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Groovystuff announces winner of student design competition

Groovystuff has announced the winner of its recent student design competition: Appalachian State University's Lee Shan Beatrouse for his Stasis coffee table design.

Groovystuff partnered with Boone, N.C.'s ASU to create a design competition that gives students real-world experience, a chance to earn royalties on successful design, and a reason to choose the home furnishings industry after graduation. Twenty-three of the 110 students in ASU's Industrial Design and Furniture Design programs led by Professor Richard Prisco participated in the design competition.

Their challenge working with reclaimed teak and other materials typical of the Groovystuff line to design an environmentally-friendly product that reflects the Dick Idol brand and can be produced using sustainable manufacturing practices.
"The design competition was an Olympic Event for the 23 students involved from App State, and the talent was indescribable," said Chris Bruning, vice president of Groovystuff. "But as in any competitive race for Gold there can be only one winner, and that winner is Lee Shan Beatrouse!"

On Oct. 8, Groovystuff assembled a panel of judges to review the student projects and presentations for inclusion in the modern rustic Dick Idol Brand. Students were judged on practicality in production, marketability with regards to the MSRP, incorporation into the Dick Idol Brand, and the professionalism of the student's delivery. The panel of judges included Ray Allegrezza of Furniture Today, Tracy Bulla of Home Accents Today, Jackie Hirschhaut of the American Home Furnishings Alliance, Steve Hodges of Steve Hodges Associates, Tracy Kalamn of TR Designs, and Gray Penell of Jamestown, N.C.-based Furnitureland South.

"The vision behind this table is that of bringing the outdoors in," Lee said. "Using a contrast of materials and textures gives this piece a unique feel. Influenced by the many styles of furniture produced by Groovystuff, I was able to design a coffee table with the versatility to accent a variety of living room spaces. This table implements reclaimed Thai farming equipment as well as teak root pieces, giving the table a very natural feel while maintaining a crisp and clean visual appeal."

Other finalists were Alex Parker, who showed a Teak Branch chair, and Marshall Dean, who introduced an end table he named Tumbleweed. Honorable mentions went to Joseph Green for a table called Root of Balance, Michelle Walbert for an indoor/outdoor bench called Deschutes, and Griffin Wolf for a wall-mounted coat rack called Early Sundown.

In addition to the panel of industry judges, Groovystuff also posted the student designs on Facebook for the public to comment on and vote. For the final voice in the voting competition, Groovystuff displayed each of the student models and design boards for the market attendees to vote on during the recent High Point Market.

Beatrouse will receive a $500 cash reward for stage one of the contest. For stage two of the contest, Groovystuff will display the original drawings along with the finished product at the April 2011 High Point Market so buyers can see the transformation of the concept into a fully executed consumer product. The final winning design will be the one with the top sales, Bruning said. "That student designer will not only be included in the prestigious Dick Idol Legends Collection, but will also win a $1,000 cash prize and a permanent royalty on all future sales of the product for life!"

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