I recently had the honor of speaking at the PA Furniture Builders Customer Appreciation Day in Lebanon, PA. I’ve been attending this event for a few years now and have always enjoyed exploring the quality of furniture at this trade show and the free Amish lunch is always a treat.

This year, when I was asked to speak, I jumped on the opportunity to share my insights as an interior designer. The panel discussion was on Retailing in Today’s World. Chris Martin of Heath Side Furniture represented his experience as a furniture store owner and I shared the interior designer perspective.

We covered topics such as what types of marketing strategies have worked best, the challenges we face when clients shop around, and trends vs. traditional. I was pleased to answer questions at the end, and the fellow store owners wanted to know how best to attract more interior designers to utilize their showrooms. I shared that the standard rate for designers is 10% commission and letting designers feel welcome is key.

It was an inspiring event and nice to see that American-made real solid wood furniture is still going strong. As a designer, I love having not only the high-quality craftsmanship of solid wood furniture but the amazing options of wood finishings to choose from. When I speck from these vendors, I have great peace of mind knowing it will be free from the issues I see too often with vendors who manufacture overseas. My clients appreciate supporting Made-In-America brands as well.

The PA Furniture Builders Customer Appreciation Day was inspiring and fun.