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From Home Furnishing Business

Withit Sets High Point Event Slate

Women's networking and mentoring group WithIt has a full slate of events at April High Point Furniture Market designed to encourage connectivity among businesspeople across the home furnishings spectrum, and a pair of educational events created to expand horizons and competitive intelligence.

“As an organization, WithIt is unique in its inclusiveness,” said WithIt President Violette Forman, “and in our efforts to raise the voices of individual members in order to help move our industry ahead. We welcome members at all levels and in all categories of the furnishings business, whether retailers, manufacturers, suppliers or students, women and men, because we believe that networking and sharing ideas with one another moves us all forward.”

The organization’s Market kick-off event, the President’s Welcome Reception, is set for Friday, April 4, 6-7:30 p.m. at Braxton Culler Furniture, 310 S. Elm Street in High Point. 

“One of the things that has always struck me about WithIt, is our members’ willingness to share with one another,” Forman said. “Unlike many Market events, where the stars appear to speak briefly and then exit the stage as quickly as they appeared, our events offer unparalleled access to the industry’s best and brightest. As example, designer, author and makeover television personality Libby Langdon will be on hand at our Welcome Reception to provide the inside scoop on her fabulously successful collection for Braxton Culler. It’s an incredible opportunity for anyone who’s ever dreamed about producing a licensed collection to ask questions and learn more about how Libby has accomplished it.”

Next up, is Michelle Lamb, internationally recognized trend forecaster and editorial director of The Trend Curve, taking the stage at the WithIt Educational Breakfast, “Future Trends: Driving Forces,” Sunday morning, April 6, 7:30-9 a.m., IHFC Green Wing, 11th Floor in the International Ballroom.

“Sponsored by International Market Centers and Restonic Mattress, the Education Breakfast is a Market tradition that dates almost to WithIt’s inception some 16 years ago,” Forman said. “Free to all Market attendees thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, it’s always a thought-provoking event with an outstanding program and a 'Who’s Who' of industry leaders both on stage and in the audience. We are all looking forward to hearing Michelle Lamb’s hour-long talk revealing the 'why' behind the 'what' of color and style preferences for next year. Whatever your role in the industry--buyer, designer, manufacturer, blogger--you’ll leave with useful information to enhance your business decisions thanks to Michelle’s keen eye and insights developed through her constant journeys to the European and Asian  markets."

Attendance is free to all, but seating is limited, and reservations are required. RSVP here.

On Monday, April 7 at 6 p.m., WithIt wraps up its Market events with the  Competitive Intelligence event, taking place in the Antique & Design Center Lecture Room, on the ground floor of the Antique & Design Center at Market Square. The special event sponsored by the Antique and Design and Safe-T-Shade features author and industry strategist Caroline Hipple, chief energy officer of HB2 Resources with long-time business partners and co-authors Dixon Barlett, Anita Pugh and Chris Matthies, sharing their unique formula for both personal and organizational success. 

In a discussion drawn from their new business book, "A Pathway to Profit,"  the team will focus on developing a culture linking people and profit. According to the authors, “A Pathway to Profit” is the story of the culture of caring, which connects developing and empowering people to creating profits.

“This is the stuff that really moves the meter,” Hipple says. “When you think about it, this is one of the last frontiers for gaining a competitive edge. Price is no longer a competitive edge, nor is great style, because so many people can do it. It’s the people, the team and the feeling of inclusiveness and empowerment--the grey areas--that attract better and better people, and therein lies the opportunity to gain competitive edge.”

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