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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.

  • 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
  • The Blues are Running

    Any fisherman worth his salt recognizes what "the blues are running" means, and anyone in the furniture industry who has paid the least bit attention to color knows the blues are running in the outdoor category, too. The recent industry events this spring prove the point. In the past couple of months, I’ve seen every shade of blue imaginable: turquoise and cerulean, indigo and royal, periwinkle and teal and a host of other blues that had the most creative names. So when I tell you the blues are running, I mean they’re running everywhere. The other thing about ... Read More
  • First Impressions

    Are you the one making change? In and out of showrooms at the High Point Market during my first couple weeks on the Casual Living team, one question was frequently asked of me: What are your first impressions? Great question. The standout was that everyone attending the High Point event sees great opportunity in the outdoor furnishings category. While outdoor lines are not the top feature of this event primarily attended by full-line stores and designers, the category has too much potential to be ignored by either the attendees or the manufacturers. Clearly, the outdoor room has become a favorite ... Read More