• Thomas Russell

Designer Jena Hall to work with Somerton Dwelling

 Image of Jena HallJena Hall

CORONA, Calif. — Industry product design and merchandising expert Jena Hall will be working with Somerton Dwelling as it undergoes a rebranding initiative.

Somerton said it has retained Hall as a consultant to develop new merchandising and "integrated marketing strategies" to help reposition and rebrand the company.

Somerton, the U.S. marketing arm for Chinese case goods manufacturer Kingstone Furniture, was originally known as Somerton Furniture. It recently changed its name to Somerton Dwelling as part of a rebranding initiative meant to connect to today's consumer.

Hall, a former executive vice president of merchandising and design at case goods resource Aspenhome, most recently helped design and merchandise the HGTV line for Bassett Furniture.

As a consultant for Somerton Dwelling, she said she will help the company with design direction, and overall "development of a new product signature of standards" that she believes will extend to other categories outside its core dining and occasional furniture business.

"This will allow Somerton Dwelling to grow its business in new channels of distribution, reaching a broader audience with better merchandise and marketing support," Hall said. "We have already started some of these new initiatives which will be evident when Somerton Dwelling is launched" at the Las Vegas Market, July 29-Aug. 2.

The company said it will launch seven collections at market in a contemporary, transitional and New Traditional styles.

Hall initially plans to update finishes, upgrade basic product standards and create younger, more relevant products "designed with a responsible approach to the environment and an eye on fashion and innovation."

"My long-term objective is to have Somerton Dwelling be recognized as a leading provider of fashionable, affordable and high valued furniture of choice for every room in the home," she said. "I think Somerton Dwelling can make a huge impact on the industry."

She added that having a president in Rita Ho-Bezzola, who is in her 30s, will help the company offer retailers affordable product that can compete with other quality, young lifestyle goods in the market.

"She has the vision for what is needed in the market today for her own peer group, and as a second generation president, has a deep history of furniture manufacturing," Hall said. "She is decisive, innovative and forward thinking, much like the majority of younger customers today."

Ho-Bezzola said she is pleased to have Hall on board at Somerton.

"Jena's role is multifaceted, and I have asked her to assist me with assembling a dream team of important industry talent and work with them to help reposition our company," she said. "The new executive leadership is now in place and together with Jena's outstanding track record, Somerton Dwelling is translating the new vision into exciting and relevant products targeting a new generation of furniture buyers."

At the market, Somerton Dwelling is showing in World Market Center A-916.

Thomas RussellThomas Russell | Associate Editor, FurnitureToday

I'm Tom Russell and have worked at Furniture/Today since August 2003. Since then, I have covered the international side of the business from a logistics and sourcing standpoint. Since then, I also have visited several furniture trade shows and manufacturing plants in Asia, which has helped me gain perspective about the industry in that part of the world. As I continue covering the import side of the business, I look forward to building on that knowledge base through conversations with industry officials and future overseas plant tours. From time to time, I will file news and other industry perspectives online and, as always, welcome your response to these Web postings.

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