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Capel Rugs spearheads export growth initiative

Meeting draws interest from furniture industry, government officials

The Home Furnishings Export Consortium received strong interest from members of the home furnishings industry and government officials at a preliminary meeting on July 28 at the High Point Chamber of Commerce. Capel Rugs is spearheading the initiative, which will help furniture manufacturers in North Carolina and the surrounding region expand their export businesses.

Capel_meeting_W.jpgConsortium presenters Tony Whitener, Manufacturing Solutions Center/AFE; Mike Padjen, Director/Furniture Export Office; Dan St. Louis, Manufacturing Solutions Center/AFE; Dany Lester, SOFA; Bobby Wertman, SOFA; Bud Young, Capel Rugs; Joe Carroll, Furniture Consultant; Charlie Greene, NC Furnishings Export Council; Andrew Hicks, NC Department of Commerce; and Jean Davis, Director of International Trade Divisions. Several Home Furnishings Manufacturers were also in attendance.
"We are very pleased by the number of people who came out to the meeting and by the positive response everyone had to the Consortium," said Capel Rugs Vice President of Marketing Bud Young. "This is an exciting opportunity, and you could tell from the energy in the room that everyone understood that something special was happening."

Those in attendance included representatives from furniture manufacturers Bassett, Bernhardt, Capel Rugs, Century, Jasper Cabinet and Tomlinson/Erwin-Lamberth, as well as members of the media, the N.C. Department of Commerce and transportation and logistics companies.

The initial effort of the Home Furnishings Export Consortium will be to establish a permanent showroom at the Source of Furniture + Accessories (SOFA), the design center at the International Centre in Toronto, for a group of regional home furnishings companies. The project will allow participating companies to work collectively with the aim of increasing foreign market share, exploiting export potential in the Canadian market and gaining exposure to the design community.

Companies that choose to participate in the Consortium will be able to share the costs of managing and marketing a Canadian showroom and be provided with expert assistance as they become familiar with the exporting process. With 25 years of experience exporting to Canada, Capel Rugs will play a key role in sharing its knowledge with other Consortium members.

"Based on the outcome of the meeting, we are very optimistic," Young said. "Our goal is to have the showroom open in time for the January Market."

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