While the High Point Market returned in October after its spring edition was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many in the industry still couldn’t attend for a number of reasons.
Designers Alexa Hampton and Thom Filicia noticed that many of their contemporaries, particularly those in the greater New York/New Jersey area, were missing, and each separately began thinking of ways to bring a piece of the experience to the region. When they compared notes and realized they were both thinking the same thing, they decided to pool their efforts. Called “Market on the Move,” it is it a pop-up initiative that, should it go well, could be done in other markets around the country moving forward.
The designers shared how it came together while on a call with Home Accents Today.
“It was a little different this time and great in a lot of ways but we missed seeing people that we typically see. Alexa and I were separately thinking about how to connect with people who didn’t have the opportunity to see it,” Filicia said. “Maybe it would be great to utilize the showroom I have in New York and show some of our favorite pieces from market. When Alexa had her creative inspiration at the same time and we talked and when I heard what she was thinking, we said let’s build this together.”
This month at the New York Design Center at 200 Lexington Avenue, Hampton’s showroom will host favorite pieces from her Theodore Alexander partnership, while Filicia’s Sedgwick & Brattle showroom will be filled with selections from Filicia’s pieces from Vanguard Furniture and Wendover Art Group. Both will have an assortment of their Eastern Accents soft goods and other items from High Point Market that caught their eyes.
“It became even more important to us to make sure we could bring everything,” Hampton said. “It’s almost like a farmer’s market; we brought it to them.”
Filicia added that this industry is so dependent on people coming together, so when it doesn’t happen, there’s a void that needs filled. “In our business, it’s so much about relationships. It’s about the relationships we have with the industry, other designers, buyers; the whole world of what we do. When it all disappeared, it highlighted the importance of it. I don’t think we took it for granted but it highlighted the importance of it.”
To get the word out, Hampton and Filicia have turned to social media (#marketonthemove); not only their own channels, but also their respective partner brands and NYDC.
Market on the Move is open by appointment beginning Feb. 3 and then every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this month, and those interested can sign up at thomandalexa.com. And should this first foray be successful, both agreed that it’s something that could be repackaged and presented again in New York and in other metros because of the convenience of the location and for the difference in aesthetic it creates.
“I think it could be a cool opportunity. We could take the temperature of everybody and see,” Hampton said. “Just our showrooms in High Point are really glam and have the different ceiling heights so it’s nice to see it in different environments as well. Everybody is out of their minds at market because they’ve been walking around all day and there’s that urgency to get it all done so this is a more relaxed vibe.”