London was lightning in a bottle – one day shy of a week of non-stop engagement and entertainment. I was there the week before Focus 14 and Design Week as the intention was to help the showrooms to open powerfully and to prepare for increased designer traffic during Market. Two new showrooms that I worked with were Christopher Guy and Waterworks.
Christopher Guy London opened in Chelsea Harbour Design Centre, third floor South Dome. As all CG showrooms are, it is dramatic and sexy, and easy to work in, as the way the fabric and ‘product cards’ are displayed in the design/conference room make it simple for designers and end users to see fabric and take small card samples, and the same with product. Very smart.
Tara Foster, the Europe/International Director had me spend the first day with the entire staff for a day of team building, as they were a group of fairly new yet dedicated individuals who were missing elements of cohesiveness, clarity and communication from their current way of operating. Another day was spent with the sales team and a third day with the operations and support team. It was their personal commitment to growth and achievement, plus their dedication to Tara and the company that had them so engaged and alive and willing to stretch and try new things, and to begin using what they learned. I was inspired by them….and crazy about them all, too!
On Tuesday, evening I had the pleasure of working with the Waterworks team in their new showroom on Kings Road….a beautiful showroom in a swanky street that houses other beautiful home furnishings and apparel showrooms. Katy Gray assembled a sales/design team of talent that is inquisitive and connected and looking to put a few more tools in their toolboxes. We had an evening meeting that was electric and over before I knew it, covering new business and follow up sales strategies to capture and close more opportunities. I was delighted to hear of the grrrreat results that Walter produced in the following days but putting what we covered into action. Congrats, Walter!!!
And if that wasn’t enough, I spent my final day with longtime pal Jobi Blachy of Rose Tarlow Melrose House, starting with a meeting with one of his clients Helen Cormac and her partner Jamie of Tissus d’Helene and then on Pimlico Road. The former is a beautiful example of English textiles – in all the glorious colors and patterns that we expect from a garden and history inspired country. The latter included meeting Guy Tobin of Rose Uniacke – a gorgeous antiques and design firm. We spent time in Sloan, Jamb, Mark Ransom, Luke Irwin, Julian Simon…all lovely examples of top of the line product and antiques, and a special nod to Promemoria – so exquisitely designed and executed.
My visit also included an evening with Mitchell Mullen, a high school chum who is an actor in London (and in movies in the US – just finished the next Mission Impossible movie and is in rehearsals for Next Fall – opening soon in London!) that was a highlight of the trip.
I am planning the next London trip for March 2015, to include some return visits and some new work with the Design Centre.
Can’t wait for next Spring!
Love, love, love,