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American Heart Assn. seeks to develop home furnishings line

NEW YORK — The American Heart Assn. wants the home furnishings industry to help build awareness of the devastating effects of heart disease on women.

Teaming with Concept Marketing Group, a New York-based licensing consulting firm, the association is working on developing the Home is Where the Heart Is collection — a line of furniture and home décor products that will promote awareness of the No. 1 killer of women.

"Because women are the predominant purchaser of home furnishings, we believe fashionable home furnishings, in concert with marketing materials, hangtags and other literature about the charity's mission, will serve as a means to educate the female consumer about how to live a healthy lifestyle and avoid this number one killer," said Kerry Glasser, founder of Concept Marketing Group.

"We are in the beginning stage of identifying various companies in a broad array of home categories who will be interested in participating in this very worthwhile cause-related opportunity," he said. "We feel strongly that both the retailer and ultimate consumer will be attracted to well-designed products knowing of the association with the American Heart Assn."

According to Glasser, the Home is Where the Heart Is collection could include upholstered furniture, case goods, decorative fabric, fashion and utility bedding, lighting, decorative accessories and tabletop.

"Part of the benefit is to build bottom-line results for the Heart Assn. There will be a royalty flow from the purchase of the products," he said.

"An estimated 43 million women in the U.S. are affected by heart disease and 90% of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease," said Lynne Muth, vice president of corporate relations for AHA. "This is the perfect time for the home industry to come on board as we continue to explore new means of reaching the consumer."

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