Hello, 2019! We are thrilled to kick off this new year with news of a new showroom partner: Karen Saks in North Carolina. You can now find our textiles and wallpapers in their beautiful showrooms in both Charlotte and Raleigh.
We recently asked one of the owners, Casey Powers, to share a bit about her business with us; their story and what they look for in the lines they carry. Here is what they had to say ... as well as what they look for at Market every year. Enjoy - and be sure to stop in and visit, next time you're in North Carolina and at Market! You'll be glad you did!
What is the story behind Karen Saks and how did the showroom start?
Karen Saks was founded almost 25 years ago by a woman from Detroit who moved here. At the time, there were not a lot of options for designers in Charlotte and the only choice was to drive to Atlanta to view luxury fabrics. Karen ran the business for 23 years before retiring June of 2017, at which time myself, Tad Oliver and Rafael Osorio took over the business. We are all long-time employees and have been in this business many years!
Tell us about your showroom ... what is it like, and what can visitors expect to find?
I believe we have a welcoming and warm, as well as a sophisticated environment for designer’s creativity to flourish. We are often told by designers how we are an organized and easy to use showroom. We take pride in providing superior customer service and products to our design community.
Karen Saks carries a number of boutique and artisan lines ... what do you look for in the lines you carry?
There are a lot of great little lines out there right now, created by creative wonderful people, such as yourself. Instagram is an amazing networking tool to connect these small lines looking for exposure to people such as ourselves who can provide that exposure! We look for textiles that feel will sell well in this market and provide a fresh perspective to this growing population of designers.
Designers want to see new products introduced to the Carolinas -- and we welcome newcomers!
What new and exciting things are on the horizon for Karen Saks in 2019?
Goals for 2019 include growing our fine art, furniture and flooring selections and sales - and we are always looking for fresh textiles. We are brainstorming to increase our marketability and find new business.
Last year the showroom team toured High Point ... did you have any new favorite finds? What do you look for at Market?
We are lucky to be so close to market and we go usually for just a day ... there is no way to see everything! However, it helps us stay on top on trends and see what is new and exciting. Market is a great time to schmooze with designers and like-minded folks that can become partners in business either through rep’ing or someone knows something that can do something. You need good friends in this industry and it never hurts to make new friends!
I love it when I come across a fresh, new line that excites me. That's what Mira Jean is -- fresh! - we love the clarity of color on the crisp white grounds. The designs are sweet -- and can be used in numerous applications. They are already getting great notice here in the showroom and we are excited to see what we can do with them!
Share a fun fact or favorite showroom moment that might surprise design enthusiasts!
We have been fortunate enough to have Vern Vip, Jeffery Allen Marks and other top people in the industry present in the showroom … that’s always fun! And I think what means so much is the daily interaction with our everyday clientele and the support, love and appreciation they express for the showroom. That is what really brings the warm and fuzzies!! We have a very loyal clientele base of beloved designers!
If a designer is visiting Charlotte or Raleigh, do they need an appointment to visit the showroom?
We do qualify designers and have an application process, but no they do not need an appointment. We do ask that they not send clients in without the designer, but other than that our doors are open to them!
Above: another peek inside the Karen Saks showroom. In addition to Mira Jean textiles and wallpaper, they carry lines like Fabricut, Schumacher, Scalamandre, Stout and more. Be sure and visit next time you're in Charlotte or Raleigh!