Yes, it’s time for the Annual Unity in Design Event, click here to conveniently register online,  in High Point NC, and that means I’ll be wending my way there to participate as a member of the High Point Design Center, for the 3rd year in a row.I love how the collaborative efforts of the many Design Associations involved culminate  in making this the enjoyable and educational networking event the success it is each and every year.  And now with a Trade Show, 2nd annual,  a vital part of UNITY, it simply continues to grow in it’s impact to ALL…. 

Designers and vendors alike are given this wonderful opportunity to make themselves known to each other and the energy that is transmitted as relations grow is no less than inspiring.  It’s like a “Mini Market”, tailor made for those that find that they are able to attend….

This year I am particularly excited as I, on behalf of Antiques by Zaar/ZAAR Design Center, plan to host a luncheon/presentation @ our new showroom/warehouse, on the Thursday of UNITY.

Bobbie Cox of DragonFly Designs, and I, first “met” on LinkedIn. Not long following we would meet in “real” when introduced by a mutual friend, Davetta Moore, at an IFDA sponsored luncheon during High Point Furniture Market.

Our mutual enthusiasm for our online introduction being cemented by our physical introduction, served as a bond as we exchanged cards, offering synopsis’ of our respective businesses.

ZAAR Design Center, was but a “twinkle in my eye” when I met Bobbie as she enthusiastically shared with me the fact that in addition to working as a designer, that she also made herself available for speaking engagements.

Long story short, I am so pleased to share with my world that, following lunch, catered by our friends at EmeryWood Cafe, Bobbie will present to those that join us @ ZAAR…..focusing on the value of the relations we make for our clients, ourselves and our businesses.

It will be a Great Day….good food, good food for thought, exceptional shopping, all in the warm atmosphere, will work on warm “temps”, of the ZAAR Showroom @ 220 Feld Ave, High Point…less than 3 miles down South Main, from IHFC.

ZAAR Design Center is pleased to be the home for the following companies….


Kat Burki

Touchwood UK

Vanderveer Imports

….and, of course, Antiques by Zaar

Should I have enticed you to join us, simply register to attend our luncheon at time of registration. Or if you want more details, contact me at, or leave a comment on this blog, or call me @ 207 838 2675.

Look forward to hearing from you/seeing you!  Ruth


Ever versatile Chinese art deco desk used as bedside. (Minta Bell's 1st abyzaar purchase.)

October 2005, Minta and Amy of Minta Bell Design, first visited Antiques by Zaar in our then Market Square showroom.

...and her most recent purchase, a red lacquered sideboard to anchor the dining room in this model home.

Since then the relationship has been fostered by repeated visits during Market, some chatty phone calls in between Markets, and additional purchases of Chinese pieces to serve as accents in her decorating schemes, as they do so…well, so well.

The relationship has always been warm, friendly and professional. I couldn’t be happier that Minta Bell has come to count on Antiques by Zaar, comfortable now to buy from photos alone, as a source for thier touches of Asian….and look forward to seeing them at Market this week….

Be sure to check Minta’s website and also her blog Insights: Musings on Interior Designs…worth the visit/read.


P.S. …quite by accident discovered that Minta is friends with none other than Kris and Kathy Coupland of Vanderveer Imports…yes, the same Vanderveer that is showing in Zaar Design Center this Market. My, my world is getting smaller and smaller every day.

Terri Maurer co-presenting with yours truly @ a luncheon event hosted at the Antiques by Zaar warehouse.

 Although only/already a week and a few days following the end of the High Point Design Center’s Unity in Design Event and my own event at the Antiques by Zaar warehouse/showroom, I feel a tightness in my chest growing for being remiss in posting a more timely follow-up on both. “Timeliness” in posting blogs/photos is something I truly need to work on. Yes, I do get to it, but not snap snap as fast as “should” be.

Should you find yourself reading this you don’t need anymore expounding on this and so would like to get right into it by saying that the 3rd annual Unity in Design Event and 1st annual Trade Show (see photos Trade Show here) was a success on all fronts. Under the leadership of the event chair, Shannon Hamed, we all enjoyed opportunities for networking, to be educated and to provide lunches, and in some cases presentations, to our clientele.

The combined efforts of each of the co sponsors, members of the HPDC , trade show exhibitors,and of course the designers that attended, provided an opportunity that worked for ALL that were involved/attended.

Rita Reynolds, the winner of the book giveaway, with co author Terri Maurer...both ladies past ASID presidents!

Specifically, would like to say how pleased I was to host a luncheon/presentation at my warehouse/showroom. Emerywood Cafe provided us with a bountiful feast and we were warmed by hot cider and coffee. After giving some time to peruse my collection of antiques we relocated to a smaller (and warmer) room for Terri Maurer and I to do our tag team presentation on “relationships”….using the real life example of how we met (online in 2006 doing a transaction involving 2 lovely Chinese armoires), kept connected (via my online newsletter that I send to all of my customers following a purchase), and reconnected (on LinkedIn in 2009) and started “following” our respective musings online and from there enhanced our connection by joining together and meeting in person for the first time, just less than 2 weeks ago. (Click here for photos.)… joining together to serve each of us well, both professionally and personally. Yes, we agree, it was a “win,win”

Terri has her listeners enraptured.

Terri’s experience as past president of ASID National and expert skills of presenting on a topic relevant to everyone in business for themselves, made for an impactful presentation. I interjected with my own example of what and who were contributing to my High Point presence, just in my warehouse alone.

For starters, Bellascenda, a company that makes/sells lift TV consoles,already with a presence in our facility, will be joined by Kat Burki’s line of upholstered furniture and decorative pillows, the latter debuting in High Point during the  High Point Market, Spring 2010.  Discussions are in process with a couple of other lines of accessories to round out our joint presentation.

Similarly, Antiques by Zaar has a growing number of “trade partners” where a sampling of each others merchandise is used to accent in partner showrooms, along with literature available to direct potential customers in each other’s directions. Currently we have such a relationship with New River Artisans, Feizy, Red Egg and Aribesque….and yes, open for more of same.

It’s wonderful to see the opportunities that avail themselves as we seek to broaden our base and share our resources….and such boiling down to how effectively we work the relationships we establish.

Post Tomlinson-Erwin cocktail party and heading out for dinner. Lucky me, I was invited along. Great time. (Yes, it was that cold!)

I love being in High Point and the buzz that is in a room full of people that truly enjoy the very essence of what we are required to do to grow our businesses and ourselves, and that is let people know who we are and learn about them.  It fires me up and fuels me forward. So, yes, as Davetta Moore  did attest on a Facebook posting, the Unity in Design Event is not one to be missed and is timed well as a “warm up” to Spring Market.

In closing would like to acknowledge the organizations that worked as co sponsors in this event :

ASID, AIDP, IIDAIDS, NKBA, and HPDC…alphabet soup, all joined as the Design Professionals of North Carolina…yes, the DPNC.

The following showrooms either hosted lunches or parties:

Chelsea House, French Heritage, Samuelson, Scott Thomas, Swaim, Tomlinson-Erwin, Antiques by Zaar, Red Egg, T Botero Galleries, Feizy Carpet and Habersham.

Writing a blog regarding an event is fast becoming a ritual for me, a way for me to acknowledge it, from which I can then move on. Not dissimilar to the feeling I have after writing in my daily journal at the end of the day, for not until I have put it to paper am I quite ready to “let it go”, as once there, it lives on for me. And same here.


P.S. Not to be remiss in announcing the winner of the book giveaway I promoted through my blog.  Lee Brotsker of LB Designs has had his “win” posted. Thanks to all that participated. More to follow.

It is with great pleasure that I share with you that I will be co presenting a seminar on social networking, this Friday in Wilmington, NC, at the ASID Carolina’s Chapter conference.

ASID Conference: My 3rd conference, as rep of HPDC.

ASID Conference: My 3rd conference, as rep of HPDC.

I will be offering what has been my path towards engaging in social media and how it was such a natural extension of my online based business. A business  which is now in its 10th year since incorporation, and which was premised on a very personal approach…namely in the presentation of who is Antiques by Zaar, not just what we have to offer, as put forth in our About Us  section and furthered by our online newsletter  which we started in 2004.
Following my presentation, Neville  Devlaliwalla of  Cisco Systems  will cover the evolution of the internet and the different social media resources and some examples of how other corporations have used them successfully and poorly and where all this is going.
For a complete review of activities/presentations being offered this weekend, click here. The conference is open to all like minded professionals that may have an interest in any of the topics presented. A great place to network as well, with the close to 100 designers that have already registered for this event.
Look forward to sharing with all and also meeting and greeting as representative of the High Point Design Center.
P.S. The article I wrote on Social Networking for the High Point Market Authority is showcased as featured article on thier home page. Check it out if you haven’t already.

On all accounts it was a great week.


The weather was splendid, the hotel historic and the town of Greenville SC charming. ASID Carolina’s, in my personal estimation really did it right by hosting their Spring conference at this time of year, in this lovely part of the country.


There are so many aspects of the weekend event (and 3 days following)  that touched me that I hardly know where to start.


As expected the event was well organized and efficiently run. The presentation by Lloyd Princeton was met with anticipation for his renowned reputation as an international speaker and we were not to be disappointed.


As a participant of the Trade Show, representing the High Point Design Centre, I, along with my 3 colleagues, were given ample opportunity to further promote our availability to the Trade, not only during High Point, but also throughout the calendar year.


HPDC members at ASID Conference

HPDC members at ASID Conference

Furthermore, the continued merging of my online and real world moves forward as my email newsletter recipients now have a face to the sender of AbyZaar news they receive  and yet another meeting in person in form of fellow tweeter and LinkedIn member Starr Miller.


The three days following in High Point would further be a time to fuel me forward as I had opportunity to reacquaint myself with my inventory, make myself available for customers that did come for the HPDC First Wednesday event AND top the week off with a wonderful evening hosted by Carol Gregg (Red Egg) with a dynamic group of women, some of which are fellow members of HPDC but all which are members of WITHIT, a group I am also proudly associated with.

Ellen Geffen, Kim Wray, Shannon Hamed, Chemmine Taylor-Smith, yours truly and our hostess Carol Gregg.

Ellen Geffen, Kim Wray, Shannon Hamed, Chemmine Taylor-Smith, yours truly and our hostess Carol Gregg.


Energized, focused and sensing that it is all coming together as the activity on my phone/email inbox this week would suggest. My website, newsletter, blogs, participation on LinkedIn and Twitter foster my virtual presence and my showroom and warehouse in High Point support such. Membership in vital groups (HPDC, ASID and WITHIT) offer further outreach.  As I discover the various forces that have directed particular people my way I am delighted to see how  all are working in sync. So, however you have come into my world, I welcome you with open arms and look forward to getting to know you better.

The Carolina’s chapter of ASID is conferencing in Greenville South Carolina this weekend and I am excited about attending in the capacity of an Industry Trade Partner promoting the presence and availability of the High Point Design Center for our trade clientele, not only during Market but throughout the year.


I had the pleasure of attending their conference last Fall in Raleigh Durham, doing same. Not only was it a great opportunity for me to familiarize myself with ASID members, but also, as a new (and long distant) member of HPDC, to get to know on a relaxed and casual basis, fellow members.


ASID actively supports and promotes the HPDC and their relationship is furthered by joint membership in the Design Professionals of North Carolina, a group that was formed to present a cohesive and united front in a battle to quell taxing of Designers products and services in NC. Other groups that were part of this coalition were IDS, IIDA and NKBA.


High Point Design Center Receives Award from ASID Carolina's Chapter

High Point Design Center Receives Award from ASID Carolina's Chapter

(From L to R Joyce Allen: Ferguson Copeland, Ruth Olbrych: Antiques by Zaar, Jeanne Glenn: Karges, Shannon Hamed:Scott Thomas, Kay Lambeth: Tomlinson, Monica Peters: Habersham)


 The DPNC joined forces again with the production of the Unity in Design Event which was held this past February which was a great success. Read my newsletter “afterglow” report on the event.


Following the conference weekend I will be spending the next 3 days working out of my High Point warehouse. Should anyone be interested in visiting during that time please feel free to call and make yourself known.


Note that Wednesday June 3rd, is the High Point Design Center’s “First Wednesday” event and as such there will be a plethora of businesses open for the shopping pleasure of those in the Trade.


Looking forward to this networking opportunity for HPDC and, of course, Antiques by Zaar.