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Atlanta market buyers in the mood to spend

The Van TealThe Van Teal collection from Four Hands made its first appearance at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Market.
ATLANTA - Home furnishings company representatives showing at the Atlanta International Gift & Home Market July 10-17 said buyers at the shows were in a mood to spend.
     That, they say, bodes well for the remainder of 2013 and beyond.
     "We've had good appointments. Folks that are here are definitely here to buy; we like that," said David Beld, president of sales and business development for Palecek.
     Beld said colors that were popular in High Point, such as turquoises and oranges, continued to do well here, as did the company's petrified wood collections.
     "We started with stainless steel; now we're doing more brushed steel and golds," Beld said. "It's been a really strong category for us."
     Sam Pasha, CEO of Pasha Home Fashions, also said colors were strong sellers in Atlanta - but that's not to say more traditional furniture hues lagged.
PalecekPalecek said it did well at the market with bright colors such as turquoise and orange.
"My experience thus far is that brighter, cheerful stuff is doing better. However, the grays and browns still do sell," Pasha said. "I've been very successful with the plain old white. The white does so well for us because all the wedding planners and event planners dig that. That's their favorite."
     While Pasha said that traffic might be better in Atlanta's January market, he felt good about a number of new contacts he made here.
     "We're getting a lot of new inquiries. I don't know if any of those will become anything but that's how it starts," Pasha said. "The big business doesn't happen overnight."
     A number of Atlanta exhibitors said designer market appears to be rebounding.
     "The designer market seems to be coming back and getting their budgets back to where they can do more custom work," said Michael Howarth, president and owner of Englishman's Fine Furnishings. "They tend to get ready, this month, for the holidays. Most of the people we're seeing aren't showrooms; they're designers working with the client."
     Howarth said tables and desks, including a 6 by 4 partners desk, did well here.
     Another strong source of revenue for exhibitors came from regional furniture stores.
     "It's not a furniture market yet, but there is definitely interest from local markets from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, that are attending this market," said Steve Mazarakis, vice president of flooring for Linon, which shared a showroom with Powell Furniture.
     Mazarakis said items from Linon and Powell's Bombay Collection were hot at the market.
     Four Hands' Hughes and Irondale collections continued to impress, as did its Van Teal line, which debuted in High Point and made its first appearance in Atlanta.
     Chris Miller, national sales manager for Four Hands, said that based on what he saw and heard here, the industry is heading in the right direction.

The English Partners Desk from Englishman’s Fine Furnishings is double-sided and has room for two work areas.
The English Partners
The Belmont
The Belmont arm chairs from Pasha Home were popular items in Atlanta.

     "So far, it's been a fantastic show. We've seen good traffic," Miller said. "I think there's a good sense of optimism out there. We're starting to hear signs of growth out there."
     Also popular was the dining table from Classic Home's Shutter Collection as well as a new, medium brown table from the company's Hampton collection.
     "It's been a great show. Traffic is high and sales are up," said Dawn Sousa, Classic Home's marketing director.

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