Showing posts with label raffle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label raffle. Show all posts

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Trade show here we come

Just like fashion designers, we have our custom pieces (haute couture) and our collections (ready-to-wear). However, we don’t walk our carpets down the runway, so trade shows are where we present our collections “in the wool” to current and potential retailers.

We are shortly off to NYICS – the New York International Carpet Show - taking place this year from September 7 – 9. It’s been interesting to see this relatively new fair (10 years) steadily growing. Domotex in Germany and Forza Tappeti in Italy are longer-running and among the ones we have attended regularly during our 25 years in the business.

While a show is always a special time to connect with trusted retailers, friends and trends, two particularly exciting things are happening for us this year. After XX years of introducing collections, this is the first time we will present a collection made with natural dyes. And, it’s also the first time we will host a draw at our booth when, in collaboration with our fair trade endorser Label STEP, we will draw the winner of a stunning (if we say so ourselves) handknotted rug.

The Natural Dye Collection was only set into motion during Carol Sebert’s spring trip to Nepal when she finally discovered a dye master with the requisite skill in natural dyes. Once the design “Percolate” was established, then came the inevitable of  toing and froing with samples in various colourways. We finally settled on five for the launch of the collection but only one of them has made it off the loom in time for the show. Mulberry, which will take pride of place at our booth, thankfully arrived in Toronto last week.

Unlike fashion, our collections are not tied to a particular year and season. While rugs within collections continue to be popular with our retailers, we continue to add designs and colourways.  Consequently, also up front and centre in the booth, will be Drift and Shale, two new designs for the XXV Collection released in 2013. Within that collection, we will also premiere three new colourways of the highly popular Dream design, and a blue version of  much-loved Suspension.

In our Toronto office, Abigail Williams is the chief logistician for trade shows because - in addition to her design work - she also manages CMI’s relationships with retailers. In order to have the new designs in time for the show, she is in constant communication with the different mills. She, more than anyone, breathed a heavy sigh of relief when Shale left Nepal on Monday headed directly to New York via Fedex.

Last week, Abigail was busy was selecting all the rugs she wanted for the show and physically  loading them up on a skid. In New York, she will unload them and make them all pretty with the input of president Carol Sebert who is naturally an essential member of the trade show delegation.

Abigail still has to finalize the details of the draw with Reto Aschwandan who will travel to New York from Label STEP’s headquarters in Switzerland. The rug raffle has an interesting history dating back to our anniversary celebrations last November when many visitors were invited to take part in the design process. From the 60 designs that emerged, six were selected for online voting and “#58” was the design that headed off to Nepal. No doubt, Abigail is looking forward to making the call that tells someone they are the lucky winner of a one-of-kind rug valued at $5,000.

And when business moves from the trade show to somewhere more comfortable, our favourite place to entertain clients in New York is the Soho Grand hotel where many of our rugs can be appreciated in situ. Nothing is more apt than discussing floorcoverings in the bar area while gazing upon a splendid sweep of our woven axminster.

Abigail doesn’t know it yet, but once the trade show business is complete, there’ll be a quick trip to the Park Hyatt. The hotel only opened last week, so it will be the first opportunity to inspect our lobby carpeting. And thinking back to our collections, it’s interesting to note that although the Park Hyatt was a custom project, the designer at Yabu Pushelberg actually chose to use the Glow design from our Aerial collection which was remastered in an exclusive colour combination.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy 20th Birthday Creative Matters!!

What a flurry of activity November has afforded Creative Matters! More than a week after our 20th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser, I finally have a chance to sit down and write about our fantastic night.

First of all, we’re 20! Happy Birthday Creative Matters! Congratulations to Carol and Donna for such a great feat – and here’s to 20 more, right? So, the night went off without a hitch and we saw just over 500 people come through our event at Gallery 345 to help us celebrate. Our long and arduous hours of installing the show, that saw the whole staff (and some of their parents!?) hammering and hanging, sweeping and cleaning, paid off. The gallery was transformed from a very promising canvas into a feast for the eyes (and hearts!) that displayed our new collection of hand-knotted carpets as well as a retrospective of 20 years worth of CMI designs and photographs.

One of the other big highlights of the evening was the unveiling of Hariti, the responsible, luxury rug that was created as a fund-raising piece that will be raffled to benefit RugMark. RugMark, as you know, works to end illegal child labor in the carpet industry in South Asia and offers educational opportunities to children who are rescued from carpet mills. The carpet is stunning and we sold a ton of raffle tickets. We’re nearing our goal but we’re still not there – so buy buy buy! You still have 13 days left! I can't even tell you what an opportunity this is - the chance to win a hand knotted, one-of-a-kind, wool and silk carpet - for $25!

In addition to all of this we finally had the opportunity to meet a RugMark representative, in the flesh! Heather Joseph, RugMark’s Development Officer (who is lovely) flew in from Washington, D.C. She came and spoke and worked the room to spread the word. And as a special treat, Heather was joined by Robin Romano, the talented photographer (and amazing speaker) who shot the Faces of Freedom show that hung at Gallery 345 in conjunction with Floored to be 20. The photos were breath taking and we were so happy that they could share in our celebration.

Great big thank-yous to everyone who helped to make our party perfect! Stay tuned for more party pics on our next post "The Guest List".

Stay warm (curled up on a wool carpet)!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Extra, extra, read all about it!

It’s been a busy summer, thus far, here at Creative Matters. We’re not sure where these precious days have gone but, here we are on this hazy July morning, working hard on the new additions to our Aerial Collection and on our November gallery show. Did she just say November??? Yes she did! Did I mention that we’re still working on our regular custom design projects? And starting to cultivate ideas for the Domotex show in Hanover….and so it goes.

So, what better day for a little bit of summer excitement than today, to see Creative Matters splashed over a full page (L3 to be exact) of the Living section in the Toronto Star. It’s a great article called "Rug Designers at Top of Pile" by Star columnist Barbara Turnbull, who graced our office in early June to speak to Carol and Donna about just what it is that we do. Barbara chats with the ladies about design, colour, what we’re up to now and about Creative Matters’ impressive 20-year mark. It's a great read and a great photo (thanks to Keith Beaty at the Toronto Star).

Stay tuned for more updates on Hariti – we hope to show off some photos soon, after the ladies return from their trek to Nepal in August.

Enjoy the sun!

(and buy more carpets!)