By Janice Harris
High Point Market, located in High Point, North Carolina, is the largest home furnishings industry trade show in the world encompassing over 10 million square feet of showroom space and drawing in thousands of designers and trade professionals biannually. At House Tipster, we particularly love this event because it’s inspirational, well-attended and, above all, extraordinarily informative.
During the Spring Market, which is currently running from April 14 through 18, our Media Team has already gotten a good look at the latest trends in home design. As always, there were a few standout experiences -- including our conversation with luxury furniture designer Christopher Guy Harrison of Christopher Guy.
We’ve always appreciated Christopher’s sleek designs, which are saturated with subtle curvature and breathtakingly-plush fabrics. From the ChrisX chair legs to tufted details, carved wood and more, Christopher Guy doesn’t leave any detail unturned. In speaking with Christopher, we were once again impressed with his perspective, including his take on how he can best meet the shopping needs of his modern audience.
You see, Christopher is dealing with a problem that many designers in the industry are facing: the decline of brick and mortar stores. But he’s come up with an ingenious solution; a way-forward he calls “Clicks and Mortar.” “There are companies only doing clicks, and others only doing bricks,” Christopher explained to us, “but we realize that we have to combine both.”
After selling from showrooms all these years, can Christopher’s level of high-end luxury furniture translate online? It’s a question the entire Christopher Guy team is determined to answer. Of course, he admits that the bricks are a whole lot easier to create than the clicks, but that these two elements can, and will, work together for his product offerings.
Take his showroom at High Point, for example. As a visitor, you can touch the products and really understand how they work or as Christopher calls it, “you can experience the product in the flesh.” It’s not an experience you’d get by clicking through the website online. But to combine the tactile, showroom experience with online shopping may be the solution to ensure shoppers get to experience the product while also being able to shop on their own terms.
One big hurdle he’s masterfully overcoming is handling the sheer number of furniture configurations he offers and translating them for an online audience. “Because we’re doing high-end furniture, the level of configuration we have is tremendous. Just inputting the information we need for our newest website, which is launching in July, we have 150 people working on it.”
Another way he’s meeting the ever-changing needs of his customers is by offering more information online, including exposing the pricing. “It’s all about convenience, especially for our younger audience.”
It’s refreshing to see this merger of old and new, but in a way, this Clicks and Mortar approach is similar to Christopher’s design style. Above all else, Christopher strives to remain timeless.
“I try to ensure that each piece I design is as viable today as it will be in 10 years or 50 years time,” he said.
By creating a timeless, no boundaries approach for his design customers and meeting them wherever they are, Christopher Guy Harrison is truly practicing what he preaches.
We want to thank Christopher Guy Harrison for talking to us about Clicks and Mortar. We can’t wait to see the new website come July!
Look for the video footage from this exclusive interview with Christopher Guy Harrison in the coming days, and stay tuned for more High Point Market stories and highlights on the House Tipster Media hub.