High Point Market Fall 2019 is in the books! As the team and I continue to recover from the long days of gorgeously over-stimulating showroom visits, I wanted to share my perspective on the event circuit.

I try to participate in at least one panel or event each market, and this year, I took that commitment up a notch. Here are some of my favorite moments from what I think may have been the best market visit so far.

Scroll to the bottom for the photos!

On Style Book Signing

It was a huge honor to be included in this incredible collection of the top 50 up-and-coming designers in the nation. Huge thank you to the endlessly charming Carl Dellatore for putting in the hard work to make this a reality!

Kudos aside, I have to admit that it is thrilling to open a book and see my beautiful home on its pages. Not only that, I am grouped with some seriously talented individuals: Young Huh, Nick Olsen, Tina Ramchandani, Joshua Greene, Bria Hammel, and Sarah Bartholomew. And these are just a section of what you can expect to see in the perfect-holiday-gift (hint!) coffee table book.

Bringing the Team

Usually, I attend market solo, with my principal designer Letecia, or with my Digital Marketing Director, Melissa. This year, the lead and senior designers also came along! It was a joy to see them experience new launches, to sit in deliriously beautiful sofas, and embrace the power walk from Showplace to the IHFC.

Pro Tip: You will be walking a lot at market, so make sure you stop and refuel. My favorite showrooms are often the best places to relax, grab a cup of coffee or a snack, and browse the collections with ease. Above, we’re grabbing breakfast at the Hudson Valley Lighting showroom. I probably visit this showroom at least twice during an average market!

Running into Colleagues

Even for those us practicing design in the SAME cities, it can be difficult to run into each other. At market, we finally get to reconnect. I ran into James Keathley, the owner of James Craig Furnishings, on our way to the Gabby Showroom to congratulate Marie Flanigan on her beautiful vignette there.

The Panels

I was interviewed for A Well-Designed Business podcast ages ago, but I’ve kept in touch with LuAnn Nigara ever since. Her no nonsense approach to business really jives with everything that we practice here at the studio.

I sat down with her and Kate O’Hara of Martha O’Hara Interiors to talk about scale. No, not the properly sizing of design elements, but business growth. Taking my team from just me to 14 took a little over 10 years, learning a lot along the way. Kate manages a team of 25 and 2 offices. I love these panels because there’s always something to learn from the other panelist. While we operate very similarly, Kate offered suggestions on how she approaches business development and client appreciation, recommendations I’ve already taken to the leadership team at Laura U.

Joining my friends at Monogram Appliances is always a treat! This was their first year at market. Their glass pop up was gorgeous and with Chef James at the helm, the food was wonderful too.

Sitting down with Shayla Copas, Mark Epstein, and Toni Sabatino, I discussed luxury entertaining “beyond the bar.” We have all found that our clients are requesting more entertaining focus be placed in the kitchen. Double islands, double sinks, and ovens large enough to accommodate catering trays are just a sample of what we’ve been working on. The need for a functional kitchen is on everyone’s minds!

…And the Parties!

High Point Market is not just all about business. There’s a little play involved too. Melissa and I were graciously hosted by Frontgate at Pandora’s Manor. After enjoying a cocktail and lovely conversation, we jetted off to Monogram’s intimate dinner party. We even celebrated a team birthday at market. Happy 31, Blair!

So all in all, it was a very successful trip. One that I’m making again in April! Stay tuned for the design team’s perspective later on in the Journal.

 

Interior Designers Young Huh, Nick Olsen, Tina Ramchandi, Joshua Greene, Bria Hammel, Laura Umansky, and Sarah Bartholomew

Young Huh, Nick Olsen, Tina Ramchandi, Joshua Greene, Bria Hammel, Laura Umansky, and Sarah Bartholomew

 

The Laura U Team at the Hudson Valley Lighting Showroom in High Point North Carolina

Our design team at the Hudson Valley Showroom: Lexie, Shannon, Blair, me, Letecia, Shenay, and Melissa (from left to right)

 

James Keathley of James Craig Furnishings and I at High Point Fall Market 2019

Jimmy and I grab a quick photo on the way to Gabby

Houston interior designers Marie Flanigan and LAura Umansky at the Gabby Showroom

Chatting with my friend Marie at her Gabby vignette

Pamela O'Brien from Pamela Hope Designs meets with Laura Umansky

Ran into Pamela O’Brien from Houston’s Pamela Hope Designs!

 

LuAnn Nigara, Laura Umansky, Kate O

LuAnn takes the stage with Kate O”Hara and myself.

Shayla Copas, Laura Umansky, and Mark Epstein sign books at High Point Market.

After the panel, Shayla Copas, Mark Epstein, and I signed our latest books.

 

Laura Umansky, Kate O

Smiling for the camera at Monogram”s dinner party with Kate O”Hara or O”Hara Interiors and Sarah Walker of The Curate House.