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.

  • High Points

    When I went to my first fall High Point Market last year, I was told it wasn’t a big deal for the casual category, that not many outdoor manufacturers were there. That was a bit of an understatement. This year we counted about 70 outdoor makers, spread amid 180 buildings, so it is a challenging show to cover, to say the least. We were frankly surprised at the number of new companies and new collections, which kept us hopping throughout the entire show. Normally we might finish on the Tuesday, but this year we worked till day’s end ... Read More
  • “D” is for Design

    Strolling the halls of Chicago’s ICFA Preview Show last month, it was impossible not to feel the heavy influence of designers on the outdoor category. The 14th floor of The Mart is known as the designer’s level, and it’s where we found new, fully upholstered sofas at both Century Furniture and Anacara. “Outdoor upholstery won’t make it in the general retailer world,” predicts Deborah Dill, vice president, Anacara. “It’s a designer-placed piece.” On the 15th floor, both Castelle and Gloster displayed their designer collections front and center. Barclay Butera debuted his outdoor collection for Castelle ... Read More
  • Breath of Fresh Air

    It seems that in fashion as well as in furniture, trends come round every decade or so. Take the iconic egg chair by Danish architect Arne Jacobsen. He created the chair in 1958 for the lobby and reception areas of the Royal Hotel in Copenhagen. In the ’70s, his design swung outside, and the hanging egg chair became a contemporary take on the classic. Today these chairs are selling out again. Allen Calzadilla, president of Skyline Design North America, said they can’t keep their rattan Heri Kubu egg chairs in stock. Sika has also revived its 1959 hanging egg ... Read More
  • One Bumpy Ride

    Like any editor worth her salt, while you’re reading this, I’m actually on a plane en route to tour the Telescope factory in Granville, New York—our feature story for the June issue. I hope I live. While connecting in Philly, I noticed that I had a seat assignment change—odd. How often does that happen? Turns out they’d “downgraded” my flight from a jet to a Dash 8-300 turboprop. The last time I was on a plane this small, I puddle-jumped from Miami to Key West. So needless to say, I’m a bit nervous, especially ... Read More
  • 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