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What is Market, and Why It’s Important for Designers

We're just wrapping up a whirlwind weekend at Las Vegas Market after over a year of no market visits, and we're exhausted!! But this week, we thought we would give you a peek behind the curtain of Market, since it is one of the big investments we make in our business and our clients every year.

what is market

'Market' is the term we use in the design industry to discuss design showrooms in cities all over the country. There are literally millions of square feet for furniture, accessories, art, and lighting to be displayed in each design center, and it gives designers and other trade professionals a chance to connect in person with manufacturers and reps. Those relationships are so important because they become our go-to contacts for any issues that come up, and we stay on top of the newest products that meet our quality standards so our clients aren't having to replace these pieces in a few years.

If you're looking to hire a designer, ask them if they go to any market. If your designer doesn't go to any market, that's a red flag. Yes, it's a cost. Yes, it's expensive. Yes, it's time consuming. Yes, it's exhausting. But the way things are right now, there aren't a lot of showrooms that you can just go and sit on furniture - everything is online. So market is our way of seeing things in person, seeing quality of items, and seeing the new introductions from our favorite vendors.

We try to go to two markets a year, but all of our trips been delayed because of COVID. It's been interesting to see how much we've missed it too, and how much more difficult sourcing things has been for some of our big furniture jobs because we haven't seen anything in person, and it's harder to get samples right now, too. At this last market, we left with hundreds and hundreds of photos and videos that we can reference later on since we've been so starved for that experience!

I have albums and albums of photos on my phone with Brian and myself sitting in chairs and sofas with a thumbs up or thumbs down (I made him take a nice photo too!). This is the only way to remember what is actually comfortable and what is purely a show chair. I'm always honest with clients, and I'll say no I haven't sat on that, but I've sat on other things by this manufacturer, and they were all really comfortable. Or this chair looks great, but you won't want to watch a movie sitting in it.

markets throughout the U.S.

LV market is the easiest trip for us here in Southern California since we can book a last minute flight to Vegas easily. There are two markets - one in the winter and one in the summer. We always go to LV market in the winter since we don't want to sweat all weekend in 100+ degree heat. NO THANKS! The showrooms are within three buildings, so it's a more efficient trip than going to High Point. We can make it through all of the showrooms on 16 floors within two days, and skip rooms that sell just holiday decor or mattresses, for example.

High Point is a costlier trip for us, both because it's further away in North Carolina, but it's also a small town with less hotels to stay in than Vegas, and it's a big gamble finding a room when market is happening! You end up taking shuttles because it's basically an entire town full of showrooms, and you can take three days and still only see 1/4 of the available showrooms. High Point is the 'big game' of the design industry, so we make it a priority to attend every year. They focus a lot on different upholstery companies, since so many are located right there in North Carolina.

Atlanta market focuses more on accessories, and Dallas market is on our list to go as well. Hopefully we have a bigger team by the time the next market comes around, and we can make the trip to invest in more options we can suggest to our clients.

Stay tuned for another post on market trends we saw this year in the coming weeks! What do you think is going to be popular this year?



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