High Point Market Authority adds organization-focused website

The High Point Market Authority launched www.highpointmarketauthority.org, a new website aimed at outlining the organization’s unique role and responsibilities as the official sponsor and organizer of the biannual High Point Market.

The existing trade show website, www.highpointmarket.org, remains intact and will continue to serve as a robust reference point for market buyers and attendees, featuring registration information, exhibitor links, product guides, program updates, event calendars, industry articles, and other resources.

While the Market Authority is inextricably linked to High Point Market, the new website presents an opportunity to serve as a platform for outlining the role and impacts of the Market Authority, further defining its identity, and sharing information and details with individuals and entities outside of the home furnishings industry.

Additionally, the new website enables the Market Authority to promote a deeper understanding of the organization’s contributions to positive economic impact on the local community and the state of North Carolina.

“This new website brings to the forefront a more comprehensive understanding of High Point Market’s reach and the governing body that guides it. It allows us to more fully tell the story about who the Market Authority is, and what it does,” said Tom Conley, president

Five Black students receive inaugural Black Lives Matter Scholarships from Mackenzie-Childs

Home décor brand MacKenzie-Childs has selected the five winners of its inaugural MacKenzie-Childs Black Lives Matter Scholarship for Design.

Recognizing the importance of education, MacKenzie-Childs launched the scholarship program to help Black students pursuing their future careers in the arts and design. Students had to submit an essay about where they find inspiration for their art and creativity and how they see that shaping their future. The winners are: Guidance Gunundu, Tai Campbell, Amuri Morris, Javier Evans and Temesgen Besha. They will each be awarded $5,000 to put towards higher education.

MackKenzie-Childs believes design impacts almost everything around us and it should thrive in nontraditional forms, it said. The newly dubbed “MacKenzie-Childs Scholars” work across, and find inspiration in, a number of unique platforms and fields, from film and fine art to engineering.

Each MacKenzie-Childs Scholar shared a quote about what design means to them:

  • Gunundu: “Design empowers me to tell my story in a uniquely visual way. It inspires me to empower generations and effectively depict my history, culture, surroundings and my creativity.”
  • Campbell: “Design is one of the only things that allows me to freely express myself. It inspires me to use creativity not only as an outlet

Nancy Fire opens niche design firm

Nancy Fire

New York – Designer Nancy Fire is off to busy start this year.

The trend authority, creative director and co-founder of Design Works International has officially launched her new firm, Nancy Fire Design. The new, multi-disciplined venture offers niche services tailored to clients’ evolving design needs amid the pandemic – including  interior design, product development, retail design conceptualization, trend research, color consultation and more.

Fire described the new business as “a think tank studio founded on customization.”

She continued: “Today more than ever, clients require astute attention to their individual businesses and bespoke design services that meet their unique demands.”

In addition, Fire this month has been appointed to boards of directors for two industry organizations:

The launch of her new business syncs with Fire’s appointment this month to the 2021 board of directors of two key industry organizations: Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC) and the Bienenstock Furniture Library research facility. Fire also serves on the advisory boards of Fashion Institute of Technology and the Oswego State University of New York School of Communication, Media and the Arts (SCMA).

“I feel very blessed in my career experience, and in gratitude I want to give back to the community

Can live streaming bridge the e-tail/retail gap?

Al Sambar, left, Liyia Wu and Ophelia Ceradini.

HIGH POINT – In a retail environment where people are staying home to shop online more than ever, getting and keeping a consumer attention can be difficult. One new way that is on the rise? Live-stream video selling.

According to several experts in a session at the National Retail Federation’s annual retail conference NRF 2021, live-stream video selling is going to be a huge part of online shopping’s future.

Lauded by converts for its high customer engagement levels, relatability and ability to replicate in-store experiences, live-stream selling involves explaining, demonstrating and selling product on a live video that viewers can then purchase directly from through embedded links. It essentially gives sellers their own instant shopping channel, offering businesses the opportunity to sell directly, answer customer questions immediately, offer special deals, and involve different company personalities and even celebrities.

“This isn’t just about shopping,” said Liyia Wu, founder and CEO of China-based live-stream selling platform ShopShops. “This is about creating a live experience that you’re sharing authentically with an audience. They’re trying to find things that are interesting and excite their lives, so its about sharing your knowledge, your experience with the viewer,

WithIt Foundation plans to offer $30K in scholarships in 2021

HIGH POINT – The foundation for WithIt, a women’s leadership development network for the home and furnishings industries, plans to award $30,000 in scholarships to students and other professionals this year.

Last year, the organization offered 11 scholarships to students and professionals, and WithIt plans to offer another 11 to 15 scholarships this year.

The scholarships are open to women who are pursuing majors that apply to the home industries in varying amounts between $1,500 and $3,500. Recipients will also have an opportunity to attend the WithIt Professional Conference in 2021.

Eligible students must have a major in one of the following as it applies to the home industries: Accessory Design, Architectural Design, Forestry, Furniture Design, Textile Design, Graphic Design, Interior Architecture, Marketing with a Design or Furniture minor, Sustainable Design or majors related to the home and furnishing industries.

The deadline to submit an application is March 1, and the application can be found here.

Since its inception in 1998, WithIt’s foundation has awarded more than $150,000 in tuition scholarships.