As if Contemporary Design Group needed further evidence of being movers and shakers in home furnishings!
CDG is proud to announce that not one, not two, but THREE of our members have been recognized by Home Furnishings Business as being in the top 40 Executives Under 40 Years Old for 2013!
We were fortunate enough to get the opportunity to dig down a little further and interview them about their celebrity status and secrets to success.
Travis Garrish, President of Forma Furniture moved to Fort Collins, CO and saw an opportunity. When it came to contemporary and Scandinavian home furnishings, the market was wide open. Together with his wife Dee Ann Garrish, Forma Furniture was founded in 2004, and now serves greater Colorado and Wyoming.
Garrish says his favorite thing about the industry is the people and being in sales. He sites his ability to adapt and adjust to new ideas and concepts as his biggest strength. “I wasn’t raised in the industry- my nine years of experience since opening the store is what I am learning from. I bring a different way of thinking to our store. I’m willing to try and fail. But I view failures or mistakes as investments and see the learning potential” he says.
In Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, Hillside Furniture President (and oft times “poster boy”), Jeff Selik, grew up in the business—getting is start as a merchandising assistant post college. Today, he oversees all of Hillside’s operations, including buying, advertising, and sales training.
Described by Home Furnishings Business Magazine’s article as being the “Energizer Bunny” of the furnishings industry, Jeff says that as a kid he wanted to become a stand-up comedian or professional smart-ass. “One out of two isn’t bad,” he notes with a wink. All kidding aside, Jeff loves the technological evolution of furniture and the creative freedom he gets to explore in Hillside’s advertising. He “charges his batteries” (pun intended) by doing yoga, eating, and taking pictures of what he’s eating.
As Director of Business Development at Circle Furniture, Jessica Tubman is busy laying groundwork for the future. A third-generation member of the Circle Furniture clan, Jessica is developing a store private label brand, collaborating with the company’s POS software designer to create new inventory management/budgeting software, and developing a new e-commerce integrated web site for Circle's six store locations in the greater Boston area.
Although there was a point when Jessica says she considered pursuing law school, she’s glad that she ultimately chose to continue in the furniture industry. Her favorite thing about home furnishings is the constant evolution of style and technology. In order to stay on trend, she makes a point to keep updated on trends by reading news, blogs, and technology magazines…when she’s not busy attending star-studded galas in celebration of her new 40 Under 40 status, she jokes!
From the San Francisco Bay to San Diego and from Austin to Pittsburg, “barkitecture” is sweeping the nation.
According to a recent report from the U.S. Labor Department, Americans spend $61 billion per year on their pets, averaging just over $500 per household. Kit Yarrow, chair of psychology at Golden Gate University, points out that pets also have an elevated status in our homes than in the past, with 9 out of 10 owners considering their pets to be “part of the family”.
Now, animal lovers can combine their love of design to help their furry friends. Animal rescue groups all over the country are challenging talented designers, architects, builders and artists to create fantasy doghouses to later be auctioned off at fundraiser events. These competitions have become quite the event themselves- with specialty categories in “kitty condos” and “interior barkitecture”, which are structures intended for indoor use only.
Pittsburgh, PA Contemporary Design Group store, Perlora is currently partnering with community organization Animal Friends to help give pets a “new leash on life”. Challenging competitors to “think outside the cage”, Perlora will also host the finale live auction on October 24.
Animal Friends of Pittsburgh is a non-profit companion animal resource center serving the needs of pets and people for 70 years. According to their website, “our progressive programs have been nationally recognized and include humane rescue, shelter and adoption services for homeless pets, humane education, pet behavior classes, pet- assisted therapy, wellness programs and more. In addition, Animal Friends is leading the way towards ending pet overpopulation in western Pennsylvania through comprehensive, community- wide spay/neuter programming.” To learn more or to learn how you can support, check Animal Friends out at www.thinkingoutsidethecage.org.
And, just in case anyone is wondering... Rockstar Puppy Boutique.com is currently offering an exclusive, custom “doggie dreamhouse” inspired by the Taj Mahal at a mere $40,000 pricetag. No word yet on how well it’s selling, but you can be sure that it’s future occupant will be one pampered pooch.
Contemporary Design Group is a national association of independent contemporary furniture retailers.
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