Have you ever wondered where local furniture stores get the furniture they showcase? While a few brands may manufacture their own products, most of the time furniture is purchased at market. Several times a year purchasers, store owners and designers gather at ‘to the trade’ markets to view the latest introductions and lineups in the season’s freshest colour ways. The two biggest markets in North America take place in Las Vegas, Nevada and High Point, North Carolina.
In Canada there are smaller shows in both Vancouver and Toronto. The furniture markets are only open to industry and trade’s people, not the general public, which is why our team goes to bring you back the best options! Imagine buildings and buildings of furniture, accessories and art from brands and designers all over the world. Exciting, right?
The Las Vegas Market opened between 2005 and 2008 and is housed in three multi-level buildings. The market houses over 4,000 vendors and exhibitors and sees over 50,000 industry guests a year. The Vegas show is planned twice a year; once in the summer and again in the winter.
The High Point market has a much longer history dating back to its humble beginnings in 1901. Over 100 years, people have been gathering and attending this market. To picture the scope and size of High Point, imagine the city of Red Deer full of buildings brimming with furniture. When we attend this market, we bring our comfiest shoes as there is a ton of ground to cover.
Check out this article detailing High Point Furniture markets history including name changes:
The Atlanta market was started in 1957 by architect John C. Portman Jr. under the name ‘The Atlanta Merchandise Mart’. It has gone through many expansions to become what it is today. It focuses on gifts, decor and lifestyle. This market spans three different buildings with focuses on lighting, linens, housewares, tabletop, gifts, rugs and more.
Inspiration to Curation
As we tell people every day, it really is important to sit and touch and feel and view scale when purchasing furniture, which is why we attend markets so we can fill our showroom with special finds that we have physically tried for ourselves. And being that we are an incredibly tactile bunch in the furniture and design community, it is much like being a kid in a candy store. One might think we have seen it all with the decades of combined expertise between us, but while trends can be cyclical there is always that exquisite new fabric tailored on just the right chair or the latest combinations of marble, metal and glass composed on a dining table. And my personal favourite…colour trends! It is always refreshing to see the latest combinations, what comes next style-wise and the throwbacks to other eras.
To stay inspired we are always keeping our eyes opened. Inspiration can strike anywhere! At market the showrooms are top notch and curated to catch our eyes much the way we design vignettes to capture your hearts. The markets are THE way to meet and connect with new vendors and to see new collections. We then curate our own collection and bring it home to Edmonton.
This allows us to keep our showroom at Signature Lane fresh and current. Once we find and order pieces we love, they filter into the store over the coming months depending on the manufacturer’s timelines. Our everyday Canadian-made classics are sprinkled with rare and curious items. If you have visited us over the years, you know we have a thing for statuary animals. And if you haven’t been in, pop in and take a selfie with our life-sized lion and see what has come in from market!