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Inside Out

Vicky Jarrett

Vicky Jarrett is Editorial Director of Casual Living and, along with managing our editorial team and content in Casual Living, enjoys every opportunity to explore and dig deeper into the casual category.

  • Just press “1”

    We’ve all had to do it. You call a business office and get a recording with the instructions to listen carefully, for the options have changed. Then it’s “1” for this and “2” for that; press * here and # there. Before you wonder what kind of rant you’re about to get into here, let me just say that I recognize the valuable time saver a phone tree can be both for the business receiving the calls and for the person making one. What could be more efficient than listening to a couple options, pressing a number and being ... Read More
  • Our slice of the pie

    The October High Point event comes on the heels of two of the casual industry’s biggest trade shows – the July ICFA Preview Show and Casual Market Chicago in September – and with the recent push the Las Vegas Market has made into the casual arena, one could argue that casual retailers have had a chance now at three back-to-back markets before they even think about High Point. If you were to tally the numbers from these four events, they are impressive. With more than 2,450 exhibitors and 12 million square feet of show space (which includes all of High ... Read More
  • Hot off the press

    Being of the editorial persuasion, it always gladdens my heart when we get the advance copies of each month’s issue and I get to see the final result of weeks of labor and months of planning. As much as I like using the computer and Internet, there is nothing better than holding an ink-and-paper rendition of our features and departments. So yesterday, when the November issue appeared, I was quick to thumb through its pages, looking at it with fresh eyes and trying to see it as you will when you pick it up from your desk. I hope ... Read More
  • The Real Deal

    The buzz that I’m hearing these days seems to revolve around a couple things: the next generation of customers (namely Millennials) and how to communicate with them. First, defining Millennials is not all that simple. After all, here’s a group that ranges from those just heading off to college at one end of the spectrum to those who are settled into jobs and have maybe started a family at the other. That’s quite a range of life experiences to lump together into a one-strategy-fits-all marketing plan. Even if we can argue that there are responses and desires ... Read More
  • Sharing Secrets

    One thing about working in the publishing industry is that we tend to get emails with story ideas, press releases and tidbits of one sort or another. As we’re coming up on the October High Point Market, more and more of these tidbits are related to show events, socials, new product and the like. But what caught my eye today was an article entitled “Tip & Insights: Secrets of the High Point Market” on the High Point Market Authority website. Of course, I just HAD to find out if (after all these years of attending High Point Market) I actually ... Read More
  • It's a good thing

    It’s September, and casual industry manufacturers, suppliers and dealers are eagerly looking forward the industry’s biggest event – Casual Market Chicago. It’s like anticipating Christmas; it’s the time for the new product, new ideas. Introductions and innovations are showing up all over the casual industry. As the countdown continues toward the big show, we’ve turned the spotlight on this year’s ICFA Apollo Award nominees, an impressive group of retailers that have proven themselves to be energetic, enthusiastic and, yes, innovative – characteristics that resonate with their customers. Of course, each September Casual Living reports and tracks ... Read More
  • Teeny-tiny, but beautiful

    The first home my husband and I rented was a 700-sq-ft house divided into four rooms, plus bath. It was small – snug even. Of course, we called it cozy. But that was a luxury mansion in comparison to the trend toward tiny houses now. These days we’re talking about homes that are 300, 350 or 400 square feet – max. Now that’s a small space, and it requires a healthy measure of lifestyle simplification to fit. Of course, urban condo and apartment dwellers have been fitting into that kind of square footage for years and continue to do so ... Read More
  • Designing Solutions

    What do we do when the customer asks for a faster horse? While we regularly feature outdoor room design projects in these pages, this month’s issue gives special attention to design and designers in several features. However, lest you think this column doesn’t pertain to your part of the casual furniture business, let me assure you that it does. Because designing is not just about coming up with something customers will like or something that looks good – although those criteria are certainly important – it is also about coming up with a room, a product or a home that ... Read More
  • To Market, To Market

    For the staff here at Casual Living, just as for many of you, we’re in the season of markets. Beginning with the ICFA preview event a couple weeks ago, we’ll be in and out of a steady stream of trade events – Las Vegas this week, Casual Market Chicago in September, High Point Market in October and a number of international and domestic goodies tucked in between. I find that a big part of attending the various shows is in the preparation. As in, who will I see? What do I want to learn or come away with after ... Read More
  • Custom Driven

    Give shoppers a compelling reason At recent trade events in High Point and Las Vegas, I asked a number of exhibitors to trace the roots of inspiration for the designs on their showrooms’ floor. Does design flow from the residential world to the contract and hospitality side, I asked them, or does it start with interior designers and architects? Do design trends trickle up or down or out and about? Trying to nail down a trend myself, I was not much encouraged to receive almost as many different answers as there were exhibitors. However, what I did hear repeated time ... Read More
  • The Boss is Gone

    I ran in to a local store just the other day to pick up something – in and out quickly and on with my errands. In the moment it took to walk down the aisle, I became totally sidetracked at the sight of summer and Independence Day items on sale to give way to – would you believe it? Of course you would – fall and Christmas products. Every customer does a little head shaking at how quickly the shopping cycles move along to the next season on the calendar. It got me to thinking about retail promotions, though, and what a challenge ... Read More
  • Work That Passion

    At a family get-together not long ago, I couldn’t help but notice one of the significant differences between my sons’ generation and that of my parents: their attitudes toward and use of everyday technology. Of course, I’m not telling you anything you haven’t seen for yourself; the comfort level with high-tech gadgets and apps increases exponentially the younger the user. My kids expect to be able to click here and tap there for instant communication, instant information, and ready access to a practically endless spectrum of resources. My parents, on the other hand, know it’s all ... Read More