Tag Archives: HEARST

DFA and ASID summit in Boston talks marketing, education

I was on a panel last week at the Boston Design Center discussing how to appeal to different design markets, including the younger generation of interior designers as well as design enthusiasts around the world. Simply put, it was AWESOME! This is the second event where I’ve spoken to a large group on a similar topic – the first was at the Luxury Retail Summit a couple years agoBelow is an article posted from Editor At Large summarizing the event. Enjoy!

How can the Decorative Furnishings Association (DFA) and the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) better collaborate on promoting interior design? The two organizations met on July 16 at the Boston Design Center in their second-ever industry summit to discuss just that, with a focus on how to promote the value of the interior design trade to luxury customers and to a younger, DIY-conscious generation. Representatives from Fabricut, Dering Hall, Donghia, Jerry Pair, Duralee,Robert Allen, Stark, Kravet and design centers, in addition to members of the media at Hearst, Cottages & Gardens and Meredith, attended the daylong program.

Small group sessions brought designers, media and furnishings leaders together.

The day’s panel, moderated by Steven Nobel of DFA, with Chad Stark of Stark Carpet, Katie Miner of ADAC, and Tabitha Evans, ASID designer, explored how to better educate and inform customers as well as how to effectively market the industry to the do-it-yourself generation. “It’s not really about talking to each other,” shared Miner. “It’s about talking to people who have the means ” but not the understanding of design’s impact. “Our job,” explained Stark, “is to show them the difference between what they can do and what a professional can do.”

Collaborative small group sessions followed, with designers, furnishing company execs and media pros answering a series of questions about the state of the industry, ways to improve outreach, and current challenges, among them the Internet’s impact on pricing and the client’s desire for instant gratification and lack of education as to the value of professional design. Groups identified cross-marketing (such as targeting customers of the fashion and luxury vacation industries); launching an internal campaign to promote the value of design to the end user; pushing showrooms to take the lead on education and networking, such as through “speed-dating” mixers hosted in-house; and running regional outreach in areas not serviced by major designers, as a few key strategies.

Craig Cross, who was appointed DFA’s director of public relations and community outreach earlier this year, delivered an overview of the DFA’s marketing initiatives, and DFA members were introduced to the organization’s recently revamped site, to be launched later this month. The afternoon concluded with a branding talk presented by Susan Battista, a strategist with Visual Dialogue Boston, who discussed five particularly adaptable industries and their top players.

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Stark celebrates House Beautiful’s EIC, Sophie Donelson

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Chad Stark

Last week I moved to California for 4-5 weeks to work out of my LA and Costa Mesa showrooms. The timing of this move was perfect – I came at the beginning of LCDQ LA for Stark’s party honoring Sophie Donelson’s joining House Beautiful as Editor in Chief. I will be posting about my first month-long experience working outside of Stark NY at the end of my trip. In the meantime see below for a post about our party from Editor at Large

On May 7, Stark feted House Beautiful‘s new Editor in Chief Sophie Donelson with a celebratory gathering. Guests, among them Newell Turner, Clinton Smith, Robert Rufino, Orli Ben-Dor, Sabine Rothman, Doretta Sperduto,Timothy Corrigan, Jennifer Boles, Nate Berkus, David Duncan, Jane Scott Hodges, Shaun Smith, Mercedes Desio, Alberto Villalobos and Young Huh, were treated to Champagne and small bites. Chad Stark, senior vice president at Stark, said, “Our company was founded by my grandparents more than 75 years ago. They would be so delighted to see all of the amazing things happening in the L.A. design community and the great excitement that surrounds the LCDQ.”

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Kate Kelly Smith, Sophie Donelson, John Stark, Andrea Stark

Stark, who attended the event along with John Stark and Andrea Stark, said “We are thrilled to be here. It is my distinct pleasure to introduce Sophie Donelson, who was named Editor in Chief of House Beautiful in January. Her energy and enthusiasm for design are contagious, and we can’t wait to see how she puts her own stamp on the magazine. We are so pleased to host Sophie’s official welcome to LA in her exciting new role.”

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Sophie Donelson

“Being feted by Stark was an incredible moment for me,” said Donelson. “It was a fantastic event and very humbling to reunite with longtime colleagues and friends. I also loved meeting so many new faces – many whom are familiar names to my inbox and Instagram, but whom I had never met. It was thrilling!”

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Newell Turner and Jane Scott Hodges

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Donelson, who was appointed earlier this year, held senior editorial positions at ELLE DECOR, The Blueprint and CITY magazines before becoming an independent journalist, writing for print and digital publications including Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Curbed.com and Editor at Large.

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Jeremiah Brent and Nate Berkus

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Marla Kay and Timothy Corrigan

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