When I was asked to speak at the National Association of Decorative Fabric Distributors' (NADFD) conference at the Fairmont Southampton in Bermuda, I was excited and honored that I was getting the chance to speak about fabric and vinyl through my eyes as products editor. With so much going on in the industry, I knew I would have a lot to say. And although I am not a huge fan of public speaking (I figure the only way to like it more is to do more of it), I was excited for my session entitled Design Perspectives.
What was also exciting was that I was going to travel to Bermuda for the first time, a place with water more turquoise than the color found in a Crayola box, food that was beyond exceptional, and people that were welcoming and warm.
The conference kicked off with a great cocktail reception at the beach where I met several of the attendees. The next day was speaking time. The morning started off with a talk by Carol Derby, director of environmental strategy for Designtex, who discussed the Association for Contract Textiles' (ACT) current sustainability standards and the development of standards for vinyl. A lot of Derby's talk was a real education for me, where now I know a lot more about abrasion and durability issues. Derby continued with a panel discussion with Chuck Streich, Spradling International Inc.; Rob Mayer, Mayer Fabrics, and Blake Millinor, Valdese Weavers. I was up next and I think by the end of my session, the attendees knew a bit more about trends, new uses for fabric and vinyl, the outlook on the economy and its relation to fabric and vinyl, and what hospitality designers want to see more of. Below, from left to right, is a photo of me, MaryAnn Crews, J. Edgar Eubanks & Associates who helped organize the conference, and Carol Derby, Designtex.
Besides the great discussions, vendors set up exhibits for us to see, and a closing talk by Mike Leonard of the Today Show about his journey through life and an extensive journalism career and the lessons learned along the way really inspired me to think about my own passions in life.
And now, a photo to inspire you…