Inside Out

Waynette Goodson

Waynette Goodson is both the editor in chief of Casual Living and its brand ambassador. Her goal is to become a thought leader in the world of outdoor furnishings and design. Thus, she focuses on sharing insightful information to help you increase your business. Waynette will keep her finger on the pulse of the industry and wrap it all up in one handy blog, casually speaking.

  • Down to Earth

    ’Tis the season to reconnect with the Earth. There’s a natural urge to get out and dig in the dirt in the spring, especially to start “top dressing” flower beds. Perhaps it’s the call of Mother Nature herself, beckoning us to canvas our outdoor spaces with gardens galore. One year I decided to take on the task of mulching the yard myself. So I went to Home Depot, where I was surprised to find lots of folks pushing large, heavy pallets stacked sky-high with mulch. “Thank goodness I’m not like those poor schmucks,” I thought to myself ... Read More
  • Grills Galore

    Here’s a confession: I have never grilled. I hope this doesn’t get me kicked off the casual island. Sure, I’ve been to plenty of backyard barbecues, but I, myself, have never operated a grill. Not charcoal. Not gas. Certainly not infrared. (I generally stay away from anything aflame, as I tend to wear too much hair spray and other flammable products.) So, admittedly, I approached our March edition, the annual Grill Issue, with some trepidation—but also with great curiosity about all the new-fangled grills on the market. I can only hope the issue is as educational ... Read More
  • It’s Elemental

    Creating furniture for the outdoors or designing the quintessential “5th room” reminds me of what it’s like to take a yoga class outside—a real challenge compared to practicing indoors. I’ll tell you a secret: I have both taught and practiced yoga for over a decade now. It helps to keep me calm and centered in this crazy, casual world. (And after you read Gary James’ 2017 regulatory compliance report on p. 34 of our February issue, you may decide to start your own practice immediately.) Why is outdoor yoga so challenging? First, there’s no ceiling, so ... Read More
  • Fashionable Fabric

    I grew up in Shelby, N.C., the center of a cotton-growing area by the 1930s. That meant it was also a mill town. People left their lives on the farms to get jobs in the city. And mill villages sprang up for all the new residents. In the ’70s, the textile mills were still going strong, and hardly a year went by that I didn’t have to go on a field trip to Dover, Esther or Ora mill. Frankly, I hated it. The mills were huge, they were loud, they were dirty, and lines upon lines of workers ... Read More
  • 4 Ways to Get Involved with Casual Living in 2017

    2017 will be a pivotal year for Casual Living. It will also be a year of many firsts. As the editor, I’m excited for what the New Year will bring for this heritage brand. Casual Living began in 1958—in 2018, the publication will actually celebrate its 60th anniversary. That’s 60 years of covering the outdoor furnishings industry: lifestyle features, business analysis and product trends. Our trade magazine has been the only one of its kind to consistently cover reviews of furniture markets, publish profiles of successful retailers, and invite manufacturers and guest columnists. But it’s been ... Read More
  • Setting the Table: Outdoors

    The holidays are a time of tradition—and innovative thinking. You must have the latter, in case the former doesn’t quite go as planned, as often is the case with holiday cooking. Not that I cook a lot for the holidays, but I am responsible for one major culinary tradition: I always buy a cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory. After I brought one to my family gathering the first year, it stuck. And now they expect me to bring one every Christmas. One year, I made the terrible mistake of forgetting to thaw it out overnight, so it would ... Read More
  • Forward Thinking

    As we wrap up the busy market season and look ahead to the holidays and 2017, it’s nice to take a few deep breaths and be thankful for what we got—a lot! We’re in a healthy industry with a projected growth rate of 4.0% per year to $7.5 billion in 2017, according to the Freedonia Group, rebounding from the declines of the recession-impacted 2007–2012 period. And no better place to witness this growth than by taking a look at market attendance: In August, the Las Vegas Market reported that overall attendance was up 8 ... Read More
  • Remember When

    My favorite moment at Casual Market Chicago came not from seeing an innovative new product or from realizing an expanded collection—or in the case of many manufacturers, more than one new collection. It came in the Anacara showroom, when Pat O’Brien, someone whom I had never met, told me to, “Wait, right here,” he had something for me. Pat said he didn’t know if I’d make it by, but he had brought it just in case. I stood there for a few moments perplexed. “What in the world could he have for me?” I thought. Then ... Read More
  • March to Market

    As we look forward to Casual Market Chicago (Sept. 20-23) and reflect on the Las Vegas Market (July 31-Aug.4), it’s interesting to compare the two. In one corner, we have the heavyweight, Casual Market Chicago, boasting a complete collection of outdoor furniture, trends and accessories for more than three decades. It’s the only show in North America dedicated to the casual furnishings industry endorsed by the ICFA. Attendees can expect about 250 manufacturers filling more than 350,000 square feet at the Merchandise Mart, with permanent showrooms on Floors 14, 15 and 16, as well as temporary ... Read More
  • An Eye for Design

    Now here’s an issue that thrills me from my Chanel eye glasses to my Prada-clad toes – the Designer Issue. Sigh. Once upon a time I worked on Seventh Avenue in New York as a fit model (back before size 6 became the new 14). Today I still have the fashion fever, and one’s home is certainly an extension of one’s style. So I’m so excited that upscale designers are having such an impact on the “5th Room.” The slogan “You’ve come a long way, baby,” perhaps best describes the metamorphosis the outdoor space has undergone ... Read More
  • The Great Pillow Chase

    As a Shelby, N.C., girl who came up on Red Bridges barbecue, I’m proud that my debut as the new Casual Living editor is this Made in America issue. I drive a Ford Fusion, I listen to Willie Nelson, and I’m about as American as it gets. I’m also excited to come on board Casual Living at the beginning of the market season, starting in downtown High Point with Showtime, the largest fabric show in the U.S. What did I learn? Simple: Buy quality fabric. One demonstration of the Defense finish at Altizer – when they ... Read More
  • A state of anticipation

    Does anyone besides me remember Carly Simon's song made famous by the Heinz ketchup commercials in the late 1970s? The words of "Anticipation" have been running through my mind frequently this month as I look toward the events and projects coming up on the summer calendar. "It's keeping me way-ay-ay-aiting." For the past two months, we've been anticipating the annual Casual Living Merchandising Awards. It's always exciting to see what retailers are doing to showcase casual home furnishings in fresh and inviting ways, and certainly this year has been no exception. When the judging was finally ... Read More