First Impressions of High Point Market By Farah Merhi, founder of Inspire Me Home Décor This Spring, I was very excited to be invited to what is considered THE place to be for everything home décor and furniture. Although I have been told of the expansiveness of High Point Market, I must admit I was blown away the minute I stepped out of the car and into a city filled with more than eleven million square feet of home décor and furniture showrooms. I was like a kid in a candy store! “I am happy to share with you the five ways I was inspired by this amazing event.” What do you do when you are in such a massive place? Use the app that is made available for its visitors, of course! App in hand, I was able to easily find the showrooms I specifically had in mind, as well as explore to my heart’s content without worrying that I might get lost at some point. Three days later, I left High Point Market completely inspired. With lots of pictures and business cards in hand, I am already planning my next visit. Staying On Top Of Trends The main reason High Point Market is the perfect place for anyone in the home furnishings industry is that it provides attendees with an unforgettable experience of the latest trends, as well as “sneak peaks” and insight into products and designs that are making their debut the following season. Bernhardt’s mixed metal vignettes and Caracole’s feminine metallic tones helped secure their spots on my schedule for any future visits to High Point! John-Richard’s focus on the bold combination of gold and black was captivating, making it one of my go-to showrooms for home décor accents. New Discoveries Being in this industry and living it day-in and day-out for years, you have a pretty good idea of different vendors and designers. The excitement of attending Market is getting to find the hidden treasures you otherwise wouldn’t have known about. These new discoveries present you with showrooms that completely stop you in your tracks. As much as I have seen beautiful designs and unique furniture, there are two showrooms that stood out to me the most, and I am glad I was able to find these gems! Global Views and Cyan Design presented beautifully designed home décor and one of a kind furniture pieces that were totally glitz and glam. Just what I love! What Is Here To Stay With the excitement of finding new trends, as well as hunting for new showrooms, comes the eagerness to find out which trends are still going strong and which trends to ditch – yet another reason High Point is a must attend show. It was fun to experience first-hand designs that showed up a few seasons back and had huge question marks regarding their durability in the design world. “Do I invest in a piece that seems to be all the rage now or will it fizzle away within a few months?” We have all asked ourselves this question. Showrooms like Rowe Furniture and Bungalow 5 definitely were there to put minds at ease, showing us that acrylic furniture and mirrored décor/furniture are definitely here to stay for a while. Heart Behind The Brand When we look at furniture and home décor, we often see only the objects and miss the story behind the brand, or simply forget that the brand didn’t just arrive, fully formed, but was once a startup and has a story to tell about the people who built it from from the ground up. I had the privilege of meeting the hearts and souls behind three brands that were breathtaking and inspirational. Where else would an opportunity like this come up? Touring the Becara showroom, Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams showroom and the new collection from Charles Neal in the Caracole showroom, I had the honor to meet the designers themselves and hear about the inspiration, the story and the passion behind the designs that we all see every day. “I was able to get the complete view of each collection from the designers themselves - what a unique experience!” Becara was founded by a strong and inspiring entrepreneur who repurposed a couch given to her by her mom. Family and friends fell in love with the result, and a unique brand was born. And, thanks to a woman who continues to follow her dreams, is still going strong. Charles Neal is a talented designer to the stars. He is humble and sweet, and the elegant, Hollywood glam-inspired collection he created with Caracole completely speaks to his style. Mitchell Gold and Bob Williams create collections full of heart and complete with soul. After meeting the talented designers behind this brand, I could see where the essence of the designs came from. Unequaled Networking Last but certainly not least, what inspired me the most at High Point Market was all the amazing networking. To be surrounded by people who are driven by the same passion is an experience that is enlightening and energizing. Starting out as a place for buyers and vendors to connect, Market has turned into something much bigger. It provides nearly endless opportunities to meet talented designers, inspiring entrepreneurs, bloggers, talented podcast interviewers (Nick from The Chaise Lounge), faces behind huge companies (President & CEO of Bernhardt), and to learn the actual stories behind how the brands you love got started. “What a great opportunity being in the same zip code as so many who live and breathe design!" These moments do not come by every day. Unique and helpful beyond words, High Point Market offers the opportunity to meet people and experience a camaraderie that only a show of this size and scope can provide. If you are in this industry, High Point Market is an experience like none other. Your one-stop show that will leave you inspired!