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Diverse Buyers Attend New York Show, Fair

For some, it was their second or third trade show in a month. For others, teams were split between the East Coast and Las Vegas. But for all, the New York Home Textiles Show and the New York International Gift Fair provided one more opportunity to get in front of buyers early in the year.

First-timer Culturally Chic, a one-year-old company, was looking for both interior designers and boutique retailers at the New York Home Textiles Show. Culturally Chic designs embroidered decorative pillows and printed draperies, fabric by the yard and dec pillows, all using motifs from Hungary.

"We've seen retailers from Arizona, the West Coast, the Midwest, and of course from nearby — Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Florida," said Judit Fabian, president of the New York-based company.

The up-market Marlo Lorenz line attended the Show to debut its new Five-Star Collection of decorative pillows, its pieces named for five-star resort locales such as St. Tropez. One of the hottest items at the shop was a sea star pattern on burlap, the pattern made from beads, bone beading, and red turquoise.

Corey Shurchin, sales manager for both Marlo Lorenz and the more mass market-oriented Thro business, found the overall buyer mood to be mixed at the Show.

"We were just in Atlanta [at the gift fair]. There's just so much going on, I don't know where anybody is. I think we should just make it one huge market twice a year," she said.

This is the second time the show has been held in conjunction with the Gift Fair. "There's been a broad base of buyers representing a diverse range of trade," said Penny Sikalis, vp of show organizer George Little Management.

Home textiles exhibitors showing at the Gift Fair also reported a diverse mix of buyers.

Peacock Alley's new ultra-high end Couture Collection was front and center in its booth. "We're offering that higher price point and [buyers] aren't hesitating," said Mary Ella Gabler, president. "That tells me they're feeling good about this year."

Sferra Bros. expanded its booth this year and for the first time showed ready-to-ship product. "Buyers were thrilled," said Aileen Quam, national sales manager. "It created a great buzz for us."

Plush Living, a three-year-old home textiles company based in Los Angeles, expanded its line of silk pillows and graphic print duvets to include embroidered sheets and matelasse coverlets. Half the team was dispatched to the Las Vegas Market the same week, according to designer Kenneth Wong.

"We have to do at least one show in the east and one in the west," he said.

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