AWFS (Association of Woodworking & Furnishings Suppliers) holds their biennial fair in Las Vegas at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The 2019 fair was held Wednesday, July 17th – Saturday July 20th.  It is one of the largest woodworking shows in the Western Hemisphere and the place to see and be seen in the woodworking industry.  The day prior to the show (Tuesday, July 16th) featured a full day of educational symposiums.  Three tracks were offered: leadership, finishing and closets.  ACSP President, Wendy Scott (pictured above), President-Elect, Eric Marshall (pictured above with his wife Lori), and member, Patty Miller (pictured above) had the honor of speaking during the closets symposium.

The symposium kicked off with a moderated panel discussing 50 storage designs & trends for the home.  Wendy Scott, Patty Miller and ACSP member Tom Happ were on the panel.  They segued into Patty Miller’s solo presentation – working with builders & interior designers: learn how to use referrals and how to get your products into model homes.  Eric Marshall then presented how to close the sale and increase profits.  Guess what?  Sometimes closing the deal is as easy as asking for it!  After lunch there was a presentation on lighting trends and opportunities which lead into Wendy Scott’s presentation on simple solutions to design challenges.  How are you handling blind corners?  Next, ACSP member Thomas Laville of Laville Cabinets gave a very informative and well-thought out presentation on his experience in setting up his closet manufacturing shop.  Thomas is newer to the home storage industry and had many tips and tricks for newbies out there!

The day ended with a presentation by Michaelle Bradford from CCI Media.  Michaelle is the Editor of Closets & Organized Storage Magazine and Managing Editor for Woodworking Network.  Her presentation was a “State of the Industry” for 2019.  Did you know that soft close hardware was the #1 upgrade customers requested?

Wednesday morning, the fair opened to the public.  There were many exciting and innovative products, a few of which are recapped below.

Updates to Vanity Drawers:

Client wants a Pink or Tiffany Blue closet but you can’t source those colors?  Light it up:

Concealed locks for drawers that attach to Accuride and open with fob or key?  Yes please!

Let’s get lit – counter tops that is!!

In addition to attending the fair, we were working hard in booth 4962 talking to current members and recruiting new members.

We raffled off a Richelieu Nail Gun and a Hafele Designer Kit.  Congrats to the lucky winners and a huge shout out to Richelieu and Hafele for their generous donations.

Although AWFS can be overwhelming at times, it’s a powerful platform for networking, gaining knowledge and being on the cusp of what is up and coming in our industry.  ACSP can also be a part of building your skill set.  If you’re not already a member, the benefits of being an ACSP member are important, but the real value is in what we bring to the table, what we give to one another, and what we can accomplish together. Often the most valued benefits are difficult to quantify. What value do you put on always having someone to call upon for advice? How do you put a price tag on having someone to reach out to who understands your joys or difficulties?