After a series of fits and starts, High Point Market returned in June this year to a strong and very special sense of community. There was excitement about new launches and a willingness to push beyond the walls of the usual central HPMKT hub to hunt for treasures and seek out new vendors. Below were among other over-arching take-home trends.
Women Supporting Women
More than ever, I noticed women making the time to deepen business and personal relationships and to network and support with purpose. The leadership development and mentoring organization, WithIt, hosted a well-attended porch party at Red Egg and Caroline Hipple, President of Norwalk and the first female board president of the American Home Furnishings Hall of Fame didn’t miss an opportunity to encourage young market-goers to work toward roles of leadership.
In Stock + Sustainable
With pandemic-related supply chain issues affecting the interiors business and beyond, companies who had products in stock and available, including showrooms with one-of-a-kind wares, were buzzing. Antiques are also having a moment! It was good to see activity in the antique halls of Market Square and we hear that sustainability will also be a key focus for the next High Point Market.
Digital Storytelling Panel at a Universal Furniture
I attended a panel hosted by Universal Furniture on Digital Storytelling. Moderators Ericka Saurit (Saurit Creative) and Ginna Christensen (CG Collaborative) led a panel of experts including Jana Platina Phipps (Trim Queen), Corey Damen Jenkins (Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates) and Aviva Stanoff (Aviva Stanoff Design) in sharing insights into the way they approach digital marketing and craft their authentic, approachable social media presences. Here were a few key takeaways:
Document your process
Instead of thinking of caving under the need to create more content, approach the social media process as simply documenting your creative process as it unfolds.
Invite your audience to experience your work and how it takes shape firsthand! Think of marketing as a tool for expression, a way to celebrate hard work brought to market with intention, and a way to connect to the value of the work.
Keep in mind your “Grid of Nine”
Instagram was overwhelmingly the channel these experts allot the most time for and Reels an effective tool within Instagram for engaging and growing a larger audience. Phipps uses inShot app to edit her videos before posting them.
She also recommended focusing on your “grid of nine”, making sure that a picture of you is always represented in the first nine images. She also encouraged designers to edit their feeds, archiving or deleting posts that no longer serve or represent your brand values.
Find Your Voice
Know your brand values (try naming at least three) and let them guide your social media presence. Every post should answer to at least one of those core brand values. Stanoff also suggested that if you have a hard time finding the right tone, type as if you are talking with a best friend.