If your first trip to the High Point Market is anything like mine, you’ll be amazed by the incredible number of showrooms, the vast expanse of exhibit space, and the dazzling displays – not to mention the breadth and depth of products on offer. My first impression left me feeling as though I would never find what I needed. However, after attending a few Markets, I discovered that finding the perfect accessories – and even some great gift items – is easier than it seems. The keys to uncovering those just-right pieces for your store, studio, or projects are to start with a little research and arrive with a well-planned itinerary.
With that in mind, here are my top 10 tips for home accents and decorative accessories shopping success at the High Point Market:
1. Know what you want
Before you leave home, start by looking through magazines to get an idea of todays hot, new, and trendy items. Check out Pinterest or interior design blogs for interesting products to source. When you find something you like, write down the product and vendor names. Smartphones are great for snapping pictures to jog your memory. Consider your clients and your needs for current projects. Is your focus traditional, transitional, contemporary, or a mix of two or all three? This will help you narrow down your search as you prepare your visit.
2. Start exploring at highpointmarket.org
- Click "Find Exhibitors" from any page on the site.
- On the right-hand side of the Exhibitors page, click “Product Category” under “Start New Search.” You’ll see a list of every product category at Market.
- Click on the categories that interest you to see all exhibitors you may want to visit.
- Use MyMarket to make your planning super easy. Just sign in with your Facebook or Twitter handle, or even your email address. Then, when you find a vendor you like, click “Add to MyMarket” to save your selection for future access online. With your showrooms saved to MyMarket, you can sort your Market tour by building and shuttle stop to maximize your on-the-ground efficiency.
3. In High Point, start at Interhall
Located on the ground floor of the IHFC Building, Interhall is where you’ll see what's trending in mirrors, lighting, accent furniture, and just about everything else. It’s always one of my first stops for tried and true lines with the latest and greatest that Market has to offer.
4. Next stop, Suites at Market Square
Located just a quick walk down Commerce Avenue from the IHFC Building, this is where I like to go to find new resources. Often a new vendor will set up shop in SALON or one of the Suites’ temporary spaces. It's an exciting venue for the thrill of finding new products. I always leave here with a new resource that gets my heart pumping.
5. Shop for vintage items at the Antique and Design Center
When I am searching for antiques to give my projects a collected look or sense of history, I always venture to the Antique and Design Center while in Suites at Market Square. Featuring a plethora of vendors showing gorgeous antiques and reproductions, it’s a great place to find beautiful plate collections, oil paintings, vases, urns, accent tables, and other unique and extraordinary items.
6. If gifts are on your list, you’re in the right place
Suites at Market Square is not just for home accessories. It is a great place to find jewelry and gift items. The temporary vendors sometimes offer cash and carry, so you can add your selections to your inventory immediately. It's always fun to have new, fresh-from-Market items to show customers when you get home.
7. Go exploring
As you’re heading out of Suites at Market Square, dash into Commerce & Design. Then, take a shuttle up to 200 Steele, stroll down to the Design District, and take the shuttle back to Showplace to end your tour. These great venues are all favorite spots for finding awesome accessories. Their showrooms are typically order only but, during Market, many exhibitors offer no minimums or enticing show-only specials.
8. Stay Alert. Accessories are everywhere.
Wherever you are, stay on the lookout for pieces that meet your needs. All of the showrooms use art and accessories to complete their vignettes. So, even though a manufacturer might only sell furniture, if you ask about the accessories in their displays, they are typically more than happy to let you know where you can find them.
9. Use permanent showrooms as a year-round resource.
Every accessory vendor imaginable shows in High Point, so it's a great place to shop if you are watching your travel budget and can only attend one show per season. Here's a really helpful tip ... the IHFC building houses many permanent showrooms which are accessible before, in between or after Market, should you have a need for products when it isn't Market Week. When you find a vendor you really like, get the name of your local sales rep. With a quick call to this valuable contact you can gain anytime entrance to select permanent showrooms.
10. Buy showroom samples
Certain exhibitors – including many of the outparcel locations – will offer their entire showroom displays or pieces for sale after Market. If you are interested in buying samples, you must go to Market on the first day to get the best selection. Any items you purchase will be available for pickup on the last day of Market. This is a great way to get immediate delivery of product.