I find myself proudly sharing the history of ART – The Creative Home Furnishings Network — with new generations of home accessories professionals who have no idea how this dynamic organization has evolved over the years.
Not many people know that the idea for what was then called the Accessories Resource Team (ART) was conceived in High Point. In the late 1980s, a small group of manufacturers formed ART to encourage High Point building owners to situate decorative accessory vendors together to create dedicated accessory floors for the convenience of buyers. Once that was achieved, ART focused on creating an educational program teaching buyers how to merchandise and sell decorative accessories in their stores.
Now in its 33rd program year, the ARTS Awards program was also originally conceived in High Point but landed in Texas through an event partnership with Dallas Market Center. This black-tie gala is now the Oscars of the industry, with winners announced during the Total Home and Gift Market this month.
ART’s evolution over its 30+ years has been steady, but its core objective has remained the same: selling more home accents to consumers. Making a difference in the home accent industry is a lofty goal, and we aspire to do that with every initiative. Today’s ART focuses on collaboration through roundtable discussions, workshops and networking. We learn from each other. We address and solve issues with each other. We share resources with each other. Active participation has been key, especially for initiatives like our new data standard, which defines in detail home accents categories for e-commerce. Members across all industry segments volunteered time to create this Data Toolkit, which is scheduled to roll out to members at our annual ART Conference, May 18-21, in San Diego.
The culture we’ve created at our conferences is legendary. Past attendees will be pleased to know that our popular community service project will return for our 2023 edition. Once experienced, I’m sure you’ll agree it’s one of the best things we do.
Our recent membership drive garnered 22 new members. Join ART today and be a part of our story as we continue to evolve together.
Sharon Davis is the executive director of ART. This opinion piece first appeared in the January issue of Home Accents Today.
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