Here's an article that mentions us and our participation in the Fine Furnishings Show in Baltimore.
show see sales on the upswing
Furnishings & Fine Crafts Show's attendance was flat, but those there were
By Jennifer Hicks
The Baltimore Fine Furnishings & Fine Crafts Show
had its second appearance at the France-Merrick Performing Art
Center/Hippodrome Theater on the weekend of May 1-2. Exhibitors say their
success had nothing to do with luck and everything to do with strategic
There were 48 exhibitors, of
which 80 percent were furniture makers primarily working with wood. In this
category, show producers describe the breakdown as 25 percent traditional, 25
percent studio and 50 percent contemporary with a mix of Arts and Crafts, Asian
and Shaker inspiration.
Justin Kauffman, of Kauffman
Fine Furniture in Pendleton, Ind., who won this year's Best in Show award for a
traditional piece of furniture, says clever marketing led to the sale of a
table and provided him a promising lead for a chair commission. Having no
client base in the area to work from, he decided the best thing he could do was
have the best booth possible to make a great first impression.
"My marketing strategy
was to create the most impressive booth and have it positioned close to the
entrance. I built a tall chest on chest made of very curly cherry and put it at
the entrance. I believe this strategy worked since so many people stopped to
look at this piece and then came into the booth to look closer. I think it is
also one reason I won the award for best traditional body of work," says
Show director Karla Little
rated the show as an overall success. She was disappointed in the attendance,
but says the quality of work made up for it. "The attendance was the same
as last year, but when all is said and done the show produced two to three times
the sales and orders that it did last year. This year they were there to buy
and last year they were there to think and look," says Little.
Brad Smith from Bradford
Woodworking in Worcester, Pa., won the Marc Harrison Award for Marketing
Excellence. Little says his booth was fun, fresh and inviting.
"He put his seating out
where somebody could try it," she says. "He had a table with four
chairs so he could sit down and talk with customers. The booth was very
engaging, the signage was there, there was a theme to the furniture, it was
well laid out... it was great."
Arnold d'Epagnier of Mission
Evolution in Coleville, Md., exhibited at the show because it was close to home
and indoors. His marketing strategy involved sending complimentary and discounted
tickets to customers and friends. He made a discounted sale off the show floor,
contracted a commission and received two more commissions in the weeks
following the show. Sales or no sales, shows are all about networking, he says.
"It is a great way for
past and current customers to stop by and visualize and communicate about their
furniture needs and desires. They also find that seeing and touching gives a
perspective that is missing when depending on Web site information," says
"I will return to
Baltimore. Quality furniture shows with many talented makers are few and far
between, so I can plan on doing one of Karla's shows with confidence."
The Fine Furnishings &
Fine Crafts Show, produced by KL Communications, moves Oct.2-3 to Milwaukee's
Harley-Davidson Museum and Oct. 22-24 at the Rhode Island Convention Center in