High Point Furniture Market

I can’t believe that it’s been 7 years since I’ve been wending my way to High Point NC for the Furniture Market….and my delight in being present there for my business there simply continues to grow.

Am thrilled to say that I, and many others that I talked to as well, had a wonderful Market….what great news that is to spread!

But High Point Market is so much more than a venue for buyers and sellers to converge and do business, and part of my growing delight has been in the programs that are offered and the insight I gain in the industry by attending such.

Only recently came aware of the fact that there is a pre Market kick off  Prayer Breakfast prefacing each Market.  The fact that Kathy Ireland was the guest speaker a couple of years ago was admittedly what had enticed me to attend the 7:00 am program, yes, ouch,  the first time.  This year I waffled on going but in the end did and was delighted and inspired by the key-note speaker’s presentation as put forth by Aminy Audi, president of Stickley Furniture….a struggling brand that she and her husband took over in 1976, and breathed new life into. She , as businesswoman, philanthropist, educator, mother and wife, was  the

package deal….real, warm, engaging, humorous, spiritual, enormously respected, and inspirational. Yes, glad I got myself out of bed for that early morning presentation.

The breakfast meeting that I won’t miss attending is that which is sponsored by WITHIT. This is a double win as not only is there always a great speaker, but it is a chance to give hugs all around, to my fellow WITHIT members, which I am sure to see there. Read WITHIT Market recap here.

This year, designer and author Thomas Jayne, was the guest speaker…engaging his audience fully as he highlighted various rooms in his recently published book, which were available for to purchase and be autographed following said presentation.

                                              Click image to go directly to Amazon to purchase your copy of “The Finest Rooms”

You can also count on IFDA sponsoring a luncheon/speaker that delights and commands a full house. This year it would be TV designer/personality  Ty Pennington who blew in and kept his audience , small compared to the millions he draws on during his Extreme Home Makeover’s, enthralled.

and MUST include here a note regarding the most recent episode  of Extreme Home Makeover, I watched with my husband, where the  Carl Hall family of Wichita KS , had their life turned upside down when the husband/father of 4 was injured in a car accident a year ago, rendering him completly paralyzed from the shoulder’s down. Not upside right, but monumental strides made by the Extreme Team, coupled with that of a very supportive and loving community, was put in place to improve the lot of this family, and witnessing this all was touching to say the least.

Attending these events is a recent “icing on my cake” part of Market for me. The after hour events have always been a must do,at minium for food and drink to fuel on,  part of Market as well …the trick being deciding which of the many that are slated, to attend, as they are always a great venue to meet and greet…fellow exhibitors, past customers, those people that we count on to do all the behind the scenes work to “make” Market happen, as well as new people.

Aaron Cabeen of Cabeen Originals, falls into the latter catagory, being a young gentleman from Chatanooga TN, who I was introduced to by John Strauss, of John Strauss Furniture, who I initially “met” on Twitter, and have since fostered a friendship, and who now has a sampling of his product in the ZAAR Design Center!

This was a debut Market for Cabeen Originals and having a piece stage centre on the Market edition of Home Accents Today certainly added to his “entree” to High Point Market. How to go Aaron!

…and as I shared with Aaron,Antiques by Zaar enjoyed a HATcover as well, as shown here, in October 2006. Thank YOU HAT folks! 

NOTE: That little green console shown here was THE hot hot item for me this Spring 2011 Market…selling even the stock that has not yet arrived!

This is but a wide swoosh of all that transpired during this most recent “6 Days that Matter”….and now that I have shared this with my virtual world I can go on with the many, ok, too many, things that I have burning a fire under me, that are exciting developments for Antiques by Zaar.

Suffice it to say….the showroom looked great…. and those that visited enjoyed viewing not only my collection but also samplings from Fortunata, Touchwood, Bellascenda and Kat Burki, the feeling all about was up beat, and even with a wide range of temperatures outside, the pervasive tone was warm and enveloping.

Feel free to visit Market and ZAAR Design Center by checking out some photos here. AND, if you didn’t get to see us during Market, don’t sweat it, as we are open year round…9:00-5:00 the 2nd Wed of every month, or by appointment.

Thanks to ALL who are part of what makes the High Point Furniture Market a great event!



….of course this would be  in the epicenter of High Point North Carolina, the furniture capital of the world, and Antiques by Zaar is excited to be showcasing product from this infamous landmark during the upcoming Spring High Point Market…..with balance of collection available to view at the ZAAR Design Center @ 220 Feld Ave.

Talk about a drawing card eh? Gotta say I love it. Centrally located at 508 Hamilton, this 38′ tall historical structure was built in the 1920’s and served as the towns bureau of information. …and has been listed on the map for NC attractions for decades…per below vintage postcard.

Currently owned by my friend Pamela Stern, she and I mutually felt that placing and selling the Chinese antiques in the Worlds Largest Chest of Drawers was just what needed to be done for this Spring’s Market….breathing new life into this iconic structure.

Pamela, well familiar with Chinese Antiques, and is just about as passionate about them as I am, will be serving as the Antiques by Zaar sales rep during Market….and also serve to answer all your questions about her historical piece of real estate.

So, if you’re going to be in High Point next month, be sure to check out how great American history and Chinese history complement each other in this setting….yes, possibly representative of the changing face of High Point?

I.E. Have you heard about not one, but two Antique Centers, opening up for Market? One in Suites at Market Square and the 2nd on Russell Ave????

 Will be open 9:00-5:00 from April 1-7, as will ZAAR Design Center.


A well travelled, sophisticated and warm Barry Dixon…

What do Barry Dixon, Kelly Hoppen and Angelo Surmelis have in common?

Undoubtedly each in thier own right they are renowned designers…each with signature lines, books, tv shows, and are sought after speakers….and thus why such great draws  at IHFC , and as brought in by WITHIT and IFDA at the most recent High Point Furniture Market.

After hearing each of them speak I am inclined to suggest that in addition to their obvious talent as designers,  that their respective successes are due to the winning combination of being good at what they do AND knowing who they are and what value they can bring to the worlds of many.

....effervescent and vibrant Kelly Hoppen.

...and self proclaimed "geeky" Angelo Surmelis

The common thread amongst all was that “trend watching” wasn’t as important to them as was listening to their clients…working with their vision, feeling what they wanted in their surroundings, evolving with them and giving them that “ah ha” moment. Core values, passion, enthusisam and simple love for their work and what they can do for those that count on them to interpret their vision was purported by each.

They are wonderful role models of people that have found their passion, and know that, although it’s all about them, it’s also not about them at all….

Rather than try any harder to put into my words what they said, I will leave you with some of what they shared and which I noted…but suffice it to say, I left each presentation feeling truly inspired that everything I aspire for, is within reach, as long as I believe in the “dream” and ultimately in myself in my ability to carry it out. Thank you all! Onward.

Thank you WITHIT for bringing Barry Dixon to speak....

“Hope the last thing I do is the Best thing I do…KNOW the first thing I did was the worst.”  Barry Dixon

…..is inspired by what is outdoors and brings it in, ie the indoors reflect the view….

Up close and personal with Kelly Hoppen. (oh, to have those arms!)

“Number One: Need to believe in yourself….don’t wallow in failures, just keep on going”  Kelly Hoppen

Kelly Hoppen: What motivates her? Design is in her blood. Always wants to do better/more. Loves what she does, including making people happy.

“If you succeed you can impact change. If you fail….nobody cares.” Angelo Surmelis

“Just because we don’t have money, we have no taste?”  Mother of Angelo Surmelis…..and sensing a very real part of the creation of his new, very affordable, very fashionable furniture line.

 Click image to go directly to Amazon to purchase Barry’s book.

….Kelly’s first (of several) books. Personal fave with East/West theme….of course.


Barry Dixon , Kelly Hoppen, and Angelo Surmelis

NOTE:  Both Kelly and Angelo also have blogs that you may be interested in following. Links to be found on respective websites. Enjoy!

My hiatus from blogging, dare I admit to last post being  10/13?, has NOTHING to do with a lack of content and/or interest in sharing with my world all that I feel worthy of sharing, but more to do with where do I start? What is the essence of the messages I want to put out there? How do I pull it all together so that people want to hear what I’m saying?

Sign in Gray ME...just down the road from us. Understand?

There’s a saying here in Maine “you can’t get there from here” …and I KNOW that customers looking for my house in ME (years ago) were told just this, and go figure, they did get here from there 🙂  AND didn’t let that detour deter them…as they are still good AbyZaar customers …. and that is how I am feeling right now, in that I need to step back, take a look, and a big deep breath, and find my way there, even if it may not be the route the signs suggested…

Truth of the matter is that there are SO MANY supporting me in my evolving vision that it is becoming as much a mission/mandate, and desire not to disappoint, as it is a job/business, and that suits me just fine…although the pressure is on, eh?

And so, it seems appropriate for me to launch this blogging binge I plan on embarking on, starting now, by sharing with you,  the many things and people which inspire me…that urge me on/fuel me forward, and give me  a sense that this passion must be shared…all as I wend my way from here to there. Welcome to my ride!

Although I am scribing this missive from my home office in Maine, the last 3 plus weeks have found me everywhere but here…finding inspiration all along the way, as noted in one of my most recent blogs on Seth Godin.

Antiques by Zaar first showroom in Market Square...just under 1,000 sq ft.

My Inspiration: My New Digs @ 220 Feld Ave. High Point NC.

A little extra work preparing for Market this year as we had moved locations in September and thus my 10,000 square foot space, full of inventory I might add, needed a FULL rework. And, in addition to setting up for my business, Antiques by Zaar, I also had to take into consideration the 4 businesses that would be showing with me, presenting ourselves in the  newly established  entity, ZAAR Design Center.

We started the move with making a wall with our armoires...

It felt like every stick of furniture in the building had to be moved from where it had been placed on initial move. Per the urging of Jeff, my right hand in NC, I made my way to High Point a few days earlier than my normal time for Market prep…and so glad I heeded her advice. Two full days, with the help of 2 gentlemen, we got the bulk of the heavy work done, leaving 3 days left to sort out…well, the “fun stuff”.

It was a daunting task on that first glance, and I thought addressing something a 10th of this size had been daunting!, but as the days waned, it came together in a way that had me stop, look, and FEEL, over and over again. In the course of just a few days the warehouse was transformed into a showroom…displaying not only Antiques by Zaar’s collection, but also that of Bellascenda, Kat Burki, Lady B Goode and Vanderveer….the owners of each business addressing their respective vignettes. See pix of all by going to Antiques by Zaar Fan Page on Facebook!

From the signage outside, to the statuary and potted mums placed at the entrance, to the “greeter” we had to register our visitors, to the brightly lit space, which ensured a good dusting job was indeed done, to the coffee and snacks made available, and to the fine people that represented their companies, it was simply delightful and welcoming. What a great place to show and tell…yes, if I do say so myself.

Panoramic of ZAAR Showroom

I may be the biggest fan but from the feedback received from the lovely group of people  that visited us during Market and/or that attended our party, celebrating 10 years for Antiques by Zaar and introducing ZAAR Design Center, I have more than a handful of people agreeing with me.

So yes, after a hearty week working Market, after moving out all that Sold, yeah for me!, during Market and reworking the space to accommodate 2 new lines that we’ll be introducing at next Designer Wednesday, that being 11/10, I left my new space with a smile on my face and feeling all aglow.

Info on each ZAAR Member available as soon as you enter...

We had made it. We had moved. We treated the entire space as a showroom. We welcomed 4 companies to present themselves with us, and they too presented their collections with style and pizzaz.  We had the inaugural Market for ZAAR Design Center, and you know what the really cool thing is????

For all those that didn’t have the time to visit us, we are excitedly prepared to see you throughout the year! The next Designer Wednesday for the High Point Design Center is just around the corner, and we are primped up and ready…and if you can’t make it then, well, just call and make an appointment and someone will avail themselves for you to ensure you have all the info you need for what you are looking at/for.

Can you say it/see it any better than this? Welcome to High Point!

Yes, Antiques by Zaar has moved and ZAAR Design Center is here. So from there to here we are and now we are ready to move from our new Here to There, with many new developments planned for ZAAR Design Center, to serve ….

0ffering ZAAR Trade Partners  a venue to present their collections to their customers…

offering a resource to our Trade customers, with NEW things to look at constantly…have some surprises in store for ya’ll!

All this, year round, from no other than High Point, The Heart of Furniture Land. We welcome you!


The "more" that you'll see when visiting Antiques by Zaar.

Per my most recent blog posting,  I indicated that there would be “more” in store for those that are able to make a visit to 220 Feld Avenue, during this Fall 2010 Market, and thus I introduce to you, drum roll please, to the  ZAAR Design Center.

The concept of having several closely situated companies collaborate to have a collective, year round, presence, has been evolving in my head for some time now… so the fact that it is at the stage where I can introduce to you, as an entity, ZAAR Design Center, is absolutely thrilling  to me.

There is no “Center” without Trade Partners, and am proud that the following four companies serve as founding Partners, with Antiques by Zaar, namely…

Bellascenda: Your source for  flat screen lift furniture.

Kat Burki:  Lifestyle brand, including custom upholstered furniture and carpets….and so much more.

Vanderveer Imports:  Chinese reproduction porcelain and ceramics.

Lady Be Goode:  European antiques, “uniques”, art and a line of signature lighting.  website forthcoming…

Aside from the fact that each of our respective companies  carries a high end, but well priced, product, we also each bring something unique to the collective plate, which adds to our allure.  Similarly, our shared committment, and desire to do it economically,  to establishing/promoting our businesses in High Point on a year round basis  is a force that drives and unites us all.

 I couldn’t be happier for the fine collection of people and product that are available from our new location. So, be sure to check us out, AND, know that you’re invited to a PARTY that I am hosting to…

Time to Celebrate!

celebrate 10 years in business for MY “baby” Antiques by Zaar.

introduce  ZAAR Design Center to the High Point world.

…and celebrate some more… my 50th birthday coinciding with my business’s 10th, so…why not?  It is indeed a landmark year right?

So, Tuesday, October 19th, starting at 5:00, is where you will find food, beverages and entertainment.  Full Kee Chinese restaurant will be catering the event and Rick Allred will be entertaining us with music and magic.

RSVP certainly not required, but appreciated…just to help us plan for food. No number too small or too great. Party is on!

Directions from IHFC: Total Distance 3 miles
  • Down SOUTH MAIN/US 311 BR 2.6 miles
  • Right onto FAIRFIELD and go .2 miles
  • Left onto EARLHAM and go .2 miles
  • Right onto FELD AVE and go .2 miles
ZAAR Design Center is on your right hand side (across from Brayton International)
NOTE: Directional signs for ZAAR Design Center will be at each intersection and also at driveway entrance to the showroom.
….ample parking available.
Also, the Go Anywhere Shuttle will come our way as well.
Look forward to an exciting Fall 2010 Market!


A smattering here, of our wonderful, one of a kind offerings.

Antiques by Zaar established itself as the first fully online based business, specializing in Chinese Antiques, in 2000….serving retail and trade customers alike. This in and of itself deserves a full blog entry…soon. In the interest of growing our trade business we started exhibiting at the High Point Furniture Market Spring of 2004.


When we started to show, we were still warehousing in Maine and thus a permanent showroom was important to us, and as such, what was offered in the Market Square building was most appealing….a building which was a wonderfully restored mill building… not unlike the mill building in which we warehoused at in Maine….a building where designers sought out new and intriquing lines.

Warmly greeted customers from Market Square 2004-2007.

Four years at Market Square, with last couple adding a 2nd space in the adjoining building Suites at Market Square, one year in Suites alone,  followed by a season in the IHFC building (Pavillions on 2) served us well.

Sidenote: Over the course of time we realized the relevance of High Point on a larger scale for our Maine based company and as such determined to move our center of business, ie, our entire inventory, to High Point.  Thus, in Spring of  2007 we started redirecting containers to High Point and spent the following year  managing locations in 2 states as we worked torwards  full move to High Point.  Spring 2008, the job was complete.

Love opportunities to promote the HPDC, here at Fall 2010 ASID Carolina's conference.

With warehouse fully in place it made sense to join the High Point Design Center and get on the bandwagon of promoting trade business in High Point year round…the reason said group exists, and yeah for us for this wonderful venue to promote our presence.


Ah, the decisions we had to make to stay in business during this most challenging of economic times.  And how auspicious of us to have made the decision to move our inventory to High Point BEFORE the bottom fell out of the economy….

The next decision was tougher. Exhibiting in a Market showroom, making people aware of our newly established warehouse, was, what I thought, the perfect scenario. Have a prescence in a established building and offer ALL of my collection for ready viewing just a few short miles away.

Relaxing at the end of our first successful showing from our warehouse/showroom, Fall 2009.

But as the economy took its toll on my sales I had a choice to make…spend my $$$ on inventory or spend it on a showroom…Sadly, I didn’t have the resources for both.  I knew I wanted to stay in business, and although my committment to the Market Showrooms was high, the right thing for my business over rode such, and so, a decision was made, that would serve the future existance of my precious business.

So, with bated breath I let my everybody know that my warehouse would also serve as my showroom, this announcement made exactly a year ago. With my loyal sales associate/showroom designer, and so much more,  Jeff Moore, by my side, we created a new strategy and made it work!

So happy that I’m here to write about it, and tell you about my new and improved  location, from which we will be showing from in just a couple of weeks time.

My landlord, West Express, also happens to be one of my trusted shippers, relocated this Fall and I moved with him. Thus you can find Antiques by Zaar , and more…more about the “more” in following blog….at 220 Feld Avenue, just under 3 miles from downtown High Point!

Very much look forward to meeting and greeting all those that are interested in purusing our fine line of Chinese Antiques…either during Market or following, as we are open, by appointment, year round.

April 6th, my last blog. Ouch. Too long.

I have missed reaching out this way and look forward to sharing the many exciting things going on, with my business and with my family.

Bryant Park NY in Springtime....lovely.

Yes, from April 9- 29th I have been a road warrior…NY, High Point NC, back to NY, Montreal, and back to ME. Over 3,000 miles on my little KIA and 250 miles on a 10′ rental UHAUL. Yes, I do need to find a way to stay more present online while “out and about”.

High Point Market was the focus of my trip to North Carolina, couched in personal time with my family….catching up with my husband (@either end of High Point)  and moving  2 of my college kids back home, for at least part of the summer….concluding this 3 week stint on the road.

Emptied 2 college kid's apartments. One McGill grad and one going to Australia in July for semester abroad.

So, consider this my “I’m back” blog.

A lovely presentation of our collection at 1690 English. Spring 2010 Market.

Have posted photos from Spring Market 2010 on my facebook profile, and will be posting a newsletter recapping High Point “High Points” later this week.

Working to get my groove back, working from my home office, and similarly organizing my kids so that they know how they can help thier mother along with some time consuming tasks, to help keep the Antiques by Zaar’s face fresh.

And so, to that end, I should move forward in the direction of doing just that…solidifying the structure of expected work, so that it can indeed get it done…IE, I have work to do before I can give them work to do.  🙂

I simply wanted to anchor my “landing” with this short missive.

Happy rest of the weekend to you all. It is indeed lovely here in Maine.


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