Tag Archives: hand-made carpets

Dreamweaver: Stark Carpet celebrates the art of rug making

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*post adapted from Editor at Large

Stark offered more than a look at its latest collections last Thursday at the Decoration & Design Building when the company hosted a special gathering to celebrate its new showroom. Guests were granted an intimate look at the fascinating rug-making craft while a Stark artisan wove a carpet on a traditional handloom during the event.

Invigorated from an extensive refresh of its showroom on the 11th floor, Stark played cheerful host, entertaining guests with Bellini’s, a DJ and, of course, a look at its wide collection of carpets.

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John Stark, Ashley Stark and Newell Turner

“Our new contemporary showroom represents the culmination of many years of work and many trips abroad working on product development directly with our sources,” said Senior Vice President Chad Stark. “Since I joined the company full-time three years ago, I, along with my cousin Ashley Stark, have been working to diversify our product offering to include the highest-end, fashion-forward handmade goods.”

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Chad Stark and Elizabeth Pyne

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Kate Kelly Smith, Steven Stark, Brenda Saget Darling and Karen Marks

“More than ever before, we have significant space devoted to rugs with a real wow factor,” he continued. “The response from our clients has been overwhelmingly positive. This new array of product is truly incredible, leading to a significant increase in that end of our business.”

As striking as it is innovative, Stark’s opulent new collection of contemporary rugs, such as Nairamat, features top quality Tibetan and Moroccan area rugs that are hand-woven from wool, silk, bamboo silk and jute.

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Sherrill Canet, Ashley Stark, Angela Jett and Clint Smith

“It’s fascinating because you see the handwork done along with how time- consuming it is to produce one of these rugs,” said Sherrill Canet who has designed rugs for Stark. “It’s quite a process.”

Notable attendees included members of the Stark family including John Stark, Andrea Stark, Steven Stark, Candice Stark, Chad Stark and Ashley StarkHouse Beautiful Editor in Chief Newell Turner, Hearst Senior Vice President Kate Kelly Smith, Veranda Advertising Manager Angela Jett and designers Caleb Anderson, Harry Heissman, Sherrill Canet and John Douglas Eason.

Screen Shot 2014-10-15 at 9.41.00 PMNewell Turner, Caleb Anderson and Eleftherios Kardmakis

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Jon Walker, Leslie Miller, Edward Haleman, Angella Jett and Jean Luc Lenoir-Grieser

“The contemporary rug selections are an impressive and diverse mix of gorgeous colors, patterns and textures,” said Anderson. “Saturated abstract compositions, shimmering metallic weaves, neutral geometric—there is an elegant choice for any modern interior. The well-curated displays give an artistic visibility and ease to an otherwise overwhelming number of beautiful options.”

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Stark Presentation at Luxury Retail Summit NYC

I had the privilege of representing Stark at the Luxury Retail Summit in NYC yesterday and was able to inform attendees of what I am doing at Stark to protect our relationships with designs while expanding our business to include retail as well. Check out the below post from Luxury Daily‘s blog summarizing my presentation. Also, check out a quick video clip at the end on me speaking about how Ecommerce will help our business!

Stark Carpet Room Setting

NEW YORK – A Stark Carpet executive at the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013 yesterday discussed the lessons that the company learned while transitioning from trade-only to a retail trade combination.

During the “Stark: Evolving a Luxury Floor Coverings Brand from Trade-only Business to Retail” session, the executive discussed the challenges the company faced and how Stark readjusted its business model to accommodate both trade and retail without compromising its brand DNA and relations with interior designers. Exploring various methods can allow a brand to better adapt to a new market sector.

“Understanding the role of interior designers is vital to Stark,” said Chad Stark, vice president of operations and technology at Stark Carpet, New York.

“Interior designers are responsible for the growth and success of our business,” he said. “They understand the value of our products and translate this to consumers.”

“Designers are valuable consumers based on the frequency of projects compared to the average retail consumer.”

Luxury Daily organized the Luxury Retail Summit: Holiday Focus 2013.

Technological, generational and economic challenges
Mr. Stark shared the brand’s challenges and lessons learned subsequently.

The Internet created design enthusiasts who had wide access to free design materials when previously this was left to a knowledgeable interior designer.

Between Web sites and design magazines, retail consumers are more informed than ever and many circumvent the advice and assistance of interior designers.

For Stark it was important not to tarnish its relationship with interior designers who had helped to elevate the brand to its standing as the leader in luxury floor coverings.

The new generation of consumers is less about touch and feel and is less inclined to travel far distances to experience a product first hand before making a purchase.

With a willingness to purchase online rather than in bricks-and-mortar locations, the new generation of Stark consumers prefer the accessibility of ecommerce.

Stark discovered that this new generation is much more price-sensitive than previous groups of consumers. The Internet and their increased knowledge led to consumers visiting showrooms without a designer in an attempt to buy products directly.

Stark Carpet Room Setting Elipse

Adaptations

To accommodate the growing number of informed and price conscious consumers, Stark held warehouse clearance sales every two years in different markets to sell its overstocked products.

Stark discovered that although the warehouse was successful from a consumer standpoint, interior designers pushed back at first. Overtime, interior designers began to bring clients to the warehouse sales.

Next, Stark developed retail outlets with a trade showroom within the same bricks-and-mortar location. The trade showroom was closed off to retail consumers, but the rest of the location was designed with a scaled-down warehouse format.

This concept damaged Stark because the brand featured its high-end exclusive products next to closeout items. From this model, Stark was able to re-envision its retail outposts in the form of Stark Home.

The Stark Home model replicated the exclusive nature of its trade showrooms but created a retail atmosphere as well. In theory, the Norwalk, CT, location was meant to amplify the New York showroom, but designers felt consumers were able to obtain Stark products without their assistance after visiting the showroom.

Stark, valuing the continued support of interior designers, sought out designers circumvented by consumers and compensated their time.

Ecommerce gave Stark significant exposure through flash sales with Web sites such as One Kings Lane, Gilt and Rue La La. Although sales and exposure were successful, the flash sales ruined the exclusive nature of its products while confusing design industry.

In 2014, Stark plans to re-launch its ecommerce site to increase convenience for trade and retail consumers.

Lessons learned
Today, Stark showrooms are rooted in experience. The showrooms carry carpets and fabrics, as well as “cash & carry” area rugs in a combined trade and retail space. To inform retail consumers about Stark, products are accompanied by relevant information allowing for more engagement.

Although the trade area is only shoppable by interior designers, retail consumers are welcome to browse the area. If a product strikes them, Stark suggests a local designer to assist with the project.

The “to-the-trade” program highlights interior designers as partners since their continued patronage has ensured the integrity of Stark. The program includes signature exclusive products for trade professionals such as Stark’s collaboration with fashion label Missoni, additional discounts online and in-store, and special services such a custom product development and home consultation.

Starks trials and tribulations during its adaptations from trade-only to retail is bound to affect the industry as a whole.

“Stark is the only luxury flooring brand and we take risks for the benefit of the industry,” Mr. Stark said.

“It is a scary and thrilling position to be in,” he said. “The industry is changing and the way interior designers work with clients is changing.

“The world is transparent and information is widely found online so our sales will likely to continue to be based on designers.”

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22 Brilliant Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment

As a follow up to my last blog post, I figured I’d stick to the BuzzFeed format and re-blog another one of their posts called 22 Brilliant Ideas For Your Tiny Apartment. This is especially relevant for anyone like me living in New York City. The only thing missing from this list is a great Stark rug like any of these. Enjoy 🙂

No matter how tiny that studio apartment is, nothing beats having your own space. Here are some actually feasible ideas that don’t involve remodeling or a completely unrealistic warehouse loft.

1. Place a curtain around the bed.

Place a curtain around the bed.

Source: cdn1.cdnme.se

It’ll give your sleeping space some tranquility and a nook-like feel.

Source: gravity-gravity.tumblr.com

2. If your workspace only consists of a laptop, just use a bookshelf instead of taking up space with a desk.

If your workspace only consists of a laptop, just use a bookshelf instead of taking up space with a desk.

Source: withlovefromkat.com

3. The curtain separator works for a kitchen too.

The curtain separator works for a kitchen too.

Source: marthastewart.com

4. Use a piece of plywood to build a makeshift wall that you can place a desk against.

Use a piece of plywood to build a makeshift wall that you can place a desk against.

Source: livingimpressive.com

5. Or a pull-down screen.

Or a pull-down screen.

Doubles as a surface to project movies on!

6. Put the bedroom under a gigantic canopy.

Put the bedroom under a gigantic canopy.

It’ll give the illusion of a private fort.

7. Use your TV to mentally separate your sleeping space from your entertainment space.

Use your TV to mentally separate your sleeping space from your entertainment space.

Also: love the accent wall in the “bedroom.”

Source: flickr.com

8. Opt for sliding doors for closets and bathrooms.

Opt for sliding doors for closets and bathrooms.

They require less space than swing-out doors.

Source: pinterest.com

9. Repurpose an old window for kitchen separation.

Repurpose an old window for kitchen separation.

Also: a kitchen island on wheelies can provide some much-needed counter and storage space.

Source: pinterest.com

10. A chest doubles as a coffee table and as storage.

A chest doubles as a coffee table and as storage.

11. Set your bed up against a wall so you can prop pillows up when you need to use it as a couch.

Set your bed up against a wall so you can prop pillows up when you need to use it as a couch.

12. Make a couch that swivels into a bed.

Make a couch that swivels into a bed.

You can finally get that dreamy sectional you’ve always wanted. Get the DIY here.

13. Use seating as an opportunity to store as much stuff as possible.

Use seating as an opportunity to store as much stuff as possible.

Instead of plain old chairs, opt for seating that serves double duty, like storage ottomans and storage couches.

14. Make use of a ladder in dead space behind a door.

Make use of a ladder in dead space behind a door.

You can hang things off of it, like a throw or a winter jacket.

15. Use your window as a projector screen.

Use your window as a projector screen.

If you’re not the type to watch television but still want the option to screen movies in your apartment, buy a white screen for your windows that double as blinds.

Source: weheartit.com

16. Place your sofa against the bed.

Place your sofa against the bed.

17. Chaise lounges are a good alternative to regular-sized couches.

Chaise lounges are a good alternative to regular-sized couches.

They’re generally shorter than full-sized couches and are more versatile than a loveseat. And if you get two of them, you can sandwich them together into a makeshift bed.

Source: ziegz.com

18. Turn your bed into a movie pit with a heavy dresser or console.

Turn your bed into a movie pit with a heavy dresser or console.

Source: esohlee.com

19. A ceiling-hanging clothing rack takes advantage of your vertical space.

A ceiling-hanging clothing rack takes advantage of your vertical space.

The one shown here doesn’t look bulky or monstrous, and you have enough vertical space to stack things like shoes or books underneath.

20. Don’t have space for a couch? Giant pillows on the floor can be laid out when you have guests over.

Don't have space for a couch? Giant pillows on the floor can be laid out when you have guests over.

And then put away when you need the floor space. SO COZY.

Source: pinterest.com

21. Build a super simple foldout table that’s mounted to the wall.

Build a super simple foldout table that's mounted to the wall.

If you have basic carpentry skills, you can make an incredibly simple kitchen table that folds back up onto a wall with some wood and some hinges.

22. Put your bed on lockable casters.

Put your bed on lockable casters.

This way, you can easily wheel it to be used as extra seating in the living room, or against a wall when you need some floor space to do an impromptu yoga routine or gymnastics flip.

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Designer Appreciation Week in Syosset

Nicole introducing me!

This past week was Designer Appreciation Week at Stark Syosset and it was a blast. Great job setting it up Nicole Passman!!! Those napkins (below) were awesome!

My first visit to Stark’s Syosset showroom was one to remember. There was tasty food, great company, and even a raffle! The showroom looks amazing and I’m so happy I got to personally meet about 20 designers who all shop at Stark.

I gave a 20 minute talk about who I am, what my role in the company is, and the direction Stark is heading in. Though there may have been some skeptics in the crowd, I think everyone was pleased with what  I had to say. Stark Home is not our way of trying to cut the decorator out, but it’s our way of empowering the decorator more than ever before!! That message was clear by the time I was done. If anyone wants to learn more, email me! Below are some pics of the event for your viewing pleasure. Sorry if they’re blurry!

Next up is Surfaces in Las Vegas. And some Chainsmokers at Marquee of course…

Stark loves designers!!

Stark Fabric Syosset

Mingling with some awesome designers!
Yummy! Sylvana Carlucci speaking

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Stark prepares for DOMOTEX

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As the new year rolls in, it’s time for me to leave the country again. This time, for the worlds premier flooring convention, DOMOTEX in Hannover, Germany.

With over 1,400 exhibitors from more than 60 countries DOMOTEX 2013 is set to be the most important event for the entire international flooring trade. It will again prove to be a unique marketplace for hand-made and machine-made carpets, textile floor coverings, resilient flooring, parquet and laminates, as well as application and installation technology and cleaning. At the same time, DOMOTEX is an unrivalled communication platform for visitors from the trade, the skilled trades and interior design. Trade visitors from all over the world come to DOMOTEX to learn about important trends, developments and topical issues at the exhibition and in a series of conferences, special displays and workshops.

I will be sure to post some pictures from the event. Our booth should be great!

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