“Going to Market.” How often do you hear an interior designer, florist or creative business owner say they are “going to market”? And how often do you politely smile and nod, really not knowing exactly what this entails? Oh, that’s you? Well Baker Design Group’s very own dallas interior designer, Lisa Sorenson, sat down with one of Dallas Market’s showrooms, Global Views and got the real scoop on Market.
While the word “market” generally instills a sense of excitement for new products, fun socializing and inspiring ideas for interior designers, we don’t always think about what goes into it to prepare to produce all those characteristics. Fabulous dallas interior design product showroom, Global Views, let Baker Design Group peer behind the doors and shared a bit on that process. Product developer, showroom designer, and go-to PR girl, Erin Davis, was just the girl to break down the whirlwind of market preparation.
Inside the interview:
From unpacking boxes and answering phones to flying across the planet with the design team, Erin Davis has worked her way up an exciting ladder with marketplace showroom company, Global Views. Established 15 years ago, the company has grown to 9 showrooms spanning the US and China and continues to show off innovative and unique furniture and accents to be offered to the interior design world. Showroom designer and PR girl, Erin takes a minute to sit and chat with our Design Editor, Lisa to tell us all a bit more about the “Mecca” that is “Market”.
What is your position with Global Views?
Actually I have several. My main job is being on the interior design team where I do product development and visual merchandising. Then they found out I knew how to use Facebook and Twitter so I quickly became the PR girl too.
How long have you been with the company?
What is your background and how did you get here?
I have a Bachelor of Science in Interior Architecture from UNC Greensboro. Since High Point is only 20 minutes from where I went to school, I got in touch with David and Fredrick, who are the owners, and said “Hey if you just need me to unpack boxes…I just need money”. After about 3 weeks with set up for High Point, they asked if I wanted to move to Dallas so I packed up all my worldly belongings and moved 1500 miles away.
How many showrooms does Global Views have?
In the US, we have High Point, Dallas, Atlanta, New York and Las Vegas. Then in China, we have Beijing, Shanghais, Singeing, and Honk Kong. So 9 total.
What draws a showroom to China?
The Chinese market is just blowing up. They havemoney. They’re developing. They have people trying to make their spaces look nice, whether that be in hospitality or residential, we are selling to all of them and business is really good. There was a distributor warehousing our products in China so we worked with him to open our first showroom in Shanghais. Since the market has grown so much, they immediately felt we could expand and open more showrooms.
What is “Market” and what does it mean to Global Views?
With US Market, we have High Point which happens twice a year, in April and October. That is our [Global Views’s] jumping off point for the rest of the Markets. All of our color stories and trends start with High Point and all the other Markets will then follow the with the same color trends and product introductions. With each High Point, we normally introduce between 300 and 400 new items for interior designers to experience. Within that, there is a big color story. This last October, we presented an orange, gray and gold metal color story. This means our new stuff will fall into that category of color and material. With the smaller regional Markets (Dallas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, New York) starting in January, you will see them show the same color story and follow what has been set with October’s High Point. These regional Markets also occur twice a year, both in January and in the summer time of June and July. Market is mainly a time for interior designers who don’t necessarily live close to a showroom or trade center. So they’ll make their sort of “trip to Mecca” twice a year to either shop for their showrooms or for specific design projects. Interior Designers may bring their whole briefcase of samples and projects to spend the day working in the showroom and making selections for their clients. They also come to get ideas. We do wall installations in the showroom that we will see replicated almost identically in people’s homes and hotels.
Those wall installations come from you and your team? What does this team consist of?
Our team has one visual manager, Greg, and a creative director, Rick, who does most of the product development. The rest is myself, Seth, David (one of the owners of Global Views), Steven and Cody. This means that doing setups, we have seven people. The team may be more or less depending on how big the showroom is. With Vegas, Dallas and High Point, all of us go to set it up. Whereas with the smaller locations, maybe only 4 of us go to set it up.
How often are the showrooms redone?
Every 6 months, the showrooms are completely redone.
How does the process of a redo work?
We start by taking everything down off the walls then a painter comes in and paints all specified colors. This time we’ll be having some new featured wall papers so that will come in at the same time. Then Greg will get people to make the plan for the specific showroom. We’ll place the furniture and wall installation elements then just designate the color rooms. Once we get in here, it’s sort of a free reign and each person will be in charge of their space. You know what your wall needs to look like; but, in terms of what accessories go where and placement, it’s up to you. The install typically takes two solid weeks to break down and put up new. We do everything from hanging the wall installation and setting up to taking a whole day to wash every single piece of glass in the showroom. It’s a crazy assembly line where we’re sending each piece through garbage bins of washing water and a whole team of people is recruited from the office to come dry for us. The final day is always fresh flowers for the showroom.
Do all the showrooms look the same once redone?
Yes. While there are different sizes and layouts of space, each showroom has the same plan. From rugs to paint to textiles, they are all specified the same in each location.
I know some showrooms shut down for this process, does Global Views?
No we don’t. We don’t ever shut our doors. Our opinion is, if you want to come in and are okay with walking amongst all the stuff, go for it. If people want to shop, then come shop.
So where do the ideas come from and how often are you at the drawing board?
The product definitely informs what the showroom is going to look like. We start planning product up to 18 months ahead. Right now, with our recent return from China, we are planning for 2013. So we’ll start getting our samples in over the summer and make some final decisions. There’s a big catalog shoot in August for the next year then the graphics team has 3 months to get that catalog produced so it can go out in January.
How do you decide what product Global Views picks up?
It’s definitely a team effort. We have all our samples in our corporate office here in Dallas. Once they’re all in, we’ll walk around and decide what we like based on what we’re seeing in the current market and what we think is up and coming. Rick, our creative director, is amazing with color and is really good with predicting what the next big trend will be. Three years in a row, he has picked the Pantone® interior design color of the year before it is announced. We are always looking for new items and get that inspiration from anything from a ceiling tile you like to an antique you want a new spin on. Some items will be cycled out from lack of sales and others have been successfully in the line since the company started.
So do you have any little forecast tidbits you can give our readers and interior designers?
The orange, gray and gold are our big thing for January and February. Then there may or may not be a little bit of green popping up in April.
[As a side note, since this interview, Pantone® has indeed released their new color of 2012 and in keeping with their trend, Rick was spot on. 2012’s color of the year is Tangerine Tango and definitely falls in line with the orange/gold focus of Global Views for the year.]