Jaime Wasser represents one of the most important consumer categories in the furniture industry — young, female and design- driven. But Wasser is also an in-demand demographic at High Point Market — an upscale retailer with a finger on the pulse of the industry — and along with her father, Alan Wasser, the vice president of Wasser’s Exclusive Furniture & Interiors comes to High Point twice a year, every year. Recently, the Wasser family’s next generation offered her thoughts on what makes High Point Market a must-attend event.
WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS THAT YOU THINK HIGH POINT MARKET DOES WELL TO SERVE RETAILERS?
Transportation, Food, Drinks, Entertainment, Smiles. The go anywhere shuttle is extremely useful and helpful during markets, getting to and from the airport with the airport shuttles is always a pleasure. If we need to get to any other showrooms that are off the beaten path, the go anywhere shuttles are easily accessible and a convenient way to navigate around the market. All the attendants at all the entrances are always smiling and welcoming and it is nice to be greeted in every building with good old High Point hospitality.
WHAT ARE FIVE THINGS THAT COULD BE IMPROVED TO BETTER SERVE RETAILERS?
Make a better functioning Market App. Have attendants with umbrellas between IHFC and Showplace for rainy days. Offer more hotel rooms and a better hotel option close to market. For food, every showroom offers food but there are never enough vegetarian options or in our particular case, kosher options.
DO YOU WORK WITH DESIGNERS? IF SO, WHAT ARE THEY ASKING FOR?
We do and they are asking us for custom options all the time! Pretty much everything in our block-long, two-floor showroom can be customized in different finishes, fabrics, leathers, sizes and configurations. By working with specialized manufacturers who offer custom capabilities with unbelievably quick turnaround time, like American Leather for example, we are able to offer designers almost unlimited options of styles, sizes, and materials in just 30 days.
WHAT CATEGORY/PRODUCT IS DRIVING YOUR BUSINESS AT THE MOMENT? DO YOU PLAN TO ADJUST YOUR BUYS AT HPMKT ACCORDINGLY?
Upholstery is, and has always been, a huge category for us. Our upholstery buys during High Point Market usually outweigh our other categories, as we feel we are a huge living room resource and people know we have a large display of different manufacturers from the U.S. and Italy.
FINALLY, TOP THINGS YOU SAW AT MARKET THIS YEAR.
• The addition of Grey Ash to the product assortment of items from the American Walnut Collection by American Leather. I love that AL has partnered with American Forests and for every order received from the American Walnut collection, they will plant one tree in honor of the store and one in honor of American Leather.
• Stressless you: by Ekornes This is a new venture for us and we are so excited to get our gallery set up in our showroom as soon as it arrives from Norway.
• Everything Agate. Agate has become huge this market! I have seen it everywhere from chandeliers, table top accessories like coaster sets or desktop pieces, end tables, decorative boxes and lamps. It has added such a nice look to the room in our showroom and so far they have been well received.
• Rose Gold. I absolutely love seeing fashion translated into home furnishings. For me personally, it seals the deal for me as to why I joined the family business coming from a fashion company and handling their merchandising. I found lots of occasional pieces with rose gold instead of the typical stainless steel. I saw lighting fixtures, Accent chairs, dining furniture and they were just stunning!