Art Van Furniture hosts stylish parties to raise funds for charity
Clint Engel -- Furniture Today, September 19, 2012
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Art Van Furniture brought celebrity and style together for two store parties this month that drew hundreds of people while raising money for charity.
The Art of Style event was held Sept. 12 at the retailer's Grand Rapids, Mich., showroom and the following evening at the Novi, Mich., store in metro Detroit. The parties drew 550 and 600 people, respectively and raised $15,000 for the Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, said Diane Charles, director of corporate communications for the Warren, Mich.-based Top 100 company.
Among the highlights were a speed painter, a sofa made out of flowers, and a visit by celebrity Cindy Crawford, who mingled with the crowd of preferred customers and other guests.
Art Van created nine art-related vignettes in the stores, touching on such topics as artwork, beauty, cuisine, sleep and song.
Speed painter David Santia wowed the crowd with his portrait of Cindy Crawford - completed in seven minutes and later purchased by Art Van CEO Art Van Elslander, with proceeds going to the charity.
In addition, attendees were invited to test out a premium Kingsdown mattress that sells for $25,000. Models strolled around wearing unusual dresses including one made from Art Van shopping bags, another from Art Van's product catalog pages and one from VCR videotapes.
"This speaks to Art's philosophy of, ‘There's more than one way to sell a sofa,'" Charles said. "We want to get people who normally don't shop Art Van to come an experience the store and all the changes we've made in the past three years - Pauls TV, World of Floors, Scott Shuptrine Interiors, Thread and Feather, PureSleep.
"It worked," she said.