Saturday, April 2

Clear Thoughts On Why I am Adamantly Against Discrimination, But I will not Boycott High Point Market

My Thoughts...

This week there have been some unfortunate events that transpired with a law being changed influencing the LGBT community in a way that feels dangerous and scary to many of my friends in the industry.  I understand while some may even feel that boycotting the furniture market show, High Point Market, in an attempt to get the state of North Carolina to overturn this law is the best approach for them to make a stand.  I just want to note that I wholeheartedly support both the LGBT and design communities, as well as all of the people in it--the myriad talents that run through the spectrum of many beautiful faces.  

However, I do not make the connection of boycotting the very people, the community, the designers, the artisans, the brands who work day in and day out to support one another. I also don't fault people who have new collections coming out, bringing clients to Market, and those who are finally making some financial headway in this tough industry.  Good for you!   We all work so very hard to make design a prosperous business. I feel it is wrong to minimize that and criticize others who are making a living because of a law that they did not have anything to do with passing. 

About my affiliation with the IFDA NY Chapter--I am the VP of Communications for the IFDA NY Chapter, and I am merely a volunteer in this role.  I enjoy being an active community liaison for the organization here in New York City, but now I'm being called out to speak and comment on the organization's behalf about this issue. Over on social media, it got a little heated with passions running deep and two acquaintances attacked me online, questioning my leadership and integrity.  I have come to dislike Facebook as a means to air opinions, because it too often digresses into a mean-spirited collection of insults by some, a very vocal few. Unfortunately, even after much prodding by me, the IFDA is not willing to let me make a significant statement on their behalf -- my hands are tied.  So, when I speak on my opinions about this issue, please know they are my own, not on behalf of the IFDA.  But, please understand I tried my best to try to convince others, but to no avail.

More in-depth on my own thoughts and opinions -- I love writing this blog, and I came to the decision to do this for eight years out of my passion for design.  Period.  I am a free agent. I work on several non profit organizations and projects for the design industry.  Just like my design businesses, I pick and choose with whom I want to work in business.  For eight years, I have collaborated with brands who have sometimes paid me for trips to write about design,  given me products from their collections in order to support an industry charity that is dear to my heart, or just to support me.  But, I have mostly worked for free, out of my love for design.  This industry is built upon personal relationships, and to me, these are no longer corporations, but actual people.  This is "John's job" we are talking about, not XYZ Furniture Corporation.  I would not boycott High Point for that very reason.  I was on the phone with a manager of a brand yesterday who is donating product to an upcoming charity event I am hosting, and they are based in North Carolina.  She is seriously worried that she will lose her job after this Market if there is a boycott.  I cannot promote harming the innocent people who work in this industry over a law that she had nothing to do with passing and may or may not even be overturned because people choose to boycott High Point.  I disagree with the idea of boycotting while I respect the decision of others to do so, and I ask that people respect my decision as well.  

Please stop questioning the integrity of those who may disagree with you.   That is very divisive and counter productive.  After all, we all work hard in this industry.  In my heart of hearts I do not believe that tearing down the folks in and around the design community will help this cause.  This issue seems to have divided our industry, and that does make me sad.  I hope those who are doing the dividing will look deep in their hearts and realize that while you are passionate about a cause, the people around you everyday who you work with and collaborate with deserve respect. 

This Market, I was invited by Esteem Media to be part of a group called Design Bloggers Tour. I hope you will follow along as we make our way through Market, seeing new products, meeting with showrooms and hopefully having a wonderful time in the process.  Along with 9 other designers and design bloggers, I will travel throughout Market, and I promise to report back here on the blog about my findings.  
Follow my musings at #DesignBloggersTour.  

My motto for this Market -- 
Lead with a kind and giving heart!

Let's stand against this and over turn this law.
Sign this PETITION

 Contact the Governor in North Carolina

Happy Nesting
XO Tamara