3 Takeaways from AmericasMart Atlanta
This month, I proudly launched the Quinsby brand to the trade at AmericasMart Atlanta. I displayed my signature collection of long lumbar pillow covers, as well as a new collection I'm designing with fabrics made from 100% Turkish cotton. It was great to have the opportunity to share booth space with Antiochia Home Linens, with whom I'm collaborating to develop the Turkish pillow cover collection. Displaying our products together (Antiochia produces high quality throw blankets, area rugs, Turkish towels and bathrobes) allowed us to network with a variety of Market goers such as wholesale buyers, interior designers and fellow exhibitors. In doing so, I walked away from the 5-day trade show with a few nuggets of intel that is sure to shape and inspire the multitude of creative and business decisions I'm constantly making as the company starts up. Here are a few…
1. Neutrals Reign Supreme
I was expecting to see a lot of hot and trendy new colors being introduced to every aspect of home textiles and home decor, but over and over I saw a lot of neutrals — beige, grey, black, off-white, tan — with maybe a few sprinkles of navy for good measure. Maybe consumers are afraid to take risks and prefer to stick with the classics? Or maybe they don't want to spend money on trendy colors that will be out of fashion in the blink of an eye (or at least once the next Pantone "Color of the Year" is announced)? It's hard to speculate, except for the fact that buyers were a little hesitant to invest in textile products with specific colors for fear that they may not sell as easily at their retail stores.
2. Consumers Crave Quality
In the world of discount goods, knock-offs and poorly-made (a.k.a. cheap) products, I often heard that consumers are really on the lookout for home textiles that are made with quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. They're tired of spending money on inexpensive "throw-away" products that don't hold up to actual wear and tear. And the owners of retail shops want to offer their customers something different than they can find in any big box retailer or discount chain. That's why we made sure to educate each person who stopped by about the quality of the Turkish cotton used, and that each product is expertly made to stand the test of time. We understand that with quality comes a higher price tag, but we also know that people are willing to spend a little more if they know they're getting a far superior product. Basically, it's that old adage: "you get what you pay for."
3. Everything Goes
Gone are the days where you had to have matchy-matchy everything in a room. Now, it's all about a "collected" look that tells a story, rather than having a particular color and/or pattern repeated constantly throughout a space until the "theme" has clobbered you over the head. I saw this eclecticism throughout the booths and showrooms where mixed patterns, textures and materials all lived in harmony with each other. Sure, there are some guidelines to follow here and there that will keep it from looking like a hot mess, but generally we like each of our textiles and decor pieces to have some uniqueness. That way we won't get easily bored and feel the need to change the entire room theme just to spruce things up. Instead, a simple switch of a pillow, throw or decorative object can quickly breathe new life into a room.
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