IFDA-Carolinas holiday party brings together designers, retailers, friends and home furnishings industry professionals at Raymond Waites' home
Several of us were among the many who didn’t let a little bit of rain stop us from making the trek across town (and up the long driveway) to the High Point home of designer Raymond Waites last night. The occasion was the Carolinas Chapter of the International Furnishings & Design Assn.’s holiday social and fundraiser (benefiting the IFDA’s new Raymond Waites Design Competition Scholarship Fund). IFDA members, along with lots of friends and industry people arrived to find a beautiful (and tasty) presentation of hors d’oeuvres and holiday cheer being served in rooms and halls decked with boughs of holly, ribbons, crystals, ornaments, paperwhites, amaryllis and shiny seasonal decor. The "us" in attendance included Home Accents Today’s art director Wes Kennedy and senior product editor Tracy Bulla, shown in the photo above right (Tracy’s in orange) with Carol Gregg, owner of Red Egg. Also there, Lee Kemp, one of my old friends from high school and the vice president of creative services for the IHFC. Lee is show in the photo at left with Ronna Griest of Paul Robert Upholstery (center) and Ellen Gefen of Gefen Productions. Ellen’s company produces the "High Point Market Live" videos that are shown around Market and on the High Point Market Authority’s Web site. Below them are Holly Barker and Louise Grape of Verellen Home Collection. Louise is also founder of The Hirsch Wellness Network, a local non-profit cancer support community. She’s also a good friend, foster parent to a couple of our honeybee colonies, and is married to my husband’s friend and guitar teacher, Scott Manring. Halfway up the main stairway (and halfway up this blog page on the right) Raymond joins IFDA member Bonnie Peterson for welcoming remarks. Bonnie is the VP-communications for the Carolinas chapter and, at the national level, serves as vice chair of the IFDA Educational Foundation. The IFDA Educational Foundation, the educational and philanthropic arm of the association, is the home furnishings industry’s largest provider of grants and scholarships. Starting January 1, 2009, Bonnie will move into the role of chairman of the Educational Foundation. In the photo below them, John Paulin, owner of the wonderful Grassy Knoll shop in High Point is joined by Earltons Gardens’ Ken Eaton, Debbie Parker and Tommy Earles. In the photo at left, Raymond and I survey the scene from a prime spot on one of the living room sofas while catching up. Great party — and worth noting that membership in the IFDA is open to anyone who provides services and products to the furnishings and design industry, whether that be design, production, distribution, promotion, communication/media or education services.