-the-minute analysis of where the antique and home décor industries are headed. We can tell you from experience that he provides a fact-based forecast that is thought-provoking and lively. If it’s been awhile since your last ‘aha’ moment, you owe it to yourself (and your business!) to attend this session.
Retail Sherpa, stylist, designer and entrepreneur Suzi West follows at 3:30 on Sunday with Passion and the Six P’s of Successful Retailing. West has more than 17 years of retail experience in merchandising, marketing and managing with brands like Express, Aeropostale, NBC, Homage, Limited Brands and DSW. The force behind Collier West, with its unique mix of vintage and antique furniture, home furnishings and décor, she is a passionate leader with a record of building brands and environments that turn ideas into profitability. With a focus on the Six P’s of marketing fundamentals, this session is appropriate for both the small business leader and large organization, and breaks each practice into understandable and executable steps. Count on her to reawaken the merchant within.
Following Suzi West, we’re looking forward to the big panel discussion led by our own Karen Luisana, executive director and founder of the Antique & Design Center at Market Square. Karen is set to wrap up Sunday’s offering at 5 p.m., with “You Don’t Smell Potpourri in Here: Reinventing the Antiques Business.” Her panelists include Hilary Eklund, Tandem Antiques; Breck Armstrong, Moss Studio; Barry Cotton, Barry Cotton Antiques and Blogger Allison Watts, the force behind the popular blog heirloomphilosophy.blogspot.com.
“Our panel of experts will provide an insider’s take on the evolution and revolution underway in today’s antiques business,” Karen says. “If ever there was a time to be dealing in antiques, this is it. People are tiring of disposable, mass-produced goods that don’t last. Everywhere we look, we see that consumers are craving furnishings of real quality. More and more want to invest in pieces with a story behind them that will continue to increase in value over time, and they are gravitating toward the sustainable nature of antiques as well. If you think this is your grandmother’s business, these panelists are gunning to change your mind.”
Monday, October 24 at 2 p.m. brings another popular speaker back to the series with David Lindquist and “Understanding the Value of Antiques in Today’s Market.” With slides and actual objects drawn from the floor the Antique & Design Center, the presentation will prepare participants to speak intelligently about what is currently happening in the world of antiques, “particularly the astonishing decline of antique prices, which is bringing antiques into sharp competition with modern reproductions and fine modern furniture,” Lindquist says.
Breck Armstrong, principal of Moss Studios takes the podium at 3:30 on Monday for “Found Objects Repurposed for Modern Home Décor.” Armstrong left his job in Chicago, working with antiques and salvage, for the space and serenity of a farm in Michigan. With this experience, combined with his background in ceramics and nine years with the Brookfield Zoo creating exhibits, he decided to start his own business. Since then, with a unique and ever-changing collection of industrial salvage, he has gained a reputation for creating industrial modern furniture and home accessories and his ‘objects with stories’ are featured in an enviable list of the country’s leading-edge home and style retailers.
Finally, Clayton Oxford, principal of Clayton Oxford Designs, will wrap up the series for us on Tuesday, October 25 at 2 p.m. with “Entrepreneurship & Design: The Benefits of Local Sourcing.” A designer and entrepreneur, Clayton Oxford believes that when designers design from their local resources, furniture will be made in the U.S. again. As he says, “Design used to be driven by quantity, but now more than ever, design has to be driven by quality and value.” To which we say, “Hear! Hear!”
Clayton will be discussing the anomaly of the small business importer and his switch to domestic production. We encourage everyone to come learn how a new sense of design guided by entrepreneurship and local materials will lead furniture production into the future. We promise you’ll gain inspiration from Oxford’s tenacious and naive endeavors to take on the archetype of today’s furniture company.